When I first heard that another DOOM movie was being worked on I was baffled; I assumed that after the terrible reception that the first film received, we would never see another attempt at making a DOOM movie (something that I was perfectly fine with, mind you). However, I was willing to give it the benefit of the doubt; perhaps this time they would try to remain faithful to the source material and present us with a gloriously over the top action film reminiscent of the fantastic CGI trailer for DOOM (2016). After learning that it was going to be a direct to dvd film with a low budget, all my good will for the film dried up. The dreadful trailer and the absence of DOOMGUY failed to win back any enthusiasm.
The premise involves a group of UAC marines being dispatched to a station on the planet Phobos for security duty. On this station, a group of scientists, engineers, and researchers are experimenting with teleportation and, of course, everything goes horribly wrong. After having one of their scientists test out the teleporter and returning deformed, Dr. Betruger, the one overseeing the operation, decides that it would be a brilliant idea to send himself in next. This causes the station to experience a power surge and demons begin to invade the station. The marines arrive and must now attempt to bring the station back online and figure out what exactly happened here.
This sets up a rather dull film. A good portion of it is spent with the marines moving through brightly lit corridors halfheartedly pointing their guns at every corner and exchanging dreadful dialogue. None of the marines are interesting or memorable; they're all just a bunch of walking military cliches that we've seen countless times in other sci-fi horror films.
The dialogue consists mostly of cheesy action movie phrases and painfully awkward references to the games (example: a character refers to himself as an "ultra nightmare", which is a difficulty setting in the game series). For people that are unfamiliar with the source material, these constant references will leave them scratching their heads and wondering why the dialogue is so unnatural. Fans of the games will find themselves rolling their eyes at these forced references.
The acting is stiff and lifeless, with the only exceptions being Dominic Mafham, who plays Dr Betruger, and Clayton Adams, who plays a marine named Winslow. Everyone else looked bored.
I honestly couldn't tell what tone this movie was trying to go for. It fails to evoke any feelings of dread or horror because the entire station is lit up like a Christmas tree, and there isn't any ambiance. If it was trying to be a horror film, why not make it like DOOM 3? A game that featured a dark and rich atmosphere filled with gory visuals and accompanied by some truly fantastic sound design that succeeded in immersing you into its world. Whatever. After meandering around for a about an hour, the film shifts gears and turns into a lame action movie.
The choreography for the action scenes was clumsy and disjointed and I found myself dozing off during most of them. The outfits for the marines were unconvincing and cheap; they looked like they were wearing airsoft gear. The CGI for the demons looked like something out of an amateur youtube video.
If you're as big of a fan of the DOOM series as I am, do yourself a favor and skip this movie. You won't lose sleep over missing out on this. If you're not familiar with the series, this film will be a waste of time for you.
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