Doomsday (Unrated)

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Rating: Unrated

Starring:
Jeremy Crutchley as Richter
Rhona Mitra as Maj. Eden Sinclair
Tom Fairfoot as John Michaelson
Bob Hoskins as Bill Nelson
Alexander Siddig as PM John Hatcher
David O’Hara as Michael Canaris
Cokey Falkow as Captain Hendrix
John Carson as George Dutton
Nathalie Boltt as Jane Harris
Susan Danford as Command Centre Official
Adrian Lester as Sgt. Norton
Rick Warden as Chandler
Nora-Jane Noone as Cpl. Read
Leslie Simpson as Carpenter
Chris Robson as Stevie Miller
Sean Pertwee as Dr. Talbot
Darren Morfitt as Dr. Ben Stirling
Lee-Anne Liebenberg as Viper
Craig Conway as Sol
MyAnna Buring as Cally
Martin Compston as Joshua
Henie Bosman as Telamon
Cal Macaninch as Chancellor Falco
Malcolm McDowell as Dr. Marcus Kane
Dermot Brogan as Command Centre Guard

Special Features:
Anatomy of Catastrophe: Civilization on the Brink
The Visual Effects of Doomsday
Devices of Death – Guns, Gadgets and Vehicles of Destruction
Feature Commentary
Original Theatrical Film

Other Info:
Widescreen (2.35:1)
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
Spanish Languages
Spanish and French Subtitles

Running Time: Unrated – 1 Hour 53 Minutes, Theatrical – 1 Hour 49 minutes

Synopsis:
The following is from the official synopsis of the film:

“From the director of ‘The Descent’ comes an action-packed thrill-ride through the beating heart of hell! To save humanity from an epidemic, an elite fighting unit must battle to find a cure in a post-apocalyptic zone controlled by a society of murderous renegades. Loaded with ferocious fights and high-octane chases, ‘Doomsday’ grabs you right from the start, and doesn’t let go till its explosive end!”

“Doomsday” is unrated. The theatrical version is rated R for strong bloody violence, language and some sexual content/nudity.

Mini-Review:
“Doomsday” is like four movies in one. It starts out like “28 Days Later” as a virus breaks out in the UK. Then, as an expedition is sent into the post-apocalyptic wasteland, it turns into “Aliens.” Things shift gears when the local gangs attack and the movie turns into “Mad Max 2: Beyond Thunderdome.” As our heroes escape, the movie then switches into some sort of “Robin Hood” adventure as they encounter another batch of locals living in castles in the country. The movie then concludes with a car chase reminiscent of “Mad Max” again. It’s a lot to take in!

The goal of the filmmakers was to make a movie in the spirit of John Carpenter movies, and in that respect they succeeded. It feels some like “Escape from New York,” some like his other movies. They perfectly capture the action of the Carpenter movies as well as the B-Movie feel of the plot, the synthesizer music, and the acting. It just looks like it has a bigger budget than a Carpenter film.

The only problem is that when you attempt to recreate a John Carpenter film, you get the extra baggage that comes along with it. These kinds of movies are like fast food – when you’re in the mood for it, it’s great. When you’re not, it’s pretty awful. While watching “Doomsday,” I kind of went back and forth between both moods. I loved the opening scenes of the movie. I also absolutely loved the final “Mad Max” car chase. It was perfectly executed. However, I hated most of the stuff with the city gangs and the castle gangs – essentially the whole middle of the movie. Don’t get me wrong – it’s an interesting concept. The idea that some survivors would revert to a medieval society is pretty intriguing and an interesting contrast to their urban neighbors. But seeing Sol dance to The Can Can and ’80s pop songs was a bit over the top for me, not to mention Malcolm McDowell supervising a gladiatorial battle.

Rhona Mitra leads the cast as Maj. Eden Sinclair and she does a pretty good job of it. She handles the action well while doing a fine job in the dramatic scenes. She plays everything straight no matter how absurd events turn. Mitra shows she deserves to be in the ranks of other action heroines like Milla Jovovich and Kate Beckinsale. Malcolm McDowell and Bob Hoskins add some credibility to the supporting cast, but their roles are minor. Most of the other actors are primarily there to be killed off, so they’re not terribly noteworthy. However, stuntwoman Lee-Anne Liebenberg certainly makes an impression as Viper – so much so that she’s featured on the DVD cover despite having a fairly minor role. Craig Conway also leaves an impression as Sol. When you see him, you’ll swear you know him from somewhere but can’t quite place him.

I’d recommend “Doomsday” to any die-hard fan of John Carpenter or fans of B-Movies. They’ll appreciate this most. If you’d like an over the top action movie to watch with a bunch of friends, this will also fit the bill.

Among the bonus features you’ll find your standard selection of ‘making of’ featurettes. They cover the filming in South Africa, the weapons, the action scenes, and the special effects. There’s also a commentary.

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