Friday, 8 January 2016

Film Review - Adapted Film - Doom

Doom is a 2005 action movie named after and adapted from the gaming series Doom by id Software, it features Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Karl Urban and Rosamund Pike. The film was a commercial and critical failure at the box office.

Doom proves to be a relatively disappointing adaptation of a game to a movie, this is the case for many game adaptations. According to Kirk Kjeldsen of Virginia Commonwealth University in Vancouver; "Translating a non-linear narrative into a linear three-act structure is like making a song out of a painting or a sculpture." (Kjeldsen, 2014), this is essentially true since video games follow a different visual path than films do, for instance games require a player to be the one to make the decisions about the plot and the course of the game to some extent. Doom fails to please because while it shares the violence of the game it's plot was nothing like the games and the actors gave underachieving performances. 

The original 1993 Doom followed a very simple formula; first-person-shooter, shoot enemies, collect items and find the exit of the level. What made the game stand out was the excessive (and often gory) violence and the FPS aspect. Doom was a controversial game for its time on account of its intense violence and the use of satanic imagery in the game.The plot of Doom (1993) was a space marine (affectionately known in the gaming community as "Doomguy") fighting off hordes of demons and horrors from Hell that have invaded a research station on Mars after a series of teleportation experiments have been undertaken.

In the film however the plot is very different, on a research facility on Mars scientists have been creating a type of super-enhancing formula that turns people into either monsters or superhumans and a team of special forces are dispatched on a rescue and retrieval mission. No mention is made of hell, demons or even teleportation.

The film was not without positive aspects, while the plot remains firmly disconnected from the games, some of the scenes and devices used in the film remained faithful. For instance the research group mentioned in the games; UAC, is also employed in the films. The creatures and monsters in the game such as Hell Knights, Imps and Zombies appear in the film as costumed characters rather than CGI creatures. The film takes place largely on Mars as does the games. During the later half of the film an actual attempt is made at a first-person-shooter sequence within a film with the protagonist violently dispatching monsters in manners similar to the game.

The film Doom didn't really offer much new to the series or strike a breakthrough in film production, the usage of costumes for some of the monsters instead of CGI was praised as was the violence which was reminiscent of the games. Ultimately the games violence proves to be somewhat the films' only positive aspect, the review site Rotten Tomatoes states that it's critics consesus is: "Sure to please fans of the video game, but lacking in plot and originality to please other moviegoers." (Rotten Tomatoes, 2005)

Kjeldsen, K. 2014, one-professor-attempts-to-explain-why-video-game-movies-are-always-bad/1100-6418987/ [ONLINE] Available at: (Accessed January 8th 2016)

Rotten Tomoates. 2005, m/doom/. [ONLINE] Available at: (Accessed January 8th 2016)

Figure 1, Andrzej Bartkowiak, 2005, DoomUS02.jpg, [ONLINE] Available at: (Accessed January8th 2016) 

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