sugoll (sugoll) wrote,
sugoll
sugoll

Doomsday

This is a Neil Marshall film, he of Dog Soldiers and The Descent. I quite enjoyed it.

The premise is thus: a viral outbreak in Scotland causes the UK (well, England) to wall off the heathen norths and leave everyone to die. The few survivors break into different groups - a medieval society in a castle, complete with mounted knights in full harness (and why not? gunpowder's complicated), and Beyond Thunderdome refugees, into purple mohicans, tattoos, body modification and, erm, cannibalism (why?).

Mumble years later, the virus resurfaces in London. Since there are surviving Scots, a team is sent over the wall looking for scientist Malcolm McDowell, who was last seen researching the virus in Glasgow.

There's much silliness. The team are driving the last two armoured personnel carriers in service, apparently. Supposedly invunerable to all sorts of weapon attacks - including biological - they turn out to be thoroughly vunerable to molotov cocktails - or even a bloke with a stick. That'll be why there are only two of that model still around, then. Plus, the team goes in with three-year-old satellite imagery and no means of communication, instead of live coverage and constant comms. Bleah. And the ending makes no sense whatsoever.

McDowell's phoning his performance in, while Adrian Lester, Sean Pertwee and Kate Beckinsale Rhona Mitra are suitably convincing. Thankfully, Marshall's neglected to shoe-horn in any hint of a forced romance with his female lead and anyone else (and you tell Mitra's the female lead because, just like Diane Lane in Judge Dredd and Sandra Bullock in Demolition Man, while everyone else is in fatigues, she's wearing skin-tight leggings). In fact, Mitra's generally convincing all round, which is great. And Alexander Siddig plays the Prime Minister!

But top marks go to Craig Conway as top bam Sol - he's brilliant, and pretty much sells the film. Like a smacked up Smiley with a sawn-off golf-club, he's both entertaining and sinister at the same time. Where 30 Days of Night tried to take its subject matter oh so seriously, the background of Doomsday is littered with humour - such as the tricked-out bus used by the Space Rats in pursuit of our heroes, with the windscreen marked "OUT OF FUCKING SERVICE."

Fantastic.

Tags: movies, sf
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