Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Film: 20 Movies in 20 Days: Doomsday

By Mister Chapel

It's unfair to say that I am broken up that Neil Marshall's "Doomsday" isn't nearly as good as I would have liked, because I was the one who deemed it unimportant to see when it opened last March.

However, as the first of a twenty-movie-in-just-as-many-days binge, it does have enough redeeming characteristics to hold one's attention. It's just a pity they're all from other films.

I couldn't help but notice how every little bit seemed to recall a movie prior.

Its opening - a quarantine shutting down Scotland with giant gates ("28 Days Later").

Its setup - needing to go back in to retrieve something important ("Escape From New York")

Its first action sequence - introducing a gagggle of military characters whom we like and killing them off rapidly as the enemy they fight closes in ("Aliens")

Its splatterpunk three-ring circus with a carnivorous crowd eating up the words and actions of its ringleader ("Moulin Rouge")

Its journey to find the one they need, who lives in a Rohanian castle with townfolk who're dressed the part ("The Lord of the Rings")

Its one-on-one gladiatorial fight scene (Guess)

The list goes on, but the bottom line is that Marshall, whose m.o. is usually tight-knit groups working together against a common enemy ("Dog Soldiers," "The Descent") goes balls to the wall here with the budget and scope, but doesn't hit the right notes with his characters, namely our heroine Eden Sinclair. We feel for her, we do -- but not nearly enough. It's entertaining, it's big, it's loud -- but it's similarly disposable as well.

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