There's a three-minute sequence toward the end of Doom that could win an award for most faithful cinematic recreation of a video game, if such an award actually existed. It's based on the famed video game from the early '90s of the same name that popularized the "first person shooter," a revolutionary style of entertainment that comes close to virtual reality by immersing the player in a three-dimensional environment. We see through the character's perspective, running down dark futuristic corridors with weapons blazing as monsters leap from the shadows. It's a trip for anyone who grew up loving adrenalized sci-fi action movies like Aliens.

The movie admittedly does a good job faithfully rendering this experience in its brief homage, but it begs the question of why the movie needed to be made. As a fan myself, I found it very much like passively watching the programmed action of the demo—fun to watch on the big screen, yet we've seen it before. And because the sequence is so brief and toward the end of the movie, there needs to be something to keep fans and neophytes engaged to that point. You know, things like plot and action—stuff that fleshes out a game into a memorable cinematic event? It's in this that the remaining 101 minutes of Doom are a complete failure.

How hard can it be to screw up a movie like this? In the year 2046, something has gone awry at a remote scientific research facility on Mars, so an "elite" team of space marines is sent past the quarantine to investigate and, if necessary, eliminate any threat. That's essentially it—as they said in Aliens, "it's a bug hunt." We're not talking Shakespeare here. Give the audience some intense action, tie it together with a passable story, and attempt ...

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Our Rating
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Mpaa Rating
R (for strong violence/gore and language)
Directed By
Andrzej Bartkowiak
Run Time
1 hour 45 minutes
Karl Urban, Rosamund Pike, Deobia Oparei, Ben Daniels
Theatre Release
October 21, 2005 by Universal Pictures
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