As the polls close on today’s tedious general election, let’s take a look at an equally unexciting movie – Neil Marshall’s Doomsday.
I’m a big Neil Marshall fan – Dog Soldiers was brilliant and The Descent even better. Plus he’s directed Game of Thrones, have you heard of it? People and newspapers really don’t talk about that show enough. But this 2008 action/sci-fi is the biggest disappointment since Nick Clegg. It’s set in a post-apocalyptic Britain in 2035, when a deadly virus has sent the country into cannibalistic chaos – the sort David Cameron has predicted to come true if we don’t vote for him.
Doomsday is a lazy tribute to dystopian classics, which brings nothing new to the table. There are characters named Miller and Carpenter, after the directors of Mad Max and Escape from New York respectively – the movie’s twin reference points. But for me, the two that came to mind were Doctor Who and Judge Dredd.
Doomsdon’t shows that it’s not enough to simply pay tribute to good movies. We need some new ideas, a reason to care, even just one character – is that so much to ask? With rubbish dialogue, poor acting and zero tension, this is just schlock. Not funny or creative schlock – it’s simply bad. And with nothing up his sleeve but tired references, Marshall simply throws together old ideas. They’re not even ideas. It’s just stuff.
There’s Mad Max vehicles, extras wandering in from the set of a Mad Max movie and not an original thought to be found. It even goes medieval on yo’ ass. And speaking of Pulp Fiction, there’s a gimp at one point – as though the inclusion of a gimp automatically gains weirdness points. But there’s nothing weird about Doomsday – it simply apes weird films in a very boring way.
Even the ultra-violent action sequences are dull, particularly those near the beginning with that cheap-looking blue/grey hue. Not even Malcolm McDowell, Bob Hoskins or an exploding rabbit make it remotely interesting. It’s all leather and mohawks and boring. It’s about as exciting as the pre-election leaders’ debate. It’s got a Kasabian song at the end. Avoid it like a deadly virus.