Tue 29 Jul 2008
In “Doomsday”, A virus sweeps through Scotland forcing Great Britain to wall it off in an effort to contain the plague. Twenty five years go by and as fate, life and the script would have it, the virus somehow makes its way to London. Unbeknownst to the public, there are survivors in the quarantine zone and this new development forces the politicians to send a team in to find a cure.
That team is led by the gorgeous Rhona Mitra and a ragtag bunch of “elite” soldiers … few of which are long for this world. They go over the wall and find that the survivors have either gone “Beyond Thunderdome” or “King Arthur” on the place. Numerous other film homages are made (“Escape from New York”, “The Warriors”) and good fun is had by all.
The whole film feels like something that was hatched in the late 80s, only with a modern production design … which is why I enjoyed it thoroughly. There’s consistent action once the team makes contact, Rhona Mitra kicks all sorts of ass (I wish she’d kick mine) and there are more decapitations and dismemberments than there are Wayans brothers.
My biggest complaint was the lack of screentime for Nora-Jane Noone, who plays one of the soldiers sent in to find the cure. She’s an excellent actress and very easy on the eyes so I would have liked her to stick around some more but I also appreciate that keeping everyone alive is rather boring so it’s a fine line.
If you like any of the films this nods its hat to, you’ll enjoy this one too. You don’t need to think much – it’s simply a good ol’ fashioned post-apocalyptic action flick and there’s nothing wrong with that.
If you want a little more about the film before you make up your mind, you can check out Audrey Hess’ full review here.
The DVD comes with options for both the theatrically released Rated R version and an unrated version.
Dolby Digital 5.1 sound. Anamorphic Widescreen 2:35:1.
English for the hard of hearing; Spanish; French.
English (Spanish on the rated version only, apparently extra gore translates no matter the language).
—– While they seem to take time off from talking here and there, the guys do a great job of describing what it was like to shoot each scene and how it was to shoot the film in South Africa (though there are key scenes shot in Scotland). The nice thing is the camaraderie amongst the blokes which keeps the commentary from being too dry and it’s definitely worth checking out if you enjoyed the film.
● Anatomy of Catastophe: Civilization on the Brink
—– This featurette highlights how Marshall went about tackling the project, showing some behind the scenes footage and littered with snippets from the cast and crew talking about filming certain scenes and working with the other actors.
● The Visual Effects of Doomsday
—– Looks at how they took a relatively small budget film and added certain touches to stretch the look and make it look like the bank loan was larger.
● Devices of Death: Guns, Gadgets and Vehicles of Destruction
—– Pretty self explanatory really. A quick look at some of the accessories everyone should take into a quarantine zone one Tina Turner song away from being sued by Mel Gibson.
The Sobering Conclusion:
I really enjoyed watching the film. It scratches that guilty pleasure itch that appears from time to time. As for the DVD, it’s okay – nothing spectacular but it’s not bare bones either. It would have been nice to see a commentary with Rhona Mitra or Bob Hoskins on it since they’ve got top billing but no luck there.
The bottom line is that this is definitely worth a rental and if you saw the film in theaters and were anxiously awaiting the chance to watch a hot one-eyed chick kill a bunch of shirtless sadists, then I’m sure you’ll want to plunk down the extra cash and put this on the shelf. I have a feeling the Blu-ray version is a bit more fun but you’ve got to weigh the extra duckets necessary against the rewards there.