MOVIE: Doomsday (2009)

I saved this movie to my DVR about eighteen months ago, when we first got DirecTV and had three months of free HBO.  I kept meaning to watch it and never getting around to it, until last night when I decided enough was enough.  Turns out, never getting around to it was probably the way to go.

This movie, directed by Neil Marshall (The Descent and Dog Soldiers, the second another movie I keep meaning to watch and never getting around to; the first one I enjoyed overall but had some serious beefs with), is about a killer virus nicknamed  “Reaper” that, as the story opens, has infected most of Scotland.  There’s no cure, there’s no vaccine, there’s nothing that can be done except die.  And so, in an attempt to protect themselves and the rest of the world, England makes the decision to wall off the entirety of Scotland, using super-high steel-plated gates stretching the length of the land border between the two nations.  Anyone trying to cross the wall (or fly/boat out) is immediately killed, no questions asked.  Except for one — a little girl whose mother hands her off to some British soldiers about to leave Scotland for good (always one  ol’ softie on the chopper, huh?).  This little girl, it turns out, is about to become our movie’s heroine.

Cut to about thirty years later, and Scotland is a dead nation, still in isolation, while England, cut off from the rest of the world by disgust (their methods not having been globally approved of) has slipped into a recession so deep it’s led to massive ghettos, debilitating poverty, and urban over-population.  The little girl from the helicopter is now Major Eden Sinclair (Rhona Mitra) of the Department of Domestic Security, a bad-ass with a computerized fake eye.  When an outbreak of the virus suddenly strikes London, the Prime Minister decides there are only two options:  wall off London and let everybody die, or send Sinclair and a team into Scotland to find survivors who might hold the key to a vaccine or cure.

They opt for the latter, naturally, and here’s where the movie goes from intriguing to (Mad Max + Riverworld) x (The Road – Viggo Mortensen).  The team crosses into Scotland and finds themselves immediately surrounded by a gang of survivors, dressed in rags, leather, and spikes with incongruously high-maintenance hair (Scotland suffered from dramatic shortages of food and cloth, apparently, but clearly no shortage of pomade and razors).  They end up killing most of Sinclair’s team, taking her hostage to find out what she’s up to and how she was planning to escape the wall back to civilization.

When Sinclair learns that one of Scotland’s most famous scientists is still alive on the inside — a man who had been working on a cure 30 years ago — she decides she has to find him.  He becomes the quest.  But before we get there, we must first sit through endless, repetitive scenes of shoot-outs and car chases with the mohawked rebels, lots of predictable political nonsense, and a whole mess of ridiculous dialogue.  Not to mention incessant doot-doot-bonk-bonk style synth music, which apparently Marshall thought would add dramatic suspense to (every single moment of!) his film.  But which instead primarily sounded like it had been scored by me at age 14 with my Casio.  That is no compliment, sir, even if I have been playing the piano since I was five.

Do the good guys win?  Oh, sort of.  I guess it depends on what you mean by “win.”  If you’ve read down this far, and you watch these sort of things, you already know how this one ends.  It ends with me rooting for the virus to win, and hoping there’s a sequel that features the H1N1 swine flu virus wiping the entire cast into oblivion.  Doomsday II:  Oi!NK. (Ha ha, get it?  Oi!, the British exclamation?  Shut up, that is HILARIOUS.)  Now THAT’D be a movie worth recording to the DVR.  Hop to it, SyFy Network.

[Netflix it | Buy it]

Genre:  Virus, Science Fiction
Cast: Rhona Mitra, Bob Hoskins, Caryn Peterson, David O’Hara

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9 Responses to “MOVIE: Doomsday (2009)”

  1. Liz Says:

    LOL, LOL!! Literally!! I LOVE your idea for the sequel! I’d probably watch that BEFORE watching this one! No I wouldn’t – this one actually sounds mildly entertaining – especially because it features Scotland (which I am – Scottish that is – partly….). They should have used Kevin McKidd, who IS Scottish, and was in “Dog Soldiers” … but now he’s a big TV star (silly “Gray’s You-Know-What”), and probably wouldn’t “stoop so low!” And if “Sy-Fy” can produce giant piranhas that leap in the air, and are very funny, they can CERTAINLY produce a movie with such a well-thought-out concept as yours!

  2. TC Says:

    Oh god
    I saw this piece of colonblow in the theater, and was stupid enough to buy the uncut unrated dvd thinking it might get better.
    The first ten minutes are excellent. Then it turns to pure crap.

    I could go on and on about this one
    The good thing is this movie is great to MST3K with your friends over beers and bonghits

  3. megwood Says:

    Hah, yes! This one would be perfect material for razzing and drinking games!

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