Monday, 17 March 2008

Doomsday

Neil Marshall's Doomsday opened this weekend in the US without the benefit of press screenings and did a disappointing $4.7 million. I saw it a few weeks ago but was asked not to write anything about it since it's not released in the UK until May 9. So I won't. But if I was to express my opinion, which I'm not, obviously, then I wouldn't be surprised if it was something similar to this Fangoria review which begins: "The biggest disappointment about Doomsday is not so much that it’s a pastiche, a stitched-together collection of scenes from great sci-fi/action/horror films of the late ’70s and ’80s. The real shame is that it comes from writer/director Neil Marshall, who brought a fierce originality and vision to his two previous movies, Dog Soldiers and The Descent. In that duo, he applied a distinctive intelligence to the werewolf and subterranean-terror subgenres, along with a talent for sharp characterizations. One could understand something like Doomsday coming from a feature first-timer who has yet to develop his own voice and feels most comfortable homaging favorites from the past, but it’s a shame Marshall has sublimated his considerable gifts in what amounts to his major-studio big break. All the derivations become wearying before the halfway point, and the occasional self-reflexive in-reference (like naming two of the characters “Carpenter” and “Miller”) can’t take the curse off. Homage is one thing, but the longer Doomsday goes on, the clearer it becomes that the film has nothing new to add to the mix. And not only have any number of cinematic influences appear to have been run through a blender here, but some of the action setpieces have as well: A key swordfight and the climactic car chase have been editorially Cuisinarted into virtual incomprehensibility." But that's one man's opinion. Not mine. Just so we're clear.

5 comments:

Gerard said...

That makes my heart sad. After the Variety review I'd been holding out hope for this. I love Marshall's first two films, and though this one has had me worried for a while, optimistic I still remained. Drag.

Still, Sacrilege should be Marshall back to doing what he does best, and the idea of a gold rush horror flick (last one I know of is Dead Birds, which I actually rather enjoyed) is something I've wanted to see (read: make...) for ages...

Schmid4Brains said...

you're hilarious.




this is obviously not my opinion. i just overheard someone say that about you here in the office... where, um... you are widely talked about on a regular basis.

Mark Salisbury said...

You should hear what they say about you! :)

Mark Salisbury said...

Haven't heard of Dead Birds — will have to check that one out.

When you say "make" — is that a wannabe filmmaker talking?

Gerard said...

Dead Birds is interesting. It's quite an odd thing, but I actually really enjoy it.

And yes, that is most certainly a wannabe filmmaker talking. One sitting here with script after script and not a clue how to actually get things made on an at least semi-professional level (the $200, three mates and a desk lamp approach can only go so far...)