Film Review: Doomsday

 doomsday galleryposter Film Review: Doomsday

Doomsday is something of a misunderstood gem.  It had a decent advertising budget (judging from the amount of television spots I’ve seen) but it didn’t have much help from the indifferent studio, who seemed resigned to its failure at the US box office.  That’s really a shame because people are missing a nasty, gory, and ultra-violent throwback to past B-movies, delivered with breakneck pacing and lots of style by director Neil Marshall, rightly celebrated for his previous two films, Dog Soldiers and The Descent.  Doomsday is assembled from parts of other films, a dash of 28 Days Later and Resident Evil, and a lot of The Road Warrior, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t pack some witty surprises for fans of B-movie trash.  There’s a whole subplot involving a medieval-style kingdom ruled over by a scientist turned lunatic (Malcolmn McDowell, hamming it up) and a sadistic, mohawked villain named Sol who prances on stage to new wave pop music to address his fellow Mad Max punks.  The film stars Rhona Mitra (doing her best Mila Jovavich impersonation) as the requisite heroic badass Eden Sinclair and a host of impressive British talent in support, including Bob Hoskins.

There’s a virus in London and Eden and her team must find and retrieve the cure in a barricaded zone patrolled by psychos right out of the Mad Max playbook.  The film starts out 28 Days Later and shifts into Road Warrior mode featuring all kinds of eccentric baddies and nonstop violence.  Doomsday is fun and fast-moving, and never takes itself too seriously.  It’s an homage to films Marshall clearly loved watching as he grew up and it never seems to be above the films it’s paying tribute to. 

Doomsday has very few original ideas in its head, but the sheer force of the film-making and kicky performances more than make up for that.  If you’re a fan of any of the above-mentioned films, Doomsday is worth a look.  Fans of gory, post-apocalyptic films should enjoy every minute of Doomsday.  Doomsday is akin to tasty junk food, its all empty calories, but it tastes good and leaves you feeling satisfied.

Film Grade:  B+

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