You know, I think we may be experiencing a video game movie renaissance. I remember a long stretch of the 80s and 90s — okay, basically since there were movies based on games — when they were universally terrible, the low watermark by which modern movies were measured. Whereas, these days it seems like every video game movie I see can easily hold its head level with the mediocre genre fare being made that does not happen to be based on lines of code.
Case in point: Doom, loosely based in look on the third game of that series, in atmosphere on Alien, in plot on a freshman Ethics class, and in casting on Full Metal Jacket. You know how I mean. We’ve got the fear of God guy, the creepy coward guy, the strong silent black guy, the wisecracking black guy, the naively raw new guy, the, um, Asian guy (well, I never said it was a perfect mapping; or that I’ve seen Full Metal Jacket, for that matter). Plus our main characters: Hero-with-a-troubled-past guy, Scientist-who-shares-a-mysteriously-link-with-the-hero,-and-is-also-hot chick, and Sergeant The Rock.
So, you take all these guys, put them on Mars with some guns and some insufficiently hellspawned demons, and you’ve got the spam on a space station classic of 2005. Gallons more blood than I’ve seen in any new horror movie in several years, a massive body count, all kinds of scenery chewing courtesy of the gradually zombifying science board of Mars, a rolling head, a more gratuitous than usual breast, and enough vomit to recall the days when the audience would get sick in droves. You know, because of how shocking and violent the movie was. (This one isn’t, you understand; it just had a lot of vomit, is all. Space sickness. Spi- but I digress.)