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Overall Rating

Worth A Look28.57%
Average: 3.17%
Pretty Bad: 17.46%
Total Crap: 22.22%

5 reviews, 33 user ratings

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Doomsday (2008)
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by William Goss

"Don't Fear The Reaper"
4 stars

In a day and age where Hollywood seems to champion the unoriginal thought above all others, it doesn’t seem terribly fair to dismiss the genre pastiche that is 'Doomsday' as any sort of mere knock-off of ‘80s post-apocalyptic actioners.

Yes, writer-director Neil Marshall’s follow-up to his harrowing-as-hell The Descent plays like the greatest hits of that particular subgenre – a hearty blend of Escape from New York and The Road Warrior, with some Aliens and Knightriders sprinkled in for good measure – but when Marshall goes so far as to name characters after Escape and Warrior directors John Carpenter and George Miller, not to mention replicate the very opening credits typeface and synthesized score of Carpenter’s work, Doomsday feels more like an open love letter to their work rather than a bald-faced cut-and-paste job.

Anyway, let’s take a moment to set the scene: in the year 2033, twenty-five years after an outbreak of the Reaper Virus has resulted in a Scotland completely sealed off from the rest of the world, this nasty little bug has managed to resurface amidst the overpopulated ghetto of Central London. As such, the desperate British government – run by shady authority figure Canaris (David O’Hara) – finally sees fit to dispatch a team led by no-nonsense agent Eden Sinclair (Rhona Mitra) into the former hot zone and after a potential cure before the crisis grows out of control, and soon enough, our heroine and her crack team find themselves running afoul of survivors galore, most of whom have regressed into cannibalistic punks or medieval serfs, respectively ruled by the psychotic Sol (Craig Conway) and the megalomaniacal Kane (Malcolm McDowell).

Admittedly, it sounds like a messy mish-mash of archetypes and atmospheres, but Marshall keeps matters barreling forward before the whole bloody affair can begin to topple under the patchwork nature of its influences (not to mention a logical leap or two); it’s his competent and capable direction that raises the visceral matinee thrills here above the likes of, say, that most recent of Resident Evil efforts. Social order may have decayed with the corpses, as Kane explains in an opening voice-over, but Marshall does weave a certain degree of rhyme and reason amidst all this anarchy in the UK (my favorite touch: the length of chain that the cannibals use to cook themselves up some intruders is marked “Rare-Med-Krispy”).

Of course, all the level-headed direction in the world doesn’t count for crap if the performances aren’t up to par. However, Mitra struts, swings, and shoots with a steely glare all too befitting of a Little Miss Plisskin; Conway consistently operates on just the right level of batshit crazy; and McDowell’s natural gravitas only reinforces the constantly dire nature of the circumstances. Meanwhile, as Sinclair’s mentor and Britain’s prime minister, Bob Hoskins and Alexander Siddig respectively make the most of their comparatively modest screen time.

Cap it all off with a rousing score by Tyler Bates and what is arguably the most exciting car chase this side of a Jason Bourne outing, and I wouldn’t hesitate to consider 'Doomsday' a pulpy throwback of the slickest order. One character remarks on their state of affairs as “same shit, different era,” to which I say: but what shit!

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originally posted: 03/19/08 16:19:02
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User Comments

10/30/16 morris campbell believe the critics it sux watch mad max fury road instead 1 stars
7/30/10 Candace Lind Unspeakably fabulous. Don't believe the critics! Every second is fun! 5 stars
12/03/09 matt Wow. Just... wow. Stupendously bad. Boring, derivative and over-edited. mind-numbing 1 stars
7/09/09 Phil This movie is so much fun, I don't care what anybody says! 5 stars
6/28/09 System11 Loads of fun especially if you spot all the references, sets out to entertain and succeeds 5 stars
2/14/09 Ray Just saw it. Rhona rocked, but it was such a rip-off of better films. 2 stars
1/21/09 Peter North I'd like to infect Eden Sinclair with my virus!!!! 4 stars
1/10/09 daibead Nice to read this, I agree totally with all of your review, a guilty pleasure. 5 stars
12/16/08 Spence Massive Fail. 1 stars
9/06/08 G-Man A witch's brew of B-Movie action heaven ! Over the top! 4 stars
8/26/08 dr satan AWSOME its better then a penut butter pickle sandwich 5 stars
8/23/08 greensweater Thunderdome called, they want their movie back 2 stars
8/19/08 Nester-san This movie rocks on so many levels, total action satisfaction, reminded me of the old VHS g 5 stars
8/09/08 GC rips off Escape NY, mad max and Braveheart? 2 stars
8/07/08 mike cool beheadings and stuff but the movie was ridiculous 3 stars
7/13/08 Jon If you like the genre you'll love it, if you don't you'll be able to tolerate it. 5 stars
6/05/08 Jayson Horrible. Just plain horrible. 1 stars
4/18/08 Benne Rex All my favorite movies sewn together and given new life!! 5 stars
4/07/08 Stephanie Bruce I didnt like it it seemed like a recycled version of half dozen movies 1 stars
4/04/08 Colleen Cousineau Another fun gory movie, not all blood and guts have to be serious. 4 stars
4/03/08 shaw Fun. Cult. Graphix. 4 stars
3/28/08 dc shuck great movie, future cult movie 5 stars
3/27/08 NoRefill Stupidity reigns. Suspend all sensibility if you see this. 2 stars
3/22/08 mr.mike well done 4 stars
3/20/08 ES Graphic and unapologetic- epic, can't wait to own the DVD 5 stars
3/19/08 Servo A fun (and funny as hell) movie that should be a cult classic. I hope it finds its audience 4 stars
3/18/08 Wolfrider About an hour in, I turned to the GF and said Ya know, we CAN ask for our $$ back - SUX 1 stars
3/17/08 Will A thoroughly fun and entertaining film. This reviewer misses the point! 5 stars
3/17/08 jonny twotimes another director that TOTALLY RIPS-OFF 28 DAYS LATER, who's next? 1 stars
3/16/08 arnie Great fun. This reviewer completely missed the point. 5 stars
3/16/08 KingNeutron Laughably, HORRIBLY bad movie -- avoid wasting your $$ on it 1 stars
3/15/08 Max Rockatansky Hmm...wonder where he got some of his ideas? 2 stars
3/15/08 stacy berg I thought it was kind of violent 3 stars
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  14-Mar-2008 (R)
  DVD: 29-Jul-2008



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