If post-apocalyptic movies have taught me anything — and they have — it’s that there are two creatures that will survive any nuclear holocaust or deadly pandemic. Roaches, of course. And guys with mohawks. Actually, I’m not sure about the former, but Doomsday is crawling with the latter.
Kathy’s brother, Dan, was in town this weekend, and there was no way the three of us could miss the opening weekend of this gem. Though Doomsday has nothing to do with any videogames, it sure feels like the spiritual successor to Uwe Boll’s Bloodrayne.
Doomsday has got it all: busty blondes who bathe with shotguns at their side, vehicles that explode the minute they go off-road, Deep Space Nine‘s Dr. Bashir, a cute bunny that gets machine-gunned into bloody shreds of meat for no real reason, and (as critic Josh Larsen pointed out) an army of militant punk rockers whose bloodlust is somehow inspired by Fine Young Cannibals. Well, I guess it makes as much sense as the cast of Lost Boys getting all psyched by the greased-up “I Still Believe!” sax player guy.
There’s a plot in Doomsday, of sorts. Scotland is walled off from the rest of the world, because of a fatal virus that rages across the country. A few decades later, the virus hits London. So, the British government sends the requisite hot, scowling special ops chick, Sinclair (played by Rhona Cheaper Than Beckinsale Mitra), and a handpicked squad of expendable dumbshits across the wall to see if any Scottish survivors possess the cure.
Once in Scotland, the crew discovers that Glasgow has become ground zero for tryouts for a Broadway remake of The Warriors. Meanwhile, outside the city, Malcolm MacDowell has taken over a castle and turned the countryside into a medieval kingdom, because why the hell not?
My favorite moment of the movie takes place about halfway through, when Sinclair, a few surviving squadmates, and some Scottish locals are walking through a forest. A deep, pulsating rumble grows louder and louder and LOUDER, shaking theater seats (think the T-Rex scene in Jurassic Park). One of the locals screams to her companions, “Run! It’s the Executioner!” The bass thump continues to amplify, until something finally breaks through the foliage, and…it’s just a guy in chainmail on a goddamn horse.
Doomsday is stupid. But that’s no reason to avoid it. I had a great time. But if you plan to go, see it with some friends. It’s made to be laughed at and enjoyed for what it is: a fast-paced action movie with incomprehensible fight scenes and a barely-existent script.
The movie pays tribute to a bunch of ’70s and ’80s movies (e.g., Escape From New York, Mad Max, and The Warriors), while being much, much crappier than any of them. That’s kind of what I expected from Doomsday, so I wasn’t disappointed.