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  Publicity Stills of "Doomsday"
(Courtesy from Shaw)

Director: Neil Marshall
Cast: Rhona Mitra, Bob Hoskins, Adrian Lester, Alexander Siddig, Malcolm McDowell
RunTime: 1 hr 45 mins
Released By: Shaw
Rating: NC-16
Official Website: http://www.doomsdayiscoming.com/

Opening Day: 24 April 2008


In the action-packed new thriller from writer/director Neil Marshall ("The Descent"), authorities brutally quarantine a country as it succumbs to fear and chaos when a virus strikes. The literal walling-off works for three decades – until the dreaded Reaper virus violently resurfaces in a major city. An elite group of specialists, captained by Eden Sinclair (Rhona Mitra), is urgently dispatched into the still-quarantined country to retrieve a cure by any means necessary. Shut off from the rest of the world, the unit must battle through a landscape that has become a waking nightmare.

Movie Review:

I guess there are just too many movies out there in recent years that have things to do with a virus, quarantine, post-apocalyptic worlds, and of course, an arse-kicking heroine. After all, and except for the latter, we're constantly reminded that there's the very real threat of an Avian Flu outbreak going out of control, but while it won't necessarily reduce its victims to blood lusting zombies, it still manage to manifest the fears of it into movies such as these.

You can just about guess where Doomsday will lead you, minus some really preposterous moments where past meets present and elicit a chuckle or two. As the story would have it, Scotland gets quarantined from the rest of the United Kingdom because of a "28 Days Later" / "Resident Evil" / "Last Man on Earth" type virus on the loose, and the Great Wall of Britain (ok, so I made this one up) gets erected to prevent anyone from getting into and out of the hot zone. Fast forward to the year 2035, it's soon discovered that there are inhabitants still alive who seem immune to the virus, and with London now under threat from the virus resurgence, a crack team straight out of a typical Japanese anime, with mecha suits to boot, get sent to investigate.

Led by no-nonsense Major Eden Sinclair (Rhona Mitra), who's styled like Charlize Theron's Aeon Flux complete with cyborg parts, the DDS team (Department of Domestic Security) soon find themselves in a strange though familar world, and embroiled in a strangely familiar plot which you can just about guess who's gonna survive, and who's not, in the usual fashion of action movies with crack teams like The Rock, or even Alien/s, which provides opportunity for an elaborate action sequence to showcase cool weapons, and plenty of gratuitous blood, boobs and gore, flying limbs, heads and all. In fact at one point, I was waiting for Rhona Mitra to do a Russell Crowe and exclaim if what she did was entertainment enough!

The fun factor comes with identifying the shades of movies which probably inspired or influenced Neil Marshall when crafting his Doomsday story. Mad Max comes to mind for starters, as do the earlier mentions of movies from similar genres, coupled with plenty of Lord of the Rings prop and plot rejects, and the Matrix's Zion rave party, though this one becomes a feast instead.

There's really not much of a plot to begin, nor very cerebral development of the storyline as it just serves as reason enough to get the audience through to the next action sequence. And most of the time we're watching Eden Sinclair make grown, muscled men look like wimps as she cuts through them like hot knife through butter, using a whole array of weapons from the primitive spears, swords and clubs, to handguns, and an armoured Bentley to boot. If this was an extended advertisement, you'll probably be led to believe that the car is Death Proof, and again, this feature got demonstrated time and time again through an elaborate highway action scene.

Doomsday only works when you chuck your brains at the door before the screening. There's absolutely no reason why anyone would go and try to analyze or reason out certain events and plot progress. Just accept them for what they are at face value, and enjoy the trippy wild ride!

Movie Rating:

(A cool, calculating chick behind the wheel of an armoured Bentley, now that's Doomsday enough!)

Review by Stefan Shih


. I Am Legend (2007)

. Resident Evil: Extinction (2007)

. 28 Weeks Later (2007)

. The Hills Have Eyes 2 (2007)

. Silent Hill (2006)

, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning (2006)

. The Descent (2005)

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