Saturday, October 14, 2006

Doom: Unrated Extended Edition Review

For the last week, I've been on vacation, and with my original vacation plans getting scrapped, I've had a lot of free time. So what better thing to do than rent and watch a bunch of cheap zombie flicks. What?

Anyway, we'll start with Doom: Unrated Extended Edition. When Doom was released to theatres, I had heard that it was rather bad and thus decided not to bother paying theatre fees to see it. I caught a bit of it on TMN the other night, and found myself entertained by it's cheesiness, so I decided to give it a rent.

First and foremost, Doom: Unrated Extended Edition is a film that's loosely based on Doom 3. Experiments where being conducted on a UAC research facility on Mars, and when contact with the base is lost a rapid response team is sent to investigate. The team is lead by Sarge, who is similar to the game character of the same name, and the Doom Guy is portrayed by Reaper, who's sister works in the UAC facility. You'll also get to see Zombies, Imps, a Pinky, and some Hell Knights. The big difference between the film and the game is that in the film, the monsters are not actual demons, they're humans who have been genetically altered/mutated. You'll also get to see the Chainsaw, Machine Gun, Chaingun, BFG, Pistol, and Grenades, so the general Doom arsenal is present (no Shotgun?!?).

Keeping in mind this is a film loosely based on a video game, don't go in expecting it to have an epic plot or deep character development. It is fast paced and extremely cheesy, but I honestly found that therein lies Doom: Unrated Extended Edition's fun. Based on some of the inside jokes and events, you can tell that the film doesn't take itself too seriously as well, and that just adds to the humour.

Actually, like many reviewers said around the film's theatrical release, it reminded me a lot of Resident Evil, which I suppose isn't a bad thing since Resident Evil was cheesy fun all to itself and one of the more successful video game flicks. Generally, Doom: Unrated Extended Edition is all about running around and killing or being killed by monsters, there's not much else to it, and if a basic run and gun monster flick with cheesy jokes is your thing, than Doom: Unrated Extended Edition will be right up your alley.

Towards the end of the film, there is something that is completely unique and deserves mention: the FPS sequence. There is an entire 5 minute scene where Reaper wakes up in first person perspective, and starts going through the base killing anything in his path just like a video game FPS. After watching the featurette on the making of this sequence, credit must be given as it was not easy to do and the FPS sequence did turn out very well. As far as I know no other feature film has ever done a video game FPS style sequence, so if you're interested in camera work, effects, and simply different styles of shot set-ups, then this alone may warrant the rental of Doom: Unrated Extended Edition.

The DVD also comes with a demo (2 levels) for the Xbox version of Doom 3. It's the Mars Underground section at the beginning of the game, and if you have an Xbox and haven't tried Doom 3 yet this should give you a good taste of what the game's all about. For those who have played either the PC or Xbox versions, it's worth a go through since there's obviously level design changes from the PC version and different enemy placement from the retail Xbox version.

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