are very few things in the world more boring than watching someone else play
a video game. Except, perhaps, watching a video game that no one is
playing. This is why movies based on XBox or Play Station favorites
that statement? Okay, let's run down the rogues gallery. Resident Evil.
Mortal Kombat. Super Mario Brothers. Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever.
Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. Bloodrayne. Alone in the Dark.
There are others, too, all of which my mind is mercifully blocking out.
Tomb Raider was the only one that came
close because it tried to graft a storyline onto the game, and even it was far from a masterpiece. Add into to that motley
list the latest attempt at the conversion from arcade to multiplex:
Doom. Was there even one in that
list that was any good?
The story of Doom – if
there really is a story here – is that a group of soldiers from Mars have
to go to a settlement that has been attacked. This protection
essentially consists of shooting a lot of mutant monsters. The film is even
self-consciously precious about its origins – twice in the opening scenes,
the mission is referred to as a game.
They make vague attempts to
give the soldiers personalities – or at least types – before offering them
up as alien bait. We have the stoic sarge, the good soldier, the
athlete, the tough guy from the hood, the pervert, the religious one, the
brainy Asian, the beautiful-but-repressed female scientist, the green
rookie... you get the idea.
The movie is so lazy in its
storytelling that at some points they don't even bother to pretend it is
anything but a game. The audience is behind a gun blowing away
mutants. In one section towards the end, we go about five minutes
literally following the gun as it shoots things which jump out at us. Problem is, without the trigger in your hand it's all rather
boring. Video games are interactive. That's why they are fun.
If you just sit back and watch the mayhem it gets rather silly.
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Posted: February 5, 2006.