DOOM Movie - Terrible Reviews Yet Box Office Lead

By Bluehair 18 years ago, last updated 6 years ago

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Universal had hoped for a bigger opening, this week-end's launch of DOOM in the US appears nonetheless as a success ... on the surface. Indeed, even though it went top of the US box office charts with reported takings of more than $15.4m, it is no match with the debuts of some other game-to-movie adaptations like Lara Croft Tomb Raider, Resident Evil and even Mortal Kombat whose takings were a lot more laudatory: $47.7M, $17.7M and $23.3M respectively. The reviews are more explicit however. Some of them are kindly negative, others ridiculously rude but they all tend to agree on that it's not a v-e-r-y good movie despite an overall good actoring, especially from Dwayne Johnson. Anyways, here are a collection of such reviews that I've been able to hunt down; amongst them all, Gamecloud's is the only one that is done by a game-related website, and that makes a difference eventually.
  • Gamecloud | Grade: 60%
    Link: http://www.gamecloud.com/article.php?article_id=2006
    The movie was made for medium sized $60 million dollar budget and it shows. Most of the Doom movie seems to take place in the same base even though it actually takes place on both Earth and Mars. The creatures were made by Stan Winston Studios but the way they are photographed it's clear that most of the monsters look like what they really were; men in suits. The one CGI creature is the film's version of the Pinky demon and that's certainly the most effective on screen.

    On the good side, the actors on screen are quite good for the most part. All of the actors playing the space Marines team clearly had fun with their roles and Karl Urban as the lead has the right mix of pathos and action that the role needed. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson has a twist to his Sarge character that some of his fans may not care for but certainly stretches him as an actor. And the first person shooter sequence is by far the best sequence in the movie; it contains the tension and action that the rest of the movie needed.
  • Dark Horizons | Grade: 2/5
    Link: http://www.darkhorizons.com/reviews/doom-n.php
    "Doom" essentially plays like a mish-mashed hybrid of "Aliens", "Resident Evil", "Ghosts of Mars", "Stargate" and "Alien vs. Predator". Various scenes in fact are direct lifts from the above said films to the point that one wonders if some copyright laws were breached. The monsters of the film, created from genetic hogwash rather than demonic depths, truly look like old model cast-offs from HR Giger's workshop - the only addition being an ejectable tongue which is more "Elm Street" in nature.

    That said as game adaptations go, this is one of the better ones (admittedly the bar in this genre is set VERY low). The Rock and Karl Urban are decent fun, Bartkowiak directs with some flare and decent R-rated gore, a few good original ideas pop up every now and then such as the nano-wall, and the first-person perspective sequence is truly great fun. Effects are predictably CG looking, but for a film of this type that's expected. Its good to see the editors didn't lean too much on quick cut MTV style editing, but they did shell out for a crap ass soundtrack.
  • JoBlo's Movie Emporium | Grade: 6/10
    Link: http://www.joblo.com/reviews.php?mode=joblo_movies&id=1261
    The film’s awesome end credit sequence should also be noted, along with a solid performance by Karl Urban, who managed to give the film a character with whom we can sympathize. I just realized that I used the word "surprise" quite a bit in this review, and I think that’s what this film ultimately did to me: it surprised me by actually being a lot better than it deserved to be. I only wish its first hour had taken some lessons from its final act; giving us more action, monsters, kills and creativity!
  • Hollywood Reporter | Grade: n/a
    Link: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr/reviews/review_display ...
    Committed gamers are notoriously protective of their games, but they're likely to be impressed by the faithfulness of this adaptation. Uniforms, scenes, weapons and monsters look about right. A major difference is that the satanic element of the game has been excised -- the original enemies were demons, not mutants. But the film's prime directive is the same as the game. As one character emotes, "Kill 'em all, and let God sort 'em out."
  • Atlanta Journal-Constitution | Grade: C-
    Link: http://www.accessatlanta.com/movies/content/shared/movies/reviews/D/doom/cox.html
    Don't expect anything spooky. When the lights go out, you won't experience fright so much as you will a sense of wonder that in 2026, the Marines haven't learned to bring along spare Eveready batteries. A single Energizer bunny might have saved dozens of lives. The monsters are no more fearsome. These humanoid creatures — whose extra set of cromosomes supposedly make them super-strong, super-fast and super-healing — clearly didn't evolve super-smarts. They leave fully loaded machine guns behind at every turn.
  • Boston Globe | Grade: 2/4
    Link: http://www.boston.com/movies/display?display=movie&id=7187
    "Doom" is dreary-looking and painfully slow, but it's not terrible. Even if Andrzej Bartkowiak's direction never rises above straight-to-video schlock (the film's look and tempo are intensely "Highlander III: The Sorcerer"), the screenplay by David Callaham and the veteran Wesley Strick supplies enough tolerable ridiculousness to make up for the pitiful absence of suspense.
  • Chicago Sun-Times | Grade: 1/4
    Link: http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20051020/REVIEWS/51012003
    The movie has been "inspired by" the famous video game. No, I haven't played it, and I never will, but I know how it feels not to play it, because I've seen the movie. "Doom" is like some kid came over and is using your computer and won't let you play.
  • Chicago Tribune | Grade: 2/4
    Link: http://metromix.chicagotribune.com/movies/mmx-0501021-movies-review-doom,0,3053921.story
    In the closing minutes of the film, "Doom" quickly devolves into an on-screen homage to the game itself, and the audience becomes one of the characters, hunting down monsters in computer-generated landscapes and battling flesh-munching zombies. Despite some solid moves against viewer expectations, "Doom" ultimately embraces the cliched doom of all video game movies.
  • filmcritic.com | Grade: 1/5
    Link: http://www.filmcritic.com/misc/emporium.nsf ...
    However low your expectations are for the movie take on the videogame Doom, lower them more. It's pretty obvious that this adaptation was never going to be a film of any serious artistic or social value, but those of us who are either fans of the game itself, video games in general, or even of its star, The Rock, were at least hoping for a good time. Instead, the big-screen Doom is low on both monsters and action, heavy on a dull, inaccurate, and a somewhat preachy story.
  • ReelViews | Grade: 1/4
    Link: http://movie-reviews.colossus.net/movies/d/doom.html
    Although I am not averse to wasting a few hours playing computer games, I have never tried my hand at Doom. Judging by sales figures and testimonials, playing the game has to be an infinitely preferable experience to watching this pathetic excuse for a movie. Otherwise, not only would Doom never have become a phenomenon, but it would have lain gathering dust on store shelves. Doom (the movie) is a dreadful, hackneyed piece of cinema - a D-grade mess that's more a rip-off of Alien than an attempt to tell a compelling story. It's unfathomable how many times Hollywood has struck out in attempts to convert popular video/computer games into movies. This is the kind of misfire that reinforces negative stereotypes.
  • San Francisco Chronicle | Grade: n/a
    Link: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi ...
    Despite an expanded plot, "Doom" does make an effort to honor the excellent video game that spawned it. Sarge and comrades, including Reaper, Goat and Destroyer (good to see the guy who named the "Top Gun" pilots is still getting work), travel through a portal from Earth to Mars. Much like the space marines in "Aliens" -- perhaps too much like the space marines in "Aliens" -- Sarge and his platoon must find some scientists who have gone missing and exterminate whatever killed them.
  • USA Today | Grade: 2.5/4
    Link: http://www.usatoday.com/life/movies/reviews/2005-10-20-doom_x.htm
    For a big-screen disposable, Doom has a few jolts, a few good laughs and an attractive female lead to whom you want to say, "What's a nice girl like you doing on a Mars like this?" Targeted to 12-year-old boys of all ages who can sneak into an R-rated movie, it would seem to have the stuff to wrestle away the weekend's No. 1 box-office slot from (sigh) The Fog.
  • Seattle Post-Intelligencer | Grade: C+
    Link: http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/movies/245332_doom21q.html
    "Doom" may be by the numbers, with a roll call of colorful types systematically exterminated while The Rock entertains with cartoonish expressions and reactions (the closest the film comes to personality). But those numbers add up to the most cleverly engineered video-game movie made to date.
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