To me, this feels like an effort to keep the film rights to the DOOM franchise. That aside, this actually is an alright watch. I’m not sure fans of the games will care at all for this, but it’s not a bad standalone film. It’s fairly straight forward, and for what I imagine was a constrained budget they did alright here with this one. For the gamers out there, you will feel like they were given a bullet point sheet of what was required in this type of game movie.
The narrative follows a group of UAC Marines as they respond to a distress call. This is from a secret base that’s located on Phobos, which is one of the Martian moons. When they get there, things are too quiet and it would seem as though monstrous demons have taken over. These creatures came across more like zombies, and the more powerful beings were a bit silly. I’ll give props to the make-up/design team for the effort there though. Sadly, it just doesn’t emulate the demon feel right, and they all seem like agile zombies.
There’s quite a bit of action in here as the large group of marines faces off against various issues and enemies. The environments range from true to the series, to a regular factory area. It’s weird quite honestly, to see the distinction of more authentic locations to ones that are awkward. I could see the effort here though, and that’s appreciated. I will note the exit of the elevator scene felt the most true to what I expected out of this film, well done there.
While this is an ensemble group of marines, the narrative mainly follows Joan Dark (Amy Manson) that has some sort of complicated back story as to why she’s in this situation. She was actually rather solid in this, and despite some weaker story lines the cast was alright in this throughout.
I’d actually say that Manson definitely stood out here as well. The visuals were alright for the most part, some of the CGI wasn’t amazing, but it wasn’t bad either so I’d give it a pass. I think they did an alright job considering this certainly looked like it had a set lower budget. It aspired to greater heights, bringing some excellent camera work and I’d say it was just the story that was a bit weak here.
It was to the point which is fine, but was a tad rough in some spots. It was almost like they had key points and just filled the middle with action. There was also way too much exposition, that’s all some of the characters were there for. I will also note that the fight choreography was well done, impressive actually.
DOOM: Annihilation is an alright watch, it’s not for fans of the games but does deliver quality action with decent performances. This was honestly better than I thought it would be, despite this very clearly being something to just keep the rights. I’m assuming on that part, as its weird this type of project wouldn’t get a theatrical treatment considering the property its being based on. I will mention once more that this does feel like they were hitting a check list of features.
You’ll see a fancy gun, keycards, fire balls, UAC swag and a research facility in peril. That’s some standard DOOM action, and it’s right in time for the latest game which is probably a smart tie-in. This is a fine film, it stands out by itself in a unique way. It’s well shot, solid acting and a fairly great lead at the helm of this Marine team.
DOOM: Annihilation Review at Home with Digital Viewing