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Two Idiots Review Doom

When DOOM 3 appeared on the gaming scene a while back I was just as excited as the next guy. However ‘the next guy’ and I quickly parted company when the game seemed to divide gamers into 2 groups: “Those who loved the game” verses “Those who can tell when a game stinks”.

As usual I was on the “stinks” side.. and so was my good friend Furious. So, one night we got together and wrote a ‘review’ of the game.

Now that the Doom movie is in cinemas I’ve fabricated the idea that people have been asking Furious and I to once again offer up our thoughts on what people can expect from this flick… So we have.., you can stop the emails now, OK!

Elroy: Hey there Furious, you’re late!

Furious: I do live in Adelaide you know… So, do you have the tickets?

Elroy: Sure, I used your mum’s concession card and got them cheap!

Furious: How is mum?

Elroy: She’s good. Let’s grab some popcorn and head in to the cinema!

Furious: Ok, let’s go!

Elroy: This was the worst film I’ve ever seen! The story is non existent, the acting appalling, character development was cursory at best, the special effects were lame, the aperture settings were wrong and, worst of all, they changed the creatures from hell (in the game) to genetically altered, alien space pirates….

Furious: What are you doing?

Elroy: Working on my review.

Furious: But, we’re not even in the cinema yet.

Elroy: Yeah, I already know that it sucks.. I have the internet at home.

Furious: But Elroy! The reason everyone reads your reviews and finds them so interesting and unique is that you don’t jump on the public bandwagon, but make your own mind up… Don’t you? Don’t you?

Elroy: Of course! Don’t think that I’m jumping on a bandwagon dude! Heck, I’m not even a member at IMDB! Think of it more as.. erm.. being efficient! If I can write half the review before I see the film, that’s almost 51% less work that I have to do AFTER I’ve see it! And let’s face facts here Furious, this is a movie, which is based on a video game, directed by the Andrzej Bartkowiak, who is not only Polish but responsible for SPECIES and TERMS OF ENDEARMENT.. And, The Rock is in it! I mean, it couldn’t have “It’s gonna suck!” stamped on it in better letters unless they swapped that Polish guy with Paul W.S Anderson or Uwe Boll!

Furious: Oh, I don’t know. They could have cast Vin Diesel instead of the Rock. But wishful-thinking aside, that Polish guy directed ROMEO MUST DIE – that’s my favourite Jet Li movie! Doom has Karl Urban in it too – I liked him in THE BOURNE SUPREMACY.

Elroy: Oh Furious, you naive little monkey, there really is no way that this movie is going to be any good. I mean, on top of everything else I’ve mentioned, one of the guys taking a writers credit for this thing is Wesley Strick and he’s only just got out of prison for the work he did on THE SAINT…. Hey Furious, what are you doing?

Furious: Gaffer taping a torch to my popcorn… so that I can see and eat at the same time!

Elroy: Brilliant! Got a spare torch…. erm.. and gaffer tape…. and popcorn?

Furious: Not for you. Let’s go into the theatre and sit down, all this talk is making my legs tired… And those dorks over by the Coke machine with the NIN T-shirts on are begining to scare me…

100 minutes later.

Furious: Well… So, what did you think?

Elroy: ‘Cant think, need to pee…

4 minutes later.

Furious: So, what did you think?

Elroy: Seriously man, I wont be much longer, can you PLEASE go and wait out side!?

2 minutes later.

Furious: So… What did you think of the movie?

Elroy: I have to say, I’m more than a little disappointed. I was all set to rag the movie out and yet I actually caught myself enjoying it. It’s not DEAD POETS SOCIETY or anything, but for a mindless science fiction action movie it wasn’t a total bust… I mean, you’ve seen STEALTH right?

Furious: I agree, but I have to point out that this is quite the turn around Elroy. No more than 107 minutes ago you were sprooking off about how little chance this movie had. And there was something about monkeys in there too.

Elroy: Furious, Furious, Furious. They say that the true definition of genius is the ability to hold two conflicting thoughts in your head at the same time. While I was paying out Andrzej Bartkowiak for directing SPECIES, I was also taking into account his work as Cinematographer for the fantastic THIRTEEN DAYS. And our friend Wesley Strick? Sure he should be beaten with a stick for THE SAINT, but he also worked on WOLF, the CAPE FEAR remake and ARACHNOPHOBIA, which is a first-class creepy movie right there! Really, there was never any doubt in my mind that this wouldn’t be a good fun, creepy, sci-fi action blockbuster.

Furious: Wow, that’s remarkable.

Elroy: Yes, I told you.. Genius.

Furious: No, I meant that it’s remarkable that you can talk such utter dribble and yet still spell ARACHNOPHOBIA correctly.

Elroy: Hey, stop pointing out spelling, you’re ruining the illusion that we’re really at the movies! Moving on, let’s hear what you thought of the film then!

Furious: Without going into details that will spoil the plot of the film for readers, I have to say that it was much stronger than I expected. Yes, the film makers chose to change a few things and not stick too tightly to the canon established by the game. However, I don’t think that the changes detracted from my enjoyment of the film. There were plenty of other game references in there that more than made up for it.

Elroy: Agreed, I had to chuckle to myself when I heard that one of the Marines was named ‘Duke’. I fully expected that he’d be captured by a creature and never get released! GET IT? Never get released! Because.. “Duke Nuke ’em” has been in the works for so long.. that.. never… released…

Furious: *Sigh* Yeah, I get it. I was thinking more about things like.. Well, the detail that they put into the sets. People really familiar with the game (DOOM3) will actually recognise areas that appeared in the game. Although they did trip up on one aspect.

Elroy: Yeah? What was that? The fact that the Marines were able to use a torch AND hold their guns at the same time?

Furious: No, but that is a valid departure from the game. No, I was thinking more about the fact that, when a certain character acquires the BFG – the staple, über weapon in gamer lore, he wasn’t immediately descended upon by a copious number of rampaging enemies… because that’s what happens in every ID soft game when you get the BFG.

Elroy: I thought the physics engine could use a little work too.

Furious: No way! When the guy kicks that bucket down the stairs it totally looked real!

Elroy: WAY TO SPOIL THE MOVIE DUDE! Now everybody knows that the bucket gets it!

Furious: Oh, sorry people. Ok, what’s your final verdict on DOOM then Elroy? Should the good people reading this review bother going to see it or not?

Elroy: Much like a tent with missing poles, this is a hard one to pitch. The buzz all over the net is that it’s not worth seeing and to most people that usually means “wait until you (or someone else) hires the DVD” but, I think that if you’re going to enjoy this movie at all, then you’d really orta see it on the big screen. The creepy moments always seem creepier when it’s projected on to a dirty great screen and you’re sitting in the dark with a room full of strangers! And the industrial pulse rock soundtrack is always gonna sound better at the cinema than it will on that PANSONIC system you have at home!

Furious: Agreed. Credit where it’s due: The film really does look good, there are plenty of game reference throughout to keep the fans (but not fanbois) interested and.. well, The Rock blows stuff up! What more can you ask from a sci-fi action no-brainer, Elroy?

Elroy: I honestly don’t know Furious. I think it comes down to this: Don’t just take the smack talk on the net as gospel. If you’ve got an evening to kill then what could be better than spending it in a big dark room watching funky creatures getting shot in the head and blown up?

Furious: Nothing Elroy… nothing.

[Originally written for EON and published at Gamespace on Mon, 07 Nov 2005]

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