Doom is a 2005 science fiction action horror film directed by Andrzej Bartkowiak.
It is loosely based on the video game series of the same name created by id Software. The film follows a group of Marines in a Research Facility on Mars – initially arriving on a rescue and retrieval mission after communications ceased, the Marines soon battle genetically engineered monsters plaguing the facility. After movie rights deals with Universal Pictures and Columbia Pictures expired, id Software signed a deal with Warner Bros. with the stipulation that the movie would be greenlit within 12 months. Warner Bros. lost the rights, which were subsequently given back to Universal Pictures who started production in 2004. The film was an international co-production of the United States, United Kingdom, Czech Republic, and Germany. In an interview with executive producer John Wells, he stated that a second film would be put into production if the first was a success at the box office. Ticket sales for the opening weekend totaled more than US$15.3 million, but dropped to $4.2 million in its second weekend.
Olduvai Research Station on Mars has been shut down and placed under quarantine, for reasons that are unclear but ominous. No one is allowed in or out except the Rapid Response Tactical Squad, a heavily armed marine special forces unit dispatched to handle the problem. The RRTS are lead by the cool, calm, and collected Sarge, with John "Reaper" Grimm. serving as his second-in-command. Reaper has a special interest in this mission; his sister, Dr. Samantha Grimm, is one of the research scientists on Olduvai. The team travels to Mars through a wormhole originally discovered by the Olduvai workers, named the Ark. They are greeted by a technician named Pinky, who informs them that when emergency alarms were tripped, the Ark was sealed off from the rest of the base, in order to make sure the teleporter was not compromised.
Upon entering the quarantined area, the Marines discover members of the science team who have changed into hostile zombie-like monsters. Some of them have mutated even further, becoming creatures resembling Imps. Although the creatures attempt to infect some of the remaining humans, others are killed outright. After several Marines are killed, Sarge demands to know more about the research being conducted at the station. Samantha eventually reluctantly explains.
Excavations at an archaeological site have revealed the remains of an ancient Martian race. Although more or less human, they were technologically advanced, and apparently performed research into genetic manipulation. The result was an artificial 24th chromosome, which integrates itself with the subject's existing DNA. The purpose of the new chromosome was to transform individuals into superhumans, with enhanced strength, agility, and endurance. The Olduvai scientists experimented with the chromosome, injecting it into convicted murderers. However, instead of becoming superhuman, the test subjects transformed into hideous monsters, and the scientists lost control of the facility.
Samantha has come to the conclusion that what the chromosome does to a person depends on whether or not that person has certain tendencies; essentially coming down to whether they are inherently "good" or "evil"; good people become superhuman, as planned, but evil people become mindlessly violent monsters, who instinctively "infect" other evil people with the chromosome and murder good people. It was an outbreak of the monsters that ultimately lead to the destruction of the Martian civilization thousands of years ago. When the Marines fail to protect the wormhole, they must pursue the monsters back to the underground UAC facility on Earth, and find it overrun.
Sarge decides that they must kill every last human on the base, as they could be infected by the disease, and it must be contained, at any cost. The squad is unaware, however, that Sarge himself has already been infected. When The Kid, the team rookie, refuses to kill a group of women and children who have survived and are obviously not infected, Sarge casually murders him. One by one, members of the RRTS are killed by the infected humans. Sarge is dragged away while Reaper and Samantha escape.
Reaper is seriously injured by a ricocheting bullet and Samantha is forced to inject him with the 24th chromosome, knowing that her brother is inherently good and that the superhuman abilities it brings will heal his wounds. He awakens to find himself alone, and after battling various monsters (including a mutated Pinky, who has, appropriately enough, become a Pinky Demon), meets with Sarge, who is beginning to transform. The two fight hand-to-hand, and Reaper defeats Sarge by throwing him through the Ark - followed by a grenade. Sarge is killed, the portal is destroyed, and the research into the 24th chromosome is trapped on Mars where no one will ever be able to use it for evil. It ends with Reaper, carrying an unconscious Samantha, riding the elevator from the Ark facility to the surface.
- Karl Urban as Staff Sergeant John "Reaper" Grimm
- Dwayne Johnson as Gunnery Sergeant Asher "Sarge" Mahonin
- Rosamund Pike as Dr. Samantha Grimm
- Razaaq Adoti as Sergeant Gregory "Duke" Schofield
- Richard Brake as Corporal Dean Portman
- Al Weaver as Private Mark "The Kid" Dantalian
- Deobia Oparei as Sergeant Roark "Destroyer" Gannon
- Ben Daniels as Corporal Eric "Goat" Fantom
- Yao Chin as Private First Class Katsuhiko Kumanosuke "Mac" Takahashi
- Dexter Fletcher as Marcus "Pinky" Pinzerowski
- Robert Russell as Dr. Todd Carmack
- Brian Steele as Hell Knight / Curtis Stahl
- Doug Jones as Carmack Imp / Willits Imp
The film's producer, John Wells, admitted in an interview that "many" video game movie adaptations had "sucked." He revealed that the crew was able to get "a lot of financial support from Universal" and that it wasn't "done on the cheap." Wells also revealed that the Doom movie would have a sequence shot in a first-person perspective because "Doom without that would be a miscarriage of justice!"
Wells also revealed that "we were all very concerned that we make sure that it was exactly the kind of experience that we [the crew] remembered so fondly from the game: turning the lights off at midnight, cranking it up and scaring the hell out of yourself!" Wells further stated that there is a balance between CGI and prosthetics in the Doom movie, and he, for the first time as a producer, admitted that "we didn't wanna rely on the CGI. Those effects still haven't quite got to the level where you fully believe it — certainly not for long periods of time," and that the crew used Stan Winston's Creature Shop and that his work is only "enhanced with CGI." He also admitted that "if you rely too much on CGI it can look cheesy: it doesn't quite work. It'll get there, but it's not there yet."
Wells has stated that the crew insisted that the Doom movie be made into an R-rated movie and that he didn't "think it was possible to do a PG-13 version—and that's been the mistake made by a couple of other computer game movies," and that "a lot of studios didn't want to do it. But we made a conscious decision that we'd prefer not to make it any other way."
Wells also revealed that if this first Doom film is successful, a second one could be made, and that "we certainly have some ideas for the next one, if there is gonna be one. We'll have to wait and see: the audience will have to tell us ..."
One of the most noteworthy aspects of the film is a short sequence near the end of the film where the camera follows the progress of Grimm from a first-person perspective in homage to the original game. In the words of Karl Urban, the actor who plays Reaper:
- "In some ways, it makes cinematic history in that, for the first time, the audience becomes the hero of the film."
- "When we go into FPS, the audience is doing the rampage, the audience is doing the work and that is so cool. It’s insane!"
Production history Edit
- November 27, 2003 — Computer Gaming World printed an article on their website regarding the Doom movie. It states that Warner Bros. is indeed working on the Doom movie and has placed it on the fast track. A revised script was submitted to id Software and approved; John Wells (producer of ER) and Lorenzo di Bonaventura (who introduced The Matrix to Warner Bros.) have signed on to work on the Doom movie. Concept art and storyboards have been drawn by Federico D'Alessandro, who has worked on various movies, music videos, and video game covers and advertisements.
- May 15, 2004 — the Associated Press (AP) released a news article regarding video game to movie adaptations that mentions the Doom movie. Here's an excerpt that mentions the Doom movie: "Soon, more blockbuster game franchises, such as Halo and Doom, are expected to become the basis of movies."
- June 2, 2004 — Variety reported that Warner Bros. has lost the rights to Doom and Universal Studios has acquired rights to Doom and Variety confirms that Doom will be based on Doom 3.
- August 9, 2004 — A Doom 3 article in an issue of Time mentions that Universal is set to film the Doom movie in Prague in the winter of 2004–2005.
- August 10, 2004 — The Hollywood Reporter released an article that mentioned release dates for 8 movies and the third movie listed was the Doom movie. It states that Doom will have a wide release on August 5, 2005.
- August 15, 2004 — The Hollywood Reporter reported that John Wells Productions is currently in pre-production for the Doom movie.
- August 18, 2004 — a website, Box Office Prophets, made the Doom movie project their movie of the day and they list the release date for the Doom movie, August 5, 2005. The article also confirms that Universal has Doom on a production schedule of Winter 2004–2005 in Prague's Barrandov Studios. The planned release date was mentioned as August 5, 2005.
- September 15, 2004 — major news has been revealed by both Variety and The Hollywood Reporter on the Doom movie. Karl Urban has been cast for the Doom movie as the star, John Grimm, a leader of a special ops team. It has been revealed that he will be dealing not only with alien demons but also the organization known as the United Aerospace Corp that is responsible for the death of his parents. It has also been revealed that Enda McCallion has dropped out of the project and Polish director Andrzej Bartkowiak has signed on to be the director. It has also been revealed that production will start in mid-October with an October 21, 2005 release date. Also noted is that Universal Pictures is talking to The Rock regarding a role in the Doom movie.
- September 22, 2004 — The Hollywood Reporter reported that Universal Pictures has cast Rosamund Pike opposite of Karl Urban as a scientist named Samantha.
The review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reported that 19% of critics gave the film positive reviews, based on 130 reviews, with the critical consensus "Sure to please fans of the video game, but lacking in plot and originality to please other moviegoers." Roger Ebert says, "Doom is like some kid came over and is using your computer and won't let you play." Richard Roeper has also stated, "The performances are awful, the action sequences are impossible to follow, the violence is gratuitous, the lighting is bad and I have my doubts that the catering truck was even up to snuff on this project." One apparently good review came from Richard James Havis from The Hollywood Reporter, stating, "There's so little to go wrong that those who like their entertainment mindless and violent will find little fault." In 2009, Time listed the film on their list of top ten worst video games movies.
The response from fans of the video game was mixed. Many expressed disappointment because the film did not follow the plot of the game, as the games dealt with an invasion from hell instead of a virus, and over the movie's failure to reproduce the game's most essential quality: the killing of large numbers of enemies. It did well on its opening weekend, taking in $15.5 million. However, it quickly dropped in its second week in theaters and the final gross of the film was only $28.2 million domestically and almost $56 million worldwide, with a budget of $60 million. The film was nominated for a Razzie Award for Worst Actor (Dwayne Johnson), but lost to Rob Schneider for Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo.
Home media Edit
Doom was released on DVD on February 7, 2006 and on Blu-ray Disc on February 10, 2009.
The film's score was composed by Clint Mansell, upon which he produced a remix of the Nine Inch Nails song "You Know What You Are?", which was used in the film's ending credits. The song "Switchback" by Celldweller was licensed to be used for marketing and media purposes, such as the theatrical trailer and TV spots.