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