Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Andrzej Bartkowiak|
by id Software
|Music by||Clint Mansell|
|Edited by||Derek Brechin|
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
|Box office||$56 million|
Doom is a 2005 American science fiction action horror film directed by Andrzej Bartkowiak and written by David Callaham and Wesley Strick, loosely based on the video game series of the same name created by id Software. Starring Karl Urban, Dwayne Johnson and Rosamund Pike, the film follows a group of marines in a research facility on Mars. After arriving on a rescue and retrieval mission after communications ceased, the marines soon battle genetically engineered monsters plaguing the facility.
After film rights deals with Universal Pictures and Columbia Pictures expired, id Software signed a deal with Warner Bros. with the stipulation that the film would be greenlit within a year. Warner Bros. lost the rights, which were subsequently given back to Universal, which started production in 2004. The film was an international co-production of the United States, the United Kingdom, the Czech Republic, and Germany.
In an interview, executive producer John Wells stated that a second film would be put into production if the first was a success at the box office. The film grossed $28.2 million in North America and $27.8 million overseas for a worldwide total of $56 million; based on a $60 million budget, the film was a box office bomb.
In the year 2026, a portal to an ancient city on Mars is discovered in the Nevada desert. Twenty years later, the heavily populated Union Aerospace Corporation (UAC) research facility on Mars is attacked by an unknown assailant. Following a distress call sent by Dr. Carmack, a group of marines, led by Sarge, is sent on a search-and-rescue mission to Mars while overseen by Marcus "Pinky" Pinzerowski. One of the marines, John "Reaper" Grimm, accompanies his sister, Dr. Samantha Grimm, to one of the labs within the devastated sector to retrieve data and he learns that the dig site, where their parents were accidentally killed, was reopened and ancient skeletons of a genetically enhanced humanoid race were discovered. The team use a portal to get to Mars.
While searching for survivors in the facility, the marines find a traumatised and injured Dr. Carmack and escort him to the medical lab for treatment, but he later disappears. The marines shoot at an unknown creature in the Genetics Lab that leads them down into the facility's sewer, where it attacks and attacks and kills Goat. The corpse of the creature from the sewers is also taken to the Medical Lab for examination. Sam begins an autopsy on the creature and discovers that its organs are human. Her and Duke also witness Goat resurrecting and killing himself by smashing his head against a reinforced window. Later on the two are attacked by one of the creatures but manage to trap it and realise it is a mutated Dr. Carmack.
The squad tracks tries to track down more of the creatures leading to deaths of Mac, Destroyer, and Portman and an angered Sarge puts down the mutated Dr. Carmack. Sam, Reaper and Sarge learn that UAC was experimenting on humans using the Martian Chromosome (C24) harvested from the remains of the ancient skeletons but the mutants got loose, leading to the outbreak. Sam and Reaper try to convince Sarge that the creatures are humans from the facility, mutated by the C24 serum, and that not all of those infected will fully transform into the creatures. Sam hypothesises that some of those introduced to the Martian Chromosome develop superhuman abilities but retain their humanity, while others with a predisposition for violent or psychotic behaviour will be more adversely affected. The creatures use the portal and slaughter and mutate most of the research staff into abominations as well. This leads to Sarge ordering his team to sanitize the entire facility. Kid returns with a scared Pinky, but when he informs Sarge that he didn't execute a group of survivors he found and refuses to go back and do so Sarge executes the Kid for insubordination, leading to a standoff taking place. The group are then attacked by infected humans leading to the death of Duke, and Sarge and Pinky being dragged away. Reaper is wounded by a ricocheting bullet. To prevent him from bleeding to death, Sam reluctantly injects Reaper with the C24 serum before he passes out.
Reaper regains consciousness, and finds his wounds have healed and that Sam has gone missing. Using his new superhuman abilities he fights his way through the facility, even battling a mutated and monstrous Pinky before finding her unconscious and Sarge, who has become infected and murdered the group of survivors that Kid found. The pair battle with the aid of their superhuman powers, and Reaper is able to gain the upper hand and throws him into the portal to Mars along with a grenade which destroys Sarge and the Mars facility. Reaper then carries his unconscious sister into the elevator and rides back up to the surface.
- Karl Urban as SSgt John "Reaper" Grimm
- Dwayne Johnson as GySgt Asher "Sarge" Mahonin
- Rosamund Pike as Dr. Samantha Grimm
- Razaaq Adoti as Sgt Gregory "Duke" Schofield
- Richard Brake as Cpl Dean Portman
- Dexter Fletcher as Marcus "Pinky" Pinzerowsky
- Al Weaver as Pvt Mark "The Kid" Dantalian
- Ben Daniels as Cpl. Eric "Goat" Fantom
- DeObia Oparei as Sgt Gannon "Destroyer" Roark
- Yao Chin as PFC Katsuhiko Kumanosuke "Mac" Takahashi
- Robert Russell as Dr. Todd Carmack
- Brian Steele as Hell Knight / Curtis Stahl
- Doug Jones as Carmack Imp / Willits Imp
One of the most noteworthy aspects of the film is a short sequence near the end of the film where the camera follows the progress of Grimm from a first-person perspective in homage to the original game. In the words of Karl Urban, the actor who plays Reaper:
- "In some ways, it makes cinematic history in that, for the first time, the audience becomes the hero of the film. [...] When we go into FPS, the audience is doing the rampage, the audience is doing the work and that is so cool. It’s insane!"
- On November 27, 2003, Computer Gaming World printed an article on their website regarding the Doom movie. It states that Warner Bros. is indeed working on the Doom movie and has placed it on the fast track. A revised script was submitted to id Software and approved; John Wells (producer of ER) and Lorenzo di Bonaventura (who introduced The Matrix to Warner Bros.) have signed on to work on the Doom movie. Concept art and storyboards have been drawn by Federico D'Alessandro, who has worked on various movies, music videos, and video game covers and advertisements.
- The Associated Press (AP) released a news article on May 15, 2004, regarding video game-to-movie adaptations that mentions the Doom movie. An excerpt mentions the Doom movie: "Soon, more blockbuster game franchises, such as Halo and Doom, are expected to become the basis of movies."
- On June 2, 2004, Variety reported that Warner Bros. had lost the rights to Doom and Universal Studios has acquired them; the report confirmed that Doom would be based on Doom 3.
- A Doom 3 article in the August 9, 2004, issue of Time mentioned that Universal is set to film the Doom movie in Prague in the winter of 2004–2005.
- The next day, The Hollywood Reporter released an article that mentioned release dates for eight movies, and the third movie listed was the Doom movie. It stated that Doom will have a wide release on August 5, 2005.
- Within the week, The Hollywood Reporter announced that John Wells Productions is currently in preproduction for the Doom movie.
- On August 18, 2004, website Box Office Prophets made the Doom movie project their movie of the day and they listed the release date for the Doom movie, August 5, 2005. The article also confirmed that Universal has Doom on a production schedule of winter 2004–2005 in Prague's Barrandov Studios. The planned release date was mentioned as August 5, 2005.
- Major news was revealed by both Variety and The Hollywood Reporter on the Doom movie on September 15, 2004. Karl Urban has been cast for the Doom movie as the star, John Grimm, a leader of a special ops team. He will be dealing not only with alien demons, but also the organization known as the United Aerospace Corp that is responsible for the death of his parents. Enda McCallion was announced to have dropped out of the project and Polish director Andrzej Bartkowiak had signed on to be the director. Production was slated to start in mid-October with an October 21, 2005, release date. Also noted, Universal Pictures is talking to The Rock regarding a role in the Doom movie.
- The Hollywood Reporter stated that Universal Pictures has cast Rosamund Pike opposite of Karl Urban as a scientist named Samantha on September 22, 2004.
The review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reported that 19% of critics gave the film positive reviews, based on 131 reviews, with the critical consensus "Sure to please fans of the video game, but lacking in plot and originality to please other moviegoers." Roger Ebert said, "Doom is like some kid came over and is using your computer and won't let you play." Rob Gonsalves gave it two stars, citing incoherent action sequences, flat and humorless characters, and poor acting: "Only Richard Brake, as the sleazy and duplicitous grunt Portman, gives a performance of any interest, and even that's on the level of caricature." In 2009, Time listed the film on its list of top-10 worst video games movies.
In a 2009 interview, Johnson described the film as an example of "trying and failing" to do a good video game adaptation, and that it was a cautionary tale of what "not to do".
The film's score was composed by Clint Mansell, upon which he produced a remix of the Nine Inch Nails song "You Know What You Are?", which was used in the film's ending credits. The song "Switchback" by Celldweller was licensed to be used for marketing and media purposes, such as the theatrical trailer and TV spots.
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