“ Genre: Action & Adventure / Theatrical Release: 2008 / Director: Neil Marshall / Actors: Caryn Peterson, Adeola Ariyo, Emma Cleasby, Christine Tomlinson, Vernon Willemse ... / DVD released 2008-07-29 at Universal Studios / Features of the DVD: AC-3, Colour, Dolby, DVD-Video, Full Screen, Subtitled, PAL „
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Doomsday is not your typical end of the world / post apocalypse movie in that it tries to do something different and original with the usual viral outbreak scenario.
Basically a large proportion of Scotland becomes infected with something called the Reaper virus and is walled off from the rest of the world. In London and across other major cities in the U.K, refugee camps are set up and people find themselves now living in vast ghetto slums, crammed into small spaces.
And then the first strains of the Reaper virus begin emerging in London!
Rhona Mitre plays a tough, no nonsense female cop who agrees to go over the wall and back into Scotland to try and find a cure. CCTV cameras have picked up a few signs of life and it is her job to find out how they have not died yet. What she finds in what remains of modern Scotland is an urban wasteland like something straight out of a Mad Max film. And she still has to get back out again yet...
I said at the beginning that this film tries to be original. In that it fails. The film relies overly too much on other points of reference so becomes quickly like a cross between Escape From New York, Mad Max and 28 Weeks Later. This is not a bad thing but there are a couple of moments when it is difficult to take things seriously and it does get a bit laughable - most notably during an epic car chase close to the end. That said, this film is also lots of fun!
Bob Hoskins turns up playing....well, essentially Bob Hoskins and there are one or two other familiar faces here too!
Overall this is a sci-fi film for fans who don't like taking their chosen genre too seriously and are willing to just go with and accept the concept.
I liked it - it was not a perfect ride but personally I found it lots of fun and that is exactly what a film should be about.
A little bit of suspension of disbelief and a whole bucketful of fun!
I got this film delivered as part of my LoveFilm subscription and although I was tempted by going to see it when it came to the cinema and I have to say I'm glad that I didn't. This is a typical apocalyptic film, where the world as we know it has been transformed by a virus/war/some other catastrophe. The difference with this film is that it is set in the U.K., which I thought would be a pretty good twist to the traditional story. Bob Hoskins and Rhona Mitre feature in this film. Rhona Mitre plays Eden Sinclair, a kick-ass cop who originated over the wall. What's the wall? I hear you ask, well when the Reaper virus broke out in Scotland, the English decided the best thing to do was build a massive wall (a bit like the Roman's did with Hadrians Wall) that runs from coast to coast and quarantines Scotland. Eden was one of the last to get out, her mother sacrificed herself to ensure her safety.
And so from there we enter a crazy film that inevitably sees the virus reappear in England and Eden lead a team to find out what is left in Scotland. And what was left was a mixture of Mad Max style cannibals that inhabited Glasgow and a new medieaval community up in highlands. By anyones standards that is a bizarre combination, add into that Eden and her modern day gadgets and gizmos and the whole thing is completely surreal.
It wasn't the best film I've ever seen, but to be honest it wasn't the worst. It kept me entertained on a rainy Sunday night, when there was nothing on tv. It has lots of gore and violence throughout and most of the storyline is pretty predictable, but there were bits of dark humour and a satisfying ending. Basically don't watch this expecting an Oscar performance, it's a mediocre action/thriller that was ok to watch, but I wouldn't buy it and watch it again.
The film opens in the present day in Scotland where a virus nicknamed 'The Reaper' is wiping out humanity. A narrator provides a history of events and we discover that martial law has been declared and to prevent the virus from getting into England a 30 foot wall has been erected around the coastline of Scotland and the border between the two countries has been sealed off. Those unlucky enough to still be on the wrong side of the wall are left to fend for themselves and presumably succumb to the virus and the military are leaving in helicopters.
Following a desperate attempt to escape we are introduced to an unnamed woman clutching her injured daughter as she begs one of the soldiers to take her to safety. He agrees and the young girl named Eden is taken out of the country and Scotland is officially declared a no-go area with no one being allowed in and no one allowed out.
27 years later and England is in chaos, people now live in ghettos and the rest of the world have turned their backs on the country. When it becomes apparent that the Reaper virus has once again broken out but this time in London it's only be a matter of time before the whole of England is infected. There is hope though; satellite images have pictured something seemingly impossible - people alive in Scotland. Tasked with a mission to enter the quarantined country a young female major (bet you can't guess who she once was!) and a crew of soldiers and doctors have only 48 hours to find out why there are people there, an enigmatic scientist had been working on a cure before the wall was erected and it is assumed that he was successful. What will she and her colleagues find behind the wall, will they find a cure to the virus and is Kane still alive? Doomsday is an ultra-gory post apocalyptic tale from Neil Marshall (The Descent) which will force you to suspend any elements of belief that you may have but is it worth your time actually watching it?
**Please note that this review will contain discussions of scenes in the film so may be slightly spoilerish, however I will not reveal anything that is too important to the plot or anything to do with the ending.**
This film from 2008 has sat as a low priority title on my Lovefilm list for a number of months and to be honest it was only on there to make the numbers up. I had read reviews in the past when the film first came out which had been less than glowing so I was in no particular rush to actually see it for myself, however as Lovefilm decided to ignore my higher priority titles and send this to me I decided to give it the benefit of the doubt and give it a go. To be fair to the film the beginning wasn't that bad and a final chase sequence is quite fun but overall as it seems to borrow heavily from a number of other films and felt like an over long mish-mash of things that I had seen before.
Post apocalypse films are nothing new in the action horror genre so there are allowances that have to be made. The set up and premise of the film is actually quite good but is reminiscent of 28 days later and Dog Soldiers, why our plucky heroes have to behind the wall is plausible enough I suppose and the fact that the Major just so happens to be the little girl who was saved all those years previously might be a massive plot contrivance but does give the character a motivation to want to succeed so I happily accepted that. In fact the first 20 or so minutes of history and set up were surprisingly effective with quick pacing and some great action sequences, however once behind the wall the film descends into what I can only describe as being an extended and extra-bloody episode of that old Channel 4 game show "The Crystal Maze"
Behind the wall then and Major Sinclair and her crew are ambushed almost immediately by a gang of survivors of the virus and their descendants who are simply known as 'Marauders'. Led by a hysterically over the top and ever-so slightly camp character by the name of Sol who has a rather fetching bleached Mohican on the top of his head. The Marauders themselves are a group of post apocalypse punks with pink and green hair, piercings and a uniform which consists of plenty of leather and denim but this doesn't extend to their top halves so they just happen to remain shirtless. Conjure up in your mind a combination of biker apparel and 70's punk and you'd be about there, quite why they dress in the manner they do isn't explained neither is the origin of their impressive facial and body tattoos and dyed hair. Scotland may have had no power for 27 years but that hasn't stopped the marauders from looking their menacing best and the attention to detail is fantastic if not breathtakingly unbelievable. Just when you think that nothing could possibly top how they look Sol stands on a stage, addresses the Marauders and out of nowhere "Good Thing" by 80's pop group The Fine Young Cannibals blasts out over loud speakers before a rather bizarre rendition of The Can Can is played out by tubby men wearing 'skirts' *shudder*. Presumably the FYC track is played because the Marauders are, wait for it...Cannibals! And Major Sinclair and her group are on the menu as lunch. Cue a rather nasty sacrificial scene where someone ends up being flash fried and dismembered for the hungry Marauders, this fortunately does give Major Sinclair just enough time to befriend a fellow prisoner, escape and continue her mission to find a cure for the virus.
New friend in tow and with the knowledge that Kane had indeed survived the remaining good guys are led to where Kane now resides. In the Medieval Zone...
Impressively Kane and his followers live in a castle complete with fortress and moat and it's now Evil Dead 3 meets Gladiator as Major Sinclair must negotiate a series of traps and ambushes before being led to the man himself and finally discovers what exactly did happen all those years ago and how some people managed to survive. Again the attention to detail is impressive here, there is a distinct 'ye olde worlde' feel to these scenes with period dress and Kane played by Malcolm McDowell resplendent in sable and furs. McDowell is his usual shouty self and thoroughly unlikeable as Kane and while there are some absolutely terrible moments of ridiculous dialogue there is no doubt that he really gets his teeth into the role and appears to enjoy every single moment he is onscreen.
A Great British Cast?
As much as I generally dislike McDowell in every film he has ever been in (with the exception of the brilliant Clockwork Orange) he does bring a certain gravitas to the film and always brings to mind a Vincent Price-like moustache-twirling portrayal of the villain, indeed the supporting cast in the film is made up of decent British actors including Bob Hoskins although he himself only features at the start and end of the film. Rhona Mitira as the lead character of Sinclair though is generally weak throughout the film and adopts a Lara Croft persona which really doesn't work all that well and did feel miscast to me. There are recognisable, British actors who pop up throughout the film and for the most part they are competent enough but because the action is so choppy you never really get the feeling that you *know* them.
Doesn't know what it wants to be...
The film as a whole feels horribly disjointed and tries to pack too many different elements into its running time. At times it feels like a pop music video, then a 'shoot-em-up' computer game before returning to generic action horror mode and to say Neil Marshall was responsible for perhaps the best British horror film in recent years - The Descent - this is inferior on all levels to that film. By packing too much into Doomsday there is no room for character development, the soldiers and doctors are forgettable and I couldn't even tell you their names now - they are there simply as fodder to be picked off by the Marauders and Medieval lot and you ultimately know what is coming way before it actually does.
The only real saving grace about the film is the action and gore scenes which are typically over the top and gruesome. The bodycount in this film is massive especially at the start when people are trying to get out of Scotland. Machine guns end up being used to reduce the stampeding masses to mush and tanks squash their way over their hapless victims. Blood flies and splatters into the camera and limbs are torn off and discarded with gleeful disregard, however a splatterfest, as fun as they are to watch cannot make up for the fact that this film is, in my opinion, absolutely terrible and more than deserves the mauling it got from critics and reviewers. A lengthy car chase scene towards the end of the film is well shot and a superb advertisement for Bentley cars but is a case of too little too late and couldn't save the film even though it was impressive to watch.
Gore and action aside, the soundtrack was perhaps my favourite part of this film with 'Good Thing' and Frankie Goes to Hollywoods' "Two Tribes" featuring during the action. The remainder of the soundtrack is the usual high octane, adrenaline pumping music which I'm sure was used in "The Fast and the Furious" or "Crank" and for me are the only things I actually remember about the film itself. Everything else from the acting through to the storyline are nothing special and have been seen and done dozens of times before and a lot better in the other films I have mentioned in this review.
Conclusion and Rating
In conclusion then I really can't recommend Doomsday to anyone and really can't see who it would actually appeal to. Even though there are some impressive splatter scenes the horror is virtually nonexistent, the acting is one dimensional so you couldn't care less who lives and who dies and you know exactly what is going to happen next. There are some major plot holes and inconsistencies that just don't add up and even the 105 minute running time seems to drag despite attempts to keep the plot moving. At £2.99 though on Amazon it may be worth parting with a minimal outlay just to see how bad this film actually is, but honestly I wouldn't bother if I was you.
2/5 dooyoo stars from me simply for the gore and soundtrack, had these not been in the film then I would have awarded a single, solitary star. If there were extras on my rental disc then I didn't notice them and wouldn't have watched them anyway, this has therefore been a Film Only review.
Thanks for reading - please note that this originally appeared on ciao under my username
The Reaper Virus destroys life as we know it in Scotland, namely Glasgow, destroying all elements of human life. With martial law being declared, meaning the country becomes under military control and run by the army, the country goes into widespread panic. Understandably, trying to escape. However, with the army ahead of them and the virus behind them, they do not have anywhere to go. After some mayhem and panic we skip forward to the year 2035 in London. The country has gone into recession with hundreds of thousands homeless and unemployed in the capital alone. The reaper virus has reached London and a crack team, lead by our heroine must enter Scotland to find a cure. This is where the action happens. I am not going to recite anymore of the plot, however there are a couple of twists and turns throughout the film. With lots of action sequences and some scenes trying to be funny. The plot generally rests on the questions, can the team survive? And can they find the cure?
The film is set in the future (2035), however at the beginning when this comes up, it does say "NOW" underneath, perhaps trying to suggest that this could happen. This is a feeling that I get with films set in the future, a lot of them try to suggest that this could happen. I would say this is true of Doomsday, as it does play a little on the current economic crises in our country.
The majority of the film is played out in Glasgow and it's surrounding areas, with some sub-plots being shown in London. Scotland has become a post-apocolyptic, derelict, dystopian wasteland (so it hasn't changed much...) and is now ruled by the survivors of the virus who have returnd to their primal beginnings.
In London, there is widespread panic and we are shown the gratuitous landmarks such as The o2 Arena, Oxford Street and Leicester Square, being shadows of their former glory.
The majority of the film is set during the rain and at night time, this
gives us the sorts of feelings that these tend to bring, such as fear, apprehension and danger. However, during one of the turning points of the film it is very sunny, (this bit can't have been filmed in Scotland, although that is where it is set). The sun brings a glimour of hope and success for our characters.The setting for this film, and indeed this genre of film is definitely very apt and suitable. It brings about the right emotions at the right time, the fact it is set 25 years in the future makes us think, this could happen, as it is not too far away. Overall i would say the film does well with the setting.
Good Points and Bad Points
*Action sequences - The action sequences in the film are well played out, fast paced and shot well. Often the build of of suspense before makes it slightly obvious what is going to happen, however there are often humerous twists in the scenes that are unexpected. These make them much more enjoyable, rather than the cliche sequences, with deaths, explosions and fast pace chases. The car chases in the film are probably the most action packed, and the majority of them also contain witty one-liners.
*Concept/Plot - Although this concept and plot is far from original, there is enough of a difference to make it feel that way. We, as the audience, do not feel as if it is the same old story that we have seen time and time again. The virus is slightly different to those of other films, however I must admit, that there are a few holes in how the virus is transmitted, but I let this slip for the purpose of the film. The plot, is divided into different aspects and different peoples stories. Almost playing out the same sequence from different characters' point of view. It is not filmed like this, but we do see enough of each character to understand what they are feeling and thinking about the situation.
*Comedy - One of the funnier lines in the film is "[upon seeing someone wearing knight's armor riding up to them] You don't see that every day." Said by the main character Eden. To understand this fully you would need to know the context of the film, just consider that it is set in the year 2035. Admittedly, this doesn't seem that funny written on the page, but it is in the film. The humour in the film is quite dark at times and cuts the seriousness of the film very well. The film is riddled with humorous scenes throughout, and are one of the more enjoyable parts of the dialogue.
*Script - The script in the film is pretty poor to be honest. There is not a lot of dialogue, other than the normal shouting and ordering that comes with these sorts of films. Considering that there are a lot of military based scenes this is to be expected. However, when we do here a little bit of dialogue and conversation it does not have a lot of depth at all, we do not feel involved in the conversations. The scenes do tend to drag quite a lot. The only good points are the witty one liners, which in some cases are not that good.
*Continuity - This means how each scene continues on from one another and whether or not previous things have still taken their effect. For example, in a car chase, if the car gets crashed into one scene, does it still have it's damage? These sorts of things are much more noticable when you watch a lot of films. Doomsday definitely falls down on this point. One scene where the team cross the border into Scotland, the window-wipers are going on the vehicle (as it is raining heavily) however, the camera cuts back and we see on both vehicles neither of the window wipers are going. To me, i find this annoying as it is so simply recognised and fixed that it becomes a major issue for me. There is also a few more instances, like in the car chase mentioned previously. The Bentley Continental GT, gets scratched up and crashed into, but every time we see it again, it is glistening and gleaming with immaculate paintwork. The continuity of the film however, would not be noticed as much by people who do not watch as many films, so it possibly would not be so much of an issue for some people.
Cast and Characters
*Eden Sinclair - Played by Rhona Mitra (The Number 23/Get Carter) - This is our main character and heroine, we are first introduced to her when she is a child in Scotland, fleeing the Reaper virus with her mother. During the mayhem at the border, she loses an eye to a flying piece of shrapnel, but is resuced by an army helicopter. The fact that she loses an eye plays out and is climaxed at the end of the story. She is a powerful character, and indeed a powerful woman. She is the commanding officer sent to try and find a cure in Scotland for the newly infected London. She is fearless, independent and uncompromising in everything she does, making a perfect lead character for the film.
*Bill Nelson - Played by Bob Hoskins (Outlaw/Maid In Manhattan) - We do not see too much of his character, however he is very important. He is obviously the father figure to Eden, that she has lacked since her chilhood, and there is a strong bond between the two. He is the do-gooder and the one with the strong prinicples and morals who balances out what is going on with other characters in the film.
*Michael Canaris - Played by David O'Hara (The Departed/Hotel Rwanda) - The evil character who is in the film to play on our moral consciences. The general "bad guy", this is one of the more convincing performances of the film. The character of Canaris is played very callously and meticulously.
*Dr. Kane - Played by Malcolm McDowell (Heroes/A Clockwork Orange0 - Kane is the doctor, and leader of the post-virus community in Falkirk. He is the target for the team in Scotland as it is believed that he has found a cure for the virus.
*Sol - Played by Craig Conway (The Descent/Dog Soliders) - The rebel leader in Scotland and the main "baddie" of the film. He seems virtually insane and is played very well by Conway. I cannot say too much about his character without giving too much away about him. He is a charasmatic leader and has devoted followers who will do everything he says.
Running Time: 105 mins/113 mins (uncut version)
Director: Neil Marshall (The Descent/Dog Soldiers) - The film has the same sort of feel as Dog Soldiers, although it is quite scary, and there is a lot of acton and violence, there is also alot of humour.
I enjoyed this film quite a lot and in some respects found it similar to other British films of this type, namely 28 days and 28 weeks later. The differences being the virus in Doomsday does not alter it's victims, it simply demolishes and kills everything in their body. I enjoyed all the action sequences that we were treated to and the special effects/make-up involved, making the stranded population looks very realistic and primal. This film definitely appeals to my tastes, as I like a lot of gore and action, however, obviously this is not for everyone. I can see why it has it's 18 certificate.I would recommend for people to go and see this film if they liked others such as 28 Days Later and 28 Weeks Later, as it has a similar feel to it. However, if you are squeamish, or scared easily then this definitely is not the film for you. I enjoyed the film a lot and it was a lot better than I thought it would be. I will definitely be buying this on DVD when it comes out. If you like Dog Soldiers, also directed by Neil Marshall, then you would definitely like this film, as it has the same sort of feel to it.
Overall this film deserves an 8/10 from me, because of all the action and graphicness of deaths, however being let down by the script and the continuity the film does not live up to its full potential.
If you were to pop to the emulsion desk at B&Q and ask for a mix of the colours dystopia and British; you could paint me interested. I love a grim science fiction film that is based on the good old fashioned British values of bureaucracy and bleakness. For some reason the film industry seem to believe that if the world is in danger, somehow the Brits will fight through. 'Children of Men', '28 Days Later', 'Brazil', 'V for Vendetta', all are based in the Bulldog's back garden. I love these films as they are often dark and have a depressing ending that reflects our nation's opinion that things will probably turn out badly. When I hear news of another film that will appear in this pantheon of the moribund, I jump on it like a footballer on a page three girl. Deadly virus that kills most Scots? Sounds like 'Doomsday' is a film for me!
In the year 2007 a deadly virus breaks out in Scotland that spreads quickly and kills anyone infected. The British government try their hardest to fight the spread, but soon realise that their only option is to seal the country off behind a vast wall and let the Scots die. 20 odd years later and Britain has fallen under fascist rule. The decision to wall off Scotland has left us ostracised from the rest of the world and in economic peril. When a new source of the virus breaks out in the slums of London the government must act quickly to save the country. They have kept the knowledge that some people survived across the border from the general public. Now they want to send in an elite force led by Major Eden Sinclair to discover who these people are and whether they have a cure. Sinclair must enter a country sealed off from the world for decades and fight anything that gets in her way; it is a race against time before the government seals off London and traps all the inhabitants.
As a fan of the dystopian genre I am willing to give a film under its remit a lot of leeway. The likes of 'Franklyn' were deeply flawed, but there were enough interesting ideas about how the world became dystopian to make it worth watching. I am also a big fan of director Neil Marshall's work, especially the excellent 'Descent', one of the best horror films of the past 10 years. With this in mind, the fact that I thought 'Doomsday' so awful is a depressing and slightly shocking thing - I will usually watch anything and find it at least alright.
There is so much that is dubious about this film that I will try and list some of the positives first. For a British science fiction film it looks good. Marshall has a great skill of being able to take a moderate budget and stretching it to look a lot more. The world is also a well designed one - the concept of a country making one huge mistake that plunges it into depression and fascism is a realistic one. Like with so many dystopian films I loved the ideas behind what the film is. It is a shame that Marshall decides to explore the ridiculous side of dystopia instead.
Until around the 40th minute I was with the film, the dark setting was in keeping with films such as 'Equilibrium', and was exciting. What could there possibly be behind the wall? It turns out that there are loads of crazy Scottish punks who have little to no sense of self preservation. The film is at times like a 'Mad Max' spoof. This is not the 'Mad Max' of 1 and 2, but the big hair 80s warbling of 'Beyond Thunderdome'. That film has a certain 80s charm to it, but life and movies have moved on a lot in he past 30 years.
The enemies are ridiculous. One of the leaders is insane and would have been dead long before gaining power, whilst the other is played by Malcolm McDowell ('nuff said). They run towards the heavily armed troops clutching useless weapons that as deadly as sharpened fridge magnets. For every one troop killed, hundreds of scruffs are butchered. This does not seem anyway for a society to survive a deadly virus. You make it through the killing germs only to throw your life away at the first opportunity? Speaking of a society, where were all the children and pregnant women?
So many elements that are not connected to the premise are poor. Rhona Mitra is not a lead actor and Malcolm McDowell has not been good since 'If'. Craig Conway as madman leader Sol is so hammy that I plan to capture him and live of gammon sandwiches for the rest of the year. The tone leaps from intelligent science fiction to camp action with no reason. The sets are cheap looking when compared to the quality direction, and the costumes are embarrassing. Why would a devolving civilisation start to wear punk clothes from circa 1979? It makes no sense. Marshall is still a great director, but this is by far his worst work. It looks decent in most places, but the actual story descends into farce. Too camp to be serious, too violent to be funny - a film that is nothing.
Director: Neil Marshall
Starring: Rhona Mitra
Price: Amazon uk £3.99
The extras are a little light on the disc with only the introduction from the director standing out for me - even Marshall is a little sheepish about the film.
FILM ONLY REVIEW
It is the present year and Scotland is being gripped by a deadly plague called the Reaper Virus and as a result the whole Country has been surrounded with a steel wall to stop people from leaving. As the evacuation of the Armed forces is happening they get given a small girl called Eve who is not sick and needs help. Eden is taken by the Army and sent to England. Scotland is left to rot and is forgotten about but as a result of this the world has turned its back on England.
We are now 30 years after the Reaper virus started and so in the future where Eden is a special agent and a grown woman who gets called upon by the Prime Minister as the Reaper virus has started again but this time in Central London. The Government has been watching the major cities in Scotland and have discovered that there are survivors there and Eden is called upon to go and catch one of them to try and find the work of an old scientist who they are sure had found a cure of the virus.
Eden makes her way to Scotland and she is soon setting out on her mission with her team but things are not all as they seem when she comes across at gang of ruthless people who survived the virus and are now that starving they are turning on each other and eating their own. Eden and her team have to try and escape this gang lead by Sol in order to try and track down Doctor Kane to see if he does have the cure so Eden can save London.
Will Eden be able to complete her mission or will London and the rest of England be left to rot?
This was so not my choice of film as for me the storyline did not appeal at all but I did decide to give it a go as hubby wanted to watch it. I have to say I wished I had not watched it as some of the scenes really were horrid and brutal. Saying that though I did find the plot was good and so too was the acting and effects. The story was set in the future and as it was only 30 years away I found it all looked good and not made too futuristic.
The role of Eden who lead the mission was good, she was played by Rhona Mitra who is someone I am not familiar with. She came across as a tough woman who had nothing to loose on her mission as her mother had been left to die in Scotland. She worked well with the false eye which she had and I loved how she was able to use it to her advantage. She did a great job with the fighting scenes and the parts where she had to use guns and knives and she made the fights look effortless. I liked how she was not stunning to look at and did not care how scruffy her hair was as this made her seem a more normal character than one who was always prim and made up with tons of makeup. She worked well and had a good relationship with Bob Hoskins who played Bill Nelson, they were not in a lot of scenes together but when they were there was a sort of father daughter relationship between them, I think this helped us understand how he had bought Eden up and treated her and did show he cared for her. Bob Hoskins was great in his small role but I would have liked to have seen more from him.
There were a lot of supporting actors in the film and the ones which really stood out for me were those of Craig Conway who played Sol as he was very brutal and violent and did not like it when he did not get his own way. He was a complex character and when we found out about his past this made me understand him slightly more. Also the role of Sgt. Norton who was played by Adrian Lester stood out as he was a confident character who always did the right thing. All other roles were good and acted well but these were the two which really stood out for me.
The parts of the film which featured Sol and his gang were quite hard to watch at times. We saw how they had changed and how desperate they had become for food that they ate each other, the scenes when we got to see them cooking and chopping up humans were not nice and did actually make me feel quite sick. The gang also has a very strange appearance and were covered in thick makeup and studs which for me was not needed as they could have been violent and ruthless but looked slightly more normal.
The film does have some gruesome bits when we see the virus attacking people and how is spreads, I think the effects and makeup which were used for this was excellent as it looked horrid but so realistic. All of the effects throughout the film were well made and a lot of time effort and money must have been put into making them look so good. The music throughout the film was good and quite mixed but none of the tracks really stood out for me.
One thing which I did like about the film was the ending as it was not how I expected it to be. I liked the way Eden took control and chose her own path. I really don't want to say any more as I don't want to spoil it for those who may not have seen the film yet.
As this is a film only review there are no bonus features to speak of. The running time of the film is 105 minutes and the certificate is an 18. I do agree with this rate as there are so many brutal and graphic scenes throughout the film. The DVD is available for just a few pounds from Amazon.
Overall I will recommend this film even though it was not to my taste. The storyline is good and somewhat different the acting is excellent and the effects are all well made. I will say though that there are loads of brutal and violent parts to the film and scenes which may turn your stomach so don't watch if you don't like blood or gore! I would definitely say this is more of a man film that a woman's.
Taking a cue from many movies, including 28 Days Later, Mad Max, Escape From New York and his own Dog Soldiers, Brit director Neil Marshall took a gamble in 2008 with Doomsday. A very British affair, largely takes place in a sort of post-apocalyptic Scotland years after the country was sectioned off with a 30 foot high wall after a deadly virus ravaged the country.
Marshall's films have a very Independent air to them, and this shows promise from the start. With the ever-charismatic voice of Malcolm McDowell as Dr Kane explaining to us how Scotland experienced a deadly virus that resulted in the country being quarantined, the camera goes across moving and flowing visuals featuring ravaged lands, explaining years have passed and no one is left living across the border. The virus is spreading to London, and the government is panicked about finding a cure somewhere beyond the wall. Here, Rhona Mitra as generic hardnosed female soldier Major Eden Sinclair shows she's tough before being hand-picked to go beyond the wall to collect a seemingly immune survivor that has appeared on the radar. Cue a crack team of soldiers sent in behind the wall, only to find PLENTY of survivors, all of whom have developed a lovely taste for human flesh!!
This is the first preposterous part of the film that I experienced, and to be honest, the promise stopped once McDowell's intro came to an end. Satellite technology has failed, after a number of years, to pick up ANY survivors, yet hundreds of them are all over the place. No sooner have the soldiers arrived the other side of the wall than they all emerge from the woodwork, the heavy and fast music starts, and the violence erupts. I suppose you have to look beyond how ridiculous and unbelievable this all is - I just couldn't, as it got worse!
This part is very Mad Max, with punk-attired mohawk-styled Sol leading the large group of survivors. The cannibal element is downplayed somewhat, giving it a feeling of being rather natural, the line, 'If you're hungry, have a piece of your friend' used more than once. It then becomes a journey, as Sinclair and the other band of troops fight for survival.
The punk element reminded me of a cross between Mad Max and The Warriors, with Marshall trying to bring his own unique style of filming into the proceedings. He is usually a master at the suggestion, giving you a suspenseful element of horror without actually showing too much. The Descent was an awesome film of his that relied very much on the fear of the unknown, as did Danny Boyle's 28 Days Later, visions of salivating zombies racing around trying to infect others. However, Doomsday presents a band of people who have only been affected by the virus by cannibalsim. They still have all other faculties in order, they're just thirsty for eating people and killing. It just doesn't fit very well.
If that wasn't enough, imagine my surprise when there's a scene as Sinclair and her remaining troops are running through woodland when a bloody Knight on horseback turns up, leading to a full castle and medieval regalia as the elusive Dr Kane draws ever nearer. It's like switching between genres without so much as a valid explanation, and it bugged me quite a bit. Don't even get me started on a clapped out old banger managing to keep pace with a brand spanking new however many horsepower Bentley either!!!
There are gruesome moments, and these are well delivered, Marshall's special effects team actually doing quite as good job. Sadly, though, this is about all the good things we get. The pace is maintained throughout to gloss over the many imperfections and unexplained turns of events, with snippets of back in London as the panic increases and the virus/disease escalates. Bob Hoskins is the only shining light from the London contingent of the film, while I found Craig Conway as Sol is the only saviour north of the wall (one bit where he punches one of his clan in frustration was rather funny). Conway almost gives a comedic routine, rather ill placed with so many serious and boring faces, but he improves things by breaking the monotony.
The pace is okay, but the random changes in genre, from disater to virus to cannibalism to chase to medieval is just too weird. I kept wondering, 'Why?' every now and then, and couldn't enjoy it. This was a shame, as there was a lot of potential here, with some decent British names such aas Mitra, McDowell, Hoskins, and the recognisable Adrian Lester from Hustle, but I was severely uinimpressed. As others have said, McDowell looks like he's rather be anywhere but in this film, and Mitra seems to have been told to remove any expression from her face. Actually, everyone apart from Hoskins and Conway seem to have these orders!
Doomsday is currently available on DVD for next to nothing, which doesn't really surprise me. I caught his on TV, so am unaware of any extras, and nor would I be interested in them anyway, truth be told. Not one I recommend buying on DVD. It passed the time, but there was little or no connection between the various elements and genres the film entertains, and Marshall, normally a wonderful director, missed a trick here big time!
When in 2008 a new virus ravages Scotland, England does what any self-preserving, conscientious neighbour does. It throws up a huge 30ft steel wall ranging from coast to coast and lets the poor Scots suffer, die and eventually turn cannibal. With the majority of the film set in a post-apocalyptic Scotland (occasionally using South Africa as a backdrop), the story follows a group of soldiers led by the uncharismatic Major Eden Sinclair (Rhona Mitra) who are going back into Scotland after its 30 year isolation. Why you might ask? Because the Reaper virus is spreading around the over-populated and disgusting city of London and the UK government has realised that without some sort of cure then London and possibly England is going to be consigned to the same fate as that of poor Scotland. Thankfully, 3 years previous to the film's setting some survivors had been photographed in Scotland and it is therefore the team's job to locate and return with one of these immune humans.
The film utilises impressive camera shots of the walling of Scotland and all the panic and mayhem that ensues. The virus victims are suitably gruesome and look brilliant but realistic at the same time, a quality lacking in modern virus or zombie films. When the team enter Scotland they encounter a heck of lot more than one or two survivors when virtually hundreds of punk styled psychopaths set about them with medieval weaponry, led by the vicious and sadistic Sol (Craig Conway). Without wanting to spoil the plot for any who haven't watched (why else would you be reading this review after all :-P), the team find themselves attacked, fleeing, captured and generally mistreated in a way that only a bunch of medieval marauding cannibals can achieve.
Rhona Mitra -Major Eden Sinclair of the Department of Domestic Security is the leader of the team tasked with finding the cure in Scotland. A hard, miserable women made so by her military training and the fact that the poor women only has one natural eye and one robotic camera eye, which she loves to roll around every now and again.
Bob Hoskins - Sinclair's boss at the DDS, Bill Nelson is a hard man with a soft spot for the major. His role is similar to that of Hoskins' in The Long Good Friday.
Craig Conway - Sol is the leader of the barbaric tribe of survivors who have turned to cannibalism to survive.
Malcolm McDowell -Marcus Kane is the original scientist tasked with investigating the virus but is now a feudal Lord in his castle, ruling over a group of survivors.
Alexander Siddig - Prime Minister John Hatcher is a weak but sympathetic man but is guided and controlled by his second in command.
David O'Hara - Michael Canaris is the fascist puppeteer of the Prime minister and is always seeking more power.
Rhona Mitra gives a decent performance as the introverted but deadly Major Sinclair, and her spent fight training shows as she gives us several more than decent fight scenes with a medieval knight and a rather feline psychopath who happens to be Sol's girlfriend. However, her lack of emotion at times can detract rather than enhance her performance and left me wondering whether it was good acting or just a poor performance from Mitra...though I think I would go with good acting.
As a psychopath Craig Conway is superb. He gives an almost comical but terrifying performance and truly makes you believe that he is the absolute nut job that he portrays. Throughout the film I could not find fault with him and he gives by far the most impressive performance of the entire film.
If you loved Mad Max and any of its sequels then you most DEFINATELY would love Doomsday, especially if you happen to be British. I don't want to sound awful but there is something compellingly amusing when Scotland turns into a horde of raving psychos with a fondness for human flesh.
The film is also similar in many ways to The Omega Man (1971) where the character is the sole survivor in an abandoned city, until he realises that it's actually filled with a mutated sect of religious fanatics bent on the destruction of Robert Neville.
Though there are many flaws to the film, such as dubious acting and occasionally unimpressive scenes, the majority of the film is one that is good to watch. Not so much the horror that it is billed as, Doomsday is more a horror-thriller-action combination, ideally suited for anyone wanting a casual horror or someone under the age of 25.
Doomsday is a British-made 2008 sci-fi/horror action film starring Rhona Mitra and Malcom Mcdowell. The film has an interesting premise whereby a deadly virus has killed off practically everybody in the UK north of Newcastle, forcing the government to erect a huge impenetrable wall across the scottish border to keep the disease from spreading and wiping out the rest of the country. It turns out that the virus has after many years reappeared in London however, and upon discovering from satellite reconnaisance that there appear to be signs of human life in the long-thought-lifeless cities of the far North, the govermnent recruits special-operative Major Eden Sinclair (Rhona Mitra) to go make contact with the immunity-possessing survivors and see if she can come back with a cure.
So far so good, and the film seems set up to be an enjoyable post-apocalyptic actioner as two heavily armed APCs full of special ops soldiers are ambused in Scotland by Mad-Max style 'Marauders' with petrol bombs and rudimentary weapons, but unfortunately the film quickly takes a dramatic nosedive when the survivors of the attack fall into the hands of the savages, coming across like a lousy Mad Max rip-off with a cringeworthy and unconvincing tribal leader 'Sol' and seen-it-all before car-chases on barren roads with medieval weapons and ramshackle steampunk vehicles.
Things get worse however, as it turns out that as well as the Marauders society there also exists a blossoming dark-age society (complete with swords, horses, suits of armour and chainmail attained from god-knows-where) who are based in a big Scottish castle and controlled by the King Lear-like ex-government scientist Kane (Malcolm McDowell). Things get very very silly, but somehow this daftness doesnt translate as endearing but just comes across as cynical and unimaginative, like an episode of Xena Warrior Princess hastily melded together with the Mad Max and Resident Evil films to create one great big generic and disjointed mess.
It doesnt help that the performaces are pretty poor all round: Michael Conway and Rhona Mitra are completely wooden and unconvincing, Malcolm Mcdowell looks like he would rather be somewhere else and only Bob Hoskins as a government advisor puts in a performace that is at all interesting. After acheiving considerable creative and commerical success with his previous efforts 'The Descent' and 'Dog Soldiers', Director Neil Marshall seems to have tried to be overambitious and has ended up creating an unmemorable, vacuous and incredibly derivative film with nothing more to offer than do the endless stream of mindless, cgi-driven mainstream modern hollywood horror films with which cinemagoers are nowadays bombarded at every opportunity.
British SCI-FI movies have come along way over the last twenty odd years with the likes of Danny Boyle creating a frenzy of follow on films from the acclaimed 28 days later.
Neil Marshall is the latest British director to attempt something on a large scale and budget in a similar vein. Having directed the intensely creepy film The Descent and before that the tongue in cheek action horror Dog Soldiers, I expected big things from his post-apocalyptic 2008 film - DOOMSDAY.
Unfortunately this film is nowhere near anything even remotely resembling good. It opens quite promisingly with the silky dulcet tones of Malcome McDowell narrating about a deadly virus that spread and lead to the quarantine of Scotland, the sequences are dark, well filmed and imaginative. However after ten or so minutes of this potentially good work, everything got lost and they seemingly pieced the rest of the film together with cuttings found on the floor of some second rate editing suite. I honestly don't want to slate this film too much because I'm not sure I can warrant wasting my time on it, normally i would have a good crack at it but before watching this film you have to understand that it is utterly ridiculous... In fact it goes beyond ridiculous.
With the virus spread the surviving Scots become tribal in their existence, the film reverts from insanely cannibalistic punk motivated psychopaths following a revenge path to what is essentially the former feudal system, living in castles and knight riding horses, with archers and jousting, not to mention the high speed car chase between what appears to be a 1980's rover 25 and brand spanking new 2009 Aston Martin... the rover keeps up - Go figure.
Cast wise the actors are not really of note and perhaps should have turned this movie down if they're to retain any credible reputations in later careers, although Rhona Mitra could Britain's answer to a Kate Bekinsale figure. Mitra is smokingly good looking, sultry and cold just the way like my women. sadly though she doesn't even save this film for me, I cant even pretend that it's worth seeing it is that bad, however if you like to be made to feel better about yourself by perceiving other peoples failing and uselessness in creativity and style then go ahead torture yourselves for 105 minutes, it's terrible.
note: also appears in part on The Student Room and Flixster
I, like many people, expected a right load of tosh after seeing the trailer for Doomsday - it looked like absurd, silly action fare overloaded with visual effects and partial nudity just to bring the teens in. Whilst some of this is true, Doomsday is in fact far better natured than one might reasonably expect - this is a camp, loving ode to the exploitative, violent thrillers of the 1980s, revelling in its grotesquerie, blowing up a lot of things, and actually having quite a bit of fun in the process.
The film begins with Scotland being quarantined due to the onset of a deadly virus, and the virus then travelling to London. As a result, Major Eden Sinclair (Rhona Mitra) is sent to Scotland to examine whatever may remain there and work out what is needed for an antidote to the virus. Here, she meets a rather disagreeable number of groups, largely consisting of men in homoerotic black leather with numerous piercings who, in fact, also want to kill and eat her and her team of squaddies, including Sean Pertwee.
The sheer frenzied lunacy of the film actually makes it quite the delight to behold - it is unashamedly over the top, and fully embraces how laughably off the rails every frame of itself is. Not to mention, things conclude in a car chase set to Two Tribes by Frankie Goes to Hollywood - need I really say anymore? Rhona Mitra makes a mark with considerable screen presence as the heroine, and the cast of uglies are also deliciously depraved, as they, in one instance, spit-roast one of Eden's living teammates.
Shamelessly derivative, overblown, and at times campy, Doomsday is an extremely entertaining action film thanks to its healthy excesses of violence and gore, as well as an economic use of CGI.
A virus breaks out north of the border, and as a result the whole of Scotland is quaratined. 30 years later a team is despatched to penetrate the hot zone and find a cure for the resurgance of the virus - but the Scots have been busy in the meantime...
If all this sounds familiar, that will be because it is - like many recent science fiction/fantasy/horror offerings, particularly British ones, it assumes that no one in the audience has seen a genre film before, and therefore the ideas will seem quite fresh. This is wrong in so many ways.
In this one, the plague is from '28 Days Later' by way of Romero, the quarantine is from 'Escape from New York' and the 'Banlieu 13'. The Scots are cyberpunk 'Braveheart' - even the "camera" glass eye that one of the heroes has is from the "Thief" series of videogames. I could go on.
This is actually quite a pacy, well-directed movie, which would have been a ground-breaker if it had been out in the early eighties, but as it is, burdened with cliches, it seems little more than a lame Mad Max clone. This is a pity, as the director has a good reputation and track record, but this half-baked actioner will gain him few plaudits.
One final thing. I'm not one of those people who gets their knickers in a twist about product placement, but it seems to me that the entire last third of the movie is simply an advert for Volkswagen. Sorry, I meant say Bentley!
The Dvd extras are nothing to write home about - rather paltry compared to the superb 'The Descent' double disker: an introduction by the director (looking a bit uneasy, I thought), some production galleries and sketches and a very short bit on visuals. Pretty lame.
Doomsday is a British apocalyptic action flick. The director's (Neil Marshall) influences are obvious: 28 Days Later and Mad Max with a bit of The A-Team thrown in for good measure. In 2008, in Glasgow, the Reaper virus breaks out, a highly infectious disease causing bodily sores and violent vomiting before death. This results in Scotland and parts of Northern England being barricaded off in a new style Hadrian's Wall. It is a no fly zone - no one can get in and no one comes out. Satellites keep an eye on proceeding but the people beyond the wall are left to get on with it until they all die out. Twenty Seven years later, and the rest of Britain is suffering mass unemployment, and are shunned by the rest of the world. Eden Sinclair (Rhona Mitra) is a major in the Dept of Domestic Security (DDS), a new kind of army helping control the riots and trouble that erupts through the disharmony that occurs throughout the country. As a child, she was also one of the last people to escape The Hot Zone (as it was known) before the gates of the wall shut; she just has an envelope with a name and address on to remind her of where she was from.
When it becomes apparent that there are survivors showing up on the satellite footage of the Hot Zone, Eden is sent to lead an elite unit to track down a Dr Kane, who had been looking for a cure and had chosen to remain behind the gates. They encounter a group of bandits who are very angry and very hungry and are prepared to snatch and kill members of Eden's party. The question remains, can Eden and the others get away and find this Dr Kane?
It has to be said that the plot of this movie has quite a few holes, but I think that comes with the territory if you are going to watch an end of the world type film. If you gloss over these aspects the film is quite fun for the most part, and unashamedly Over The Top. We have a fab, strong female heroine, a nutty bandit-leading bad guy, the Can-Can danced in kilts and some political corruption. What more can you ask for?! Throw in some lovely rural scenery and a car chase or two and you're well away. The film is funny in places, but I don't entirely think that's the intention. This film is never going to threaten the big guns in these type of films, the whole budget for this flick is probably the same as the wages the big named actors get in the US counterparts.
Cast wise, British viewers will find themselves thinking "Oh look it is thingy for the Telly" as lots of recognisable, if not big name faces show up. Bob Hoskins plays an unlikely DDS boss, Rhona does her bit well and Adrian Lester can always be relied on. Craig Conway who plays bandit leader Sol, is just fabulous in the role and may forever find himself cast as a bad guy/psychopath. I can't fault the rest of the cast in their performances, there is not much screen time for a lot of them, and no one is going to win any Academy Awards, but they all did their jobs convincingly enough. Music wise you have a rather amusing 80s rock soundtrack to listen to also.
If you can suspend your disbelief enough, you will be rewarded with an OTT, slightly silly but rather entertaining movie.
I love films about the apocolypse...but I demand a script full of integrity. This is something I did not get from this film and I would advise no one to watch it. Do I sound harsh...yeah I probably do, but this film made me mad as I imagined that if someone saw this as their first apocolyptic film, they would be scarred for life!
The premis is a great one. A virus attackes and kills millions in Scotland so the English Government does the sensible things and bricks them all in behind a wall. From here on in though the film just sinks. I will give some of it away as its important that as few people see this as possible!
1) You find a car that has been locked up in a garage for 30 years and it still works straight away..how fortunate eh! Its also fortunate that in that car there is a mobile and you just happen to know the telephone number for the prime minister and guess what...the 30 yr old phone still works perfectly
2) The film thinks it is about knights and damsels one minute and then Mad max the next. There is no continuity in the plot at all.
3) The actors are weak as anything and clearly most have only ever been extras.
We watched this film thinking that it would be just like 28 days later a great British film...it wasn't. the plot was weak, flimsy and didnt do the potentiasl story justice. It was just a mess.