Neil Marshall’s Apocalyptic Action film is a step back from his previous films Dog Soldiers and The Descent, but is still a very entertaining film. Doomsday is a science fiction action film directed by Neil Marshall and starring Rhona Mitra and Bob Hoskins.
In 2008 a lethal virus spreads through Scotland killing anyone it comes in contact with. As a last resort, the British government completely walls of Scotland trapping everyone with the virus inside. Years later the virus reappears in London and the government sends in a team to search for a man named Dr Kane who apparently has found a cure. While searching for Kane the team, led by a survivor of the outbreak (Mitra), are ambushed with some escaping, some being captured and some being killed. It turns out that the ambushers are survivors of the virus and are immune to it. In one scene one team member is barbecued alive and eaten, one of the most disturbing scenes in the film. After escaping their captors, they take another prisoner who leads them to Kane, They find out Kane is not the man they have heard of on the outside and he has Eden (Mitra) fight in a gladiator-Esq pit against a large armoured man and the others awaiting to o0 so afterwards. They escape and the rest of the movie turns more action packed with the team trying to escape Scotland while dodging both Kane’s men and the poorer survivors led by the satanic leader, Sol.
The acting in Doomsday is well done for the most part, but, the actors cheesy one liners come off horribly and could have been done without them. Mitra plays the part of the hardcore team leader well and is genuinely intimidating when it comes to confrontation. the supporting actors such as Bob Hoskins, do a good job but some are tedious, such as Martin Compston who plays Joshua, a survivor who helps lead them to Kane. The way he says his lines are irritating in that they are said the same way no matter what the emotion or seriousness of the lines. “She looks Dangerous” “She is” ugh….
The film is very well directed with good angles and fats cuts. The shots of the urban environments are appropriately tight giving a sense that it is a tomb with no way out and the very high long pans of the roaring hills in the rural areas show the beauty of Scotland very well. The lighting giving an eerie presence. In the action parts of the film, the editing is superb with the fast cutting of the fights, showing glimpses of brutality while at the same time showing massive amounts of bloody violence. In the climactic car chase the cameras get really close to the action showing things not normally seen, the crashes being a high point with the cameras showing perfectly whats happening and not getting confusing such as with other car chases like the first one at the start of Quantum of Solace.
Overall, Doomsday is a very fun, bloody film that gives out a good atmosphere when first coming to the nasty urban areas but loses its edge when getting to the country areas with Kane. The action is packed with entertaining moments and accompanied with great music and camera work, it really shines. The acting is fine for the most part and plot is easy to follow without being too thin, but the film just feels like it is trying to hard not to become a 28 Days later rip off and becomes less impacting towards the end. It’s a step down from Marshall’s other work, but not that big.