Note: This review was contributed by James Rocchi
Games are going to take over from movies as the mainstream form of entertainment, but why is that happening? Well, books tell you something. Movies show you something. But games let you do something.
-- Dan Houser, VP Creative Rockstar Games, as quoted in “Gangs of New York”, The New York Times, Oct. 16, 2005.
First released in 1993, ID Software’s Doom revolutionized computer gaming – an action game where you were looking at the world of your targets through the eyes of the character you controlled, with demons and creatures and long-fanged beasts popping into your field of view on a regular basis to be dispatched by whichever weapon of mass destruction you happened to have on-hand. Subsequent iterations of Doom have upped the polygons-per-second and the bloodshed, driving sales of computer video cards and teaching America’s kids that two in the head stops pretty much anything.
Now, Doom comes to the big screen in a movie adaptation directed by Andrzej Bartkowiak – who went from working as a cinematographer on high-gloss trash like Speed and Dante’s Peak, to directing even glossier, trashier films like Romeo Must Die and Cradle 2 the Grave. With its run-and-gun plot, Doom makes Romeo Must Die look like, well, Shakespeare in comparison. The opening voiceover tells us how a portal connecting our planet to Mars was found in Nevada, and a team of archeologists, scientists and others are investigating the long-dead ruins found on the Red Planet. The film then shows us the staff of the Mars base being chased down and turned into fajita meat by half-seen creatures – and a distress call is made back to Earth.