Doomsday (2008)

doomsday poster 2008 movie
6.5 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Acting: 6/10
Visuals: 8/10

Decent looking

Derivative and lack of flow

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Doomsday

Studio:  Rogue Pictures/Intrepid Pictures/Crystal Sky Pictures

Genre(s):  Action/Adventure/Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Release Date(s):  March 14, 2008

MPAA Rating:  R

doomsday telamon hennie bosman

Are you not entertained?!?!

The Reaper Virus has overtaken Scotland and the whole country has been isolated.  As a result, England finds itself shut off from the rest of the world.  After years of inactivity, the Reaper Virus has resurfaced, but evidence that people in Scotland have found a means to survive leads Prime Minister John Hatcher (Alexander Siddig) to authorize Bill Nelson (Bob Hoskins) to assemble a team to investigate the potential survivors and find Doctor Marcus Kane (Malcolm McDowell) or his research.  Eden Sinclair (Rhona Mitra) has been appointed to lead the team and quickly finds that Scotland not only endures, but has bred a new type of survivor…and they aren’t friendly.

Written and directed by Neil Marshall, Doomsday is a post-apocalyptic action-adventure film.  The movie performed poorly in the theater and received mixed reviews from critics.

I have seen Marshall’s stuff, and Doomsday always slipped through the cracks.  I love The Descent, and Dog Soldiers also was a fun spin on the werewolf movie.  Doomsday is meant to be more of a homage film, but in being a homage, it doesn’t feel entirely original.

doomsday rhona mitra knight

We are the Knights that say “Ni”!

Marshall looked at a lot of post-apocalyptic movies as the basis including (heavily) the Mad Max films among others.  The movie also recognizes that there is some territorial nature to the characters who have regressed outside of civilization…the military encounters not only the wild urban dwellers of south Scotland but the knight-based kingdom of the countryside.  It is very episodic (like a real quest) and ends in an all-out Road Warrior style chase scene.  I love the aspects and what Marshall is trying to do, but it never seems to quite lands the feel that he’s aiming at.

Rhona Mitra is fine as the lead and has a basis from Snake Plissken of Escape from New York/Escape from L.A., but it feels like she needs to be more mysterious and dynamic for this to work.  Malcolm McDowell plays the Malcolm McDowell character, but also (in story structure as well), he’s got a bit of Heart of Darkness to him.  Bob Hoskins is criminally underused and David O’Hara could have more screentime.  I prefer Lee-Anne Liebenberg’s savage Viper to Hennie Bosman’s Telamon…but both are scene stealers.

doomsday car chase bentley

Now I want a Bentley…

This movie feels like it has a bigger budget than some of Marshall’s other movies…and that might be a mistake.  Most of the movies that Marshall is tapping into (like The Warriors and The Omega Man along with other above mentioned movies) have more of a grindhouse style to them.  It is a sense of doing the best with what they have.  Marshall does do a number of practical effects (which helps), but it feels like it needs to be dirtier and grittier.  It also does not help that the most visually compelling portions of the film are early with the savages…the knights just aren’t as impressive.

Doomsday is almost there, but it doesn’t quite make it up the hill.  I can see this movie becoming more popular over time or simply disappearing.  Marshall has enough fans that I would like to see Doomsday get a bit more attention, but Mad Max:  Fury Road took the genre title back from Doomsday and multiplied it by twenty.  Doomsday is worth seeking out for fans of the genre and if you just like some senseless violence and action.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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