Thursday, October 20, 2005

Doomed

Cinematical on the video game based movie, Doom:
Doom isn’t operatically bad; it’s just derivative, inert and dull – it feels like the third sequel to a film that never existed. Even The Rock – a screen presence (I’m not going to hurt myself by stretching to call him an actor) who’s proven he has the goods in films like the far superior action-burger The Rundown – can’t bring things to life, even with the relish he brings to saying nonsense like “[expletive deleted]!” Books may tell us something; movies may show us something, and games may let us do something – even if “something” is nothing more than twitching fingers on the keys to plug monsters in their hideous heads and pausing to reload. But Doom is the worst of both worlds – all it offers us is shooting and shouting, while strapping the audience firmly in the passenger’s side with nothing to do but watch and yawn. Pop-culture observers have been explaining for years that videogames now make more money than movies; with movies as dull and dead as Doom, that piece of analysis starts to seem more and more like a self-fulfilling curse.
This should be no surprise to anyone. Mix and match media at your peril. The only way this could have worked is if the creators were allowed to create a more interesting back story than the game could ever allow. But if you're going to do that, why not make your own brand, rather than piggy back on this franchise? Game fans beware.

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