A team of soldiers and scientists heads into devastated Scotland to find the cure to a deadly plague!
I've heard so many people call this film awful; people that liked 28
Days Later, Dog Soldiers and The Descent etc. who should have loved it
immediately but then, given a budget, Neil Marshall surpassed his
amazing talent for making small but effective horror films with this
comic-book science-fiction horror actioner.
A simple story about a girl escaping plague-torn Scotland and growing
up to be a tough and sexy as hell special forces arse-kicker leads us
into a world where Britain has been devastated by disease and closed
off all its borders, leaving everywhere crime ridden, poverty stricken
and war torn.
Given the opportunity by her mentor (played with style and ease by Bob
Hoskins) to return to Scotland to find a cure to the plague which has
now entered London, Sinclair heads a crack team of soldiers and
scientists head on into a race against the clock, and then a battle of
attrition and pure wit against a cannibalistic city tribe and then a
society having reverted to a brutal medieval existence.
This film will appeal to so many different film fans, which may be why
everyone was so conflicted over the resulting film. A Snake Plissken
fan may not necessarily be a Mad Max fan but the film is very
reminiscent of both Escape from New York and Mad Max 2.
The music is very John Carpenter, the settings are as dark as you like
and each are reflective of classic scenes from Escape from New York,
Aliens, Mad Max 2 and even Gladiator.
Most heavily sylised films don't work so well but in this case,
glorifying the often raucous Scottish, Geordie and dry English humour
makes the most of this film, giving it a comic edge that American
producers cannot possibly grasp. As a lead villain, Sol is immense in
character and energy.
What also distinctly makes this film purely British is the way the film
starts off as a conventional sci-fi thriller, descends into pure comic
lunacy and turns into one great big Top Gear advert for Astin Martin.
You'll just have to see it to believe it. It's savage, violent,
high-velocity, high-impact and very messy fun throughout...
I'd recommend this film to most fans of apocalyptic films, fans of
comic book-styled sci-fi and early '80's actioners!.
"Doomsday" - The end is nigh!
"Doomsday," the third feature from British "B"-movie tour de force
writer-director Neil Marshall, is a rehash of several distant cult
movies, including both of Marshall's previous films, which are also
considered cult classics. Yet, that doesn't make "Doomsday" even
remotely bad, but it does make it very interesting not just to follow
the story along, but to also point out the many references to films
Even the most amateurish film buff could point out the assorted
references to "28 Days/Weeks Later," "Escape from New York" (1981),
"Aliens" (1986), and the "Max Mad" movies. It's all part of the fun,
really, and you can't blame Marshall for making references to the
movies he loves and have inspired him as a filmmaker. Even his first
feature "Dog Soldiers" (2002) and his superior follow-up horror flick
"The Descent" (2005) get some mention here.
In the future, an out-of-control virus called the "Reaper virus" (the
"28" movies) completely decimates Scotland, eventually leading to its
being quarantined off with a 20-foot-tall, 12-inch-thick impenetrable
wall ("Escape from New York") on all sides. The rest of the world goes
on as if nothing happened, while millions are forced to fend for
themselves in the virus-ravaged wasteland of former Scotland. In the
the 30 years since the quarantine, law & order broke down and anarchy
30 years later, the Reaper Virus makes a comeback, this time outside
the quarantine zone. More news develops when spy satellites monitoring
the former Scotland detect human survivors. Could there be uninfected
people? Could there be a cure in there somewhere? Regardless, the
government organizes a small task force to go inside and find answers.
Nelson (Bob Hoskins), a government handler, is given the assignment of
having his best operative Eden Sinclair (Rhona Mitra) go inside with a
crack team of commandos and look for answers.
They have 48 hours.
Right away, "Doomsday" removes itself from other post-apocalyptic
movies by not focusing on the catastrophe itself and instead just
focuses on humanity's attempt to move forward. "Doomsday" is about
anarchy, and the downfall of society: What happens when you just leave
a country to wither and die in the face of disaster? On the inside,
however, it's all about finding a cure or a vaccine and bringing it
back to the rest of the world. When Sinclair and her team are on the
inside, they're all on their own, but of course they are not alone. As
it turns out, barbaric clans have been formed (the "Mad Max" movies),
under the leadership of Sol (Marshall's favorite go-to guy and movie
regular, Craig Conway), who seeks to lead his punk regalia-clad minions
to the conquest of the free world outside the quarantine zone. It
should be pointed out here that they're pretty much cannon fodder
It's fair to chide "Doomsday" for some script deficiencies and
overly-abundant throwback references to films past and an apparent lack
of details regarding Scotland's decimation in the 30 years since the
Reaper Virus's outbreak, and Sol's rise to power. But Marshall keeps
"Doomsday" lean and focused. Once on the inside, it's anything goes, as
Sinclair and her teammates are pretty much left to fend for themselves
when Sol's men ambush them and force them to participate in
increasingly sadistic games of violence for survival and for that, the
blood and gore is sufficient (Marshall knows no boundaries in the area
of special effects).
"Doomsday" is an accomplished third feature from a provocative
filmmaker, Neil Marshall. Though by no means perfect ("The Descent" was
and I was feverishly looking for "Doomsday" to surpass it), "Doomsday"
is still looking to make a killing at the movies this weekend.