I’ve been craving dystopian content lately and considering the glut of pandemic thrillers finding a new audience because of our recent situation, I thought it appropriate to dive into director Neil Marshall’s (“The Descent”, “Dog Soldiers”) “Doomsday”. Let’s talk about it!
WHAT IS IT?
Directed by Neil Marshall, “Doomsday” is a 2008 post-apocalyptic dystopian action-horror-thriller. In the “present day” of 2008, an outbreak of what’s known as the “Reaper Virus” tears Great Britain apart. Scotland, the area most affected, is walled out from the rest of GB. The virus remains on the down-low for more than two decades before it resurfaces inside the quarantined country. Scrambling for a cure, government officials send out Eden Sinclair and a team of specialists to salvage a cure outside the wall.
WHAT DID I LIKE ABOUT THE FILM?
I see the term “high-octane” being thrown around when it comes to describing action movies or thrillers but I thought it was pretty damn justified with this movie. Akin to Paul Verhoeven’s dystopian satirical films, Neil Marshall and his team seem to gleefully spend each opportunity to let the gore effects shine wisely. A freaking bunny gets mowed down by robot turrets for simply deciding to mosey around the wall! Cue that video of the car alarm girl playing “The Last of Us”.
Rhona Mitra is pretty badass in the role of Eden. I liked that she wasn’t flawlessly badass, though. Like, she makes some very questionable decisions that other characters call out. Nevertheless, as she is our main protagonist, there are plenty of action setpieces that involve her not taking shit from anybody.
Going back to what makes this such as high-octane film is how it seems to not give a damn, even if the plot struggles to keep up (more on that later). As soon as the crew are captured by a bunch of punks that seemed to have walked off the set of “Mad Max”, things escalate from there. There’s cannibalism, high-speed chases with people propelling themselves into other vehicles, gladiator fights, and so on. Clearly, Marshall and his team spared no expense to make the film such a feast for the senses.
WHAT DIDN’T I LIKE ABOUT THE FILM?
Like I mentioned earlier, the plot seems to drag the film instead of keep the ball going. You’ve got the basic premise of going after a cure but that seemed to get lost within the middle of the film before somehow resurfacing in the final act.
“Doomsday” is a very entertaining, and yes, “high-octane” film that doesn’t let up and doesn’t disappoint, even if the plot department becomes a bit barren.“Doomsday” Official Poster