Reel Society

Reviews for the latest movies in theaters and on DVD.

Doomsday

 
 
Review by Patrick Hodges

Have you ever seen Escape From New York?  Or The Road Warrior?  Or 28 Days Later?  If the answer to all three of those questions is “yes”, then don’t bother watching DOOMSDAY, which basically steals plot lines from all three of those films.  In fact, some of the images are such blatant rip-offs that one wonders how Neil Marshall (who scored great praise in 2005 with The Descent) let it get this bad.

In the present day, a terrible virus called “Reaper” is unleashed in the British Isles, or, to be more accurate, Scotland.  A great wall was erected to shield the southern part of the country from contagion, leaving the infected to die.  Thirty years later, the situations on both sides of the wall have degenerated terribly; the survivors of the virus have become a society of primal savages, cannibalizing their fellow survivors for nourishment.  Meanwhile, back in the “civilized” world, what remains of the British government is faced with an all-new containment problem when Reaper returns to wreak havoc again.

In a last-ditch effort to find a cure, Major Eden Sinclair (Rhona Mitra) is dispatched with a team of soldiers into “no man’s land” to try to locate a missing scientist named Kane (Malcolm McDowell) to see if a cure can be found.  However, they are set upon almost immediately by the savages, lead by their leader, Sol (Craig Conway), who looks like nothing more than a Goth-punk-rock biker with a nasty disposition.

We’re supposed to believe that they are, in fact, “savages”, due to their cannibalistic nature, but I found it amazing that not only had their language not deteriorated in the slightest, but most of them still possessed a perfect set of teeth.  And if THAT weren’t bad enough, the gratuitous “barbecue” scene looked more like a Hell’s Angels orgy, complete with can-can dancing and lots of bikes zooming around.  And when Sinclair finally does locate Kane, he appears to have create a separate society of his own, setting himself up as the ruler of a distinctly feudal system, complete with ancient castle and armor-clad knights.  The final chase scene is an absolute carbon-copy of the chase scene from The Road Warrior, only shorter and much less entertaining, and Sinclair’s decision at the very end made absolutely no sense to me at all.  And oh, by the way, the soundtrack was completely ridiculous... for it being the year 2035, there sure was a lot of 80's music: Frankie Goes to Hollywood and the Fine Young Cannibals (yeah, I get it, har har).

Mohawked punk savages, feudal knights, a killer virus, cars, horses, trains, guns, bows and arrows and swords, oh my.  It all blends together to make a mildly entertaining hot mess.  Some good action, but nothing you haven’t seen before.  And I mean that.

2 / 5 stars

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