I thought the original Doom movie was awesome.

Yeah, I realize that I’m probably in the minority here but it was a solid action movie with Doom elements. The fact that Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and Karl Urban were in it just cemented that opinion for me.

Doom was the rare videogame movie that didn’t suck…much. It had a great cast (c’mon it had The Rock and Eomer!), decent sets and the FPS finale truly set it apart from other movies.

In retrospect, perhaps it set the bar too high for Doom: Annihilation. Or maybe the new movie just sucks.

Maybe it’s both?

What is Doom: Annihilation?

Doom: Annihilation is a new direct-to-Bluray movie based on id Software’s Doom games.

By that, I mean VERY loosely based. Apart from the settings (UAC spacecraft and bases), some characters, guns and monsters, there’s very little material from the games that made it through.

Still, there is the odd easter egg here and there that did make me smile (like the William Blazkowicz and the John Carmack ones).

The main omission? Like the older movie, it’s missing the Doomslayer.

No guy in green armor shows up to single handedly kick ass and chew bubblegum. Oh and Hell is apparently an alien dimension in this one too.

The movie stars Amy Manson, Dominic Mafham, Luke Allen-Gale and Nina Bergman and is directed and written by Tony Giglio. It’s produced by Universal 1440 Entertainment and distributed by Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

Honestly, the movie could’ve been called something other than Doom and it still wouldn’t have needed much changed.

The plot is utterly generic; the UAC have found ancient portals underneath certain planets in the solar system and have begun experimenting on them in the hopes repurposing their tech to advance human colonization efforts.

Early results have not been promising (they seem to turn anybody who goes through into mindless zombies) and it’s during the latest test that the movie kicks off as all contact with Phobos base is lost.

In a stroke of luck, the Nola (that’s the ship the marines are on), was just landing at the base when the blackout happened.

Tasked by high command to gather intel on what went down, that’s where the movie kicks off into gear.

Doom on a very tight budget.

One thing that is very weird about the movie is how it seems to portray all the women in it as incredibly strong and capable, while the men are pretty much useless.

The heroine, Joan Dark (which I guess is a homage to Joanna Dark from Perfect Dark?), is scrawny and petite, seemingly barely able to carry a loaded duffel bag across a room without struggling.

Yet, she later lugs around the massive BFG like it’s a paperweight.

Dark has one emotion throughout the movie; anger. She’s always angry at something; her subordinates, the mission, her choices in life, her past…everything.

Then again, I’d be angry too seeing how useless the males under her command are.

Let me put it this way; the men in the movie are hopelessly (and hilariously) inept.

They can’t do anything right; whether it’s fending off the aliens or the converted humans in the base.

In one particularly memorable scene, a guy sees his team being overwhelmed by ONE Imp and instead of lending his firepower, goes ‘Nope’ (he literally says that) and runs away.

Now maybe this lone Imp was the Thor of the whole Imp community or something, because it freaking took everything TWO damn men with assault rifles fired at it like it was nothing.

Or perhaps it’s just the movie showing how useless its male characters are without female help, because the very same Imp later got taken down by a female (in concert with the dood who ran) without much issue.

If you’re put off with the notion of strong women in movies, you’re going to blow a damn fuse watching this. Me? I was laughing throughout. Hell, I don’t care one bit.

The main plot aside, it’s obvious the production value for the movie isn’t that high. This is made for home market movie and the shoestring budget REALLY shows with the laughably bad sets.

Locations are barebones and reused constantly. Everything looks too clean and fake to be believable, which hurts the movie more than the flimsy plot. Even the creature effects are pretty bad, though that’s mainly due to the lighting.

The movie’s way too illuminated to create a sense of dread and horror, especially when the crap hits the fan. Sometimes not being able to see clearly is better! Scenes which could’ve driven home the horror aspects of the movie are ruined with inappropriate lighting, killing off any atmosphere the movie might have had.

I do have to give a shoutout to the climax of the film though.

While it doesn’t have the impact of the original Doom’s FPS sequence, it does take place in a setting that’s (finally) different than the boring UAC Phobos base.

Still, it’s sad that nothing really major happens in the finale (perhaps the CGI budget ran out?) and the climax of the movie fizzles out once you get past the new exotic locale. It also doesn’t help one bit that the ending is entirely predictable, though it does set up a premise for a sequel…which I honestly hope will happen for no other reason than I want MORE Doom.

The bottom line.

I didn’t really like Doom: Annihilation, but it does have some redeeming aspects. The camera work is decent and the acting is certainly better than I expected (and I wasn’t expected much). I really think with a bigger budget, a Doom sequel could potentially be awesome, especially if it builds upon Doom: Annihilation’s cliffhanger ending.

Still, the movie is crap.

There’s no joshing about that fact. It’s lame and is certainly a bad movie overall. The Doom license is barely used (no Doomslayer?! C’mon!), the plot is laughable and the sets are amateurish at best.

If you’re a Doom fan, you might get some enjoyment out of it (like me) but if you’re not, do yourself a favor and stay far, far away from this.

Oh, and never trust a video game movie with ‘Annihilation’ in the title. First Mortal Kombat: Annihilation and now this. The word is cursed!

TLDR:

Crap movie, even for Doom fans. Don’t watch unless you’re really hardcore about Doom.

The Good.
– It’s a new Doom movie!
– Decent cinematography and acting for a budget film.
– Cliffhanger ending sets up a potential sequel.

The Bad.
– Everything else.

Sal's been in the industry since the early 2000s. He's written for a ton of gaming and tech publications including Playworks, Hardwarezone, HWM and GameAxis. A geek and hardcore gamer, Sal will play everything, on any platform.

One thought on “Doom: Annihilation Reviewed.”

  1. I liked the movie. This film is based on the original games, not the new game. In the original game, there is no Doomslayer. There isn’t even a Doomguy. That’s a name fans gave him. The character is referred to as “Unnamed Space Marine” in the original game. And I thought the Captain was great. He had an epic death and he wasn’t an incompetent Marine. He was a badass. I think this was actually pretty faithful to those original games, but if you only know the Doomslayer, than you’re not a fan of DOOM. The plot of the film is identical to the original game. The keycards, the gates, going to Hell. I mean, if you liked the first DOOM movie, where the only thing it had in common with the games was the title, then it’s not shocking you didn’t like this.

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Sal's been in the industry since the early 2000s. He's written for a ton of gaming and tech publications including Playworks, Hardwarezone, HWM and GameAxis. A geek and hardcore gamer, Sal will play everything, on any platform.