posted by @SteveHatesU
Let’s imagine for a moment that you’re some hotshot movie producer and your production company has officially run out of good ideas. You’re desperate to crank out a Summer Blockbuster, but it’s too risky to go with one of the thousands of original scripts piling up on your desk. You’ve noticed a trend lately where more and more movies that are based on popular video game franchises are coming out. The fan base is already there. The stories are already written; all we have to do is adapt them for the big screen.
Perfect! So which one do we go with?
I loved that game! But, oh shit, it’s already been done. And it was pretty bad. Well, what can we do that’s like Resident Evil but better?
Nah, I heard they’re already working on that.
Hey! Remember DOOM?
No, I mean do you really fucking remember DOOM?
So it kind of seems like a no-brainer here. DOOM is hands down one of the best video game franchises in history. It may not have started the first person shooter genre, but it certainly popularized it. The game lends itself perfectly to make a solid, action-packed, super gory explosionfest similar to the likes of Predator, Terminator 2, Total Recall, Kindergar– IS ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER TOO OLD TO BE IN THIS MOVIE?! You know who isn’t too old and is just coming off of doing a bunch of solid action flicks? The fucking Rock, that’s who!
Seriously though, do you remember how ridiculous your boner was when you heard that they cast Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson to star in the movie adaptation for DOOM? I remember mine; it actually broke the pair of pants I was wearing at the time. I had to buy new pants!
Alright, we’re on the right track! We’ve got the license to produce a movie based on the popular video game franchise, DOOM. We’ve got the next big king of action movies to star in it, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
And Karl Ubran!
Yeah! Karl Urban!
Why the fuck not?! He was Eomer in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. He’s hot!
Yeah, but I don’t really see why we need him, I mean – we have The fucking Rock.
We need Eomer too, alright?
Fine, hire Keith Urban.
WHATEVER! Do we even have a fucking script yet?
Oh and now the hard part! For the sake of brevity, let’s take a look at just the first game in the series (ideally what the movie would be based on).
The story is actually pretty simple, especially by today’s Hideo Kojima-like standards. You play as a space marine, designated for assignment on one of the two moons of Mars, Phobos, as punishment for assaulting your commanding officer after the prick ordered your unit to open fire on civilians. Phobos, along with its sister moon, Deimos, are the sites where the Union Aerospace Corporation (UAC) is conducting various teleportation experiments by creating gateways between the two moons. During one of the experiments, the computer system begins to malfunction. After Deimos mysteriously disappears, the gateway on Phobos opens up and something “fragging evil” comes out, possessing or killing everyone in sight. A squad of marines is then summoned to investigate while you’re stuck guarding the hangar. Soon, all radio contact with the squad is cut off, leaving just you to stop the onslaught of demons from invading and attacking Earth.
There are three episodes containing eight levels each. After each episode, the story line is advanced by scrolling text (lay off – it was 1993, OK?). After fighting through Phobos, you find a gateway to the lost moon, Deimos. While on Deimos, you discover the moon has been transported to just a bit outside the gates of Hell. After battling through Hell and stopping the mastermind behind the invasion, you’re transported back to Earth. All seems serene and peaceful until the camera pans over to show that you were too late; Hell is empty, the devils are here.
Even though we’re talking about transitioning this story line to the big screen, the gameplay is very important to keep in mind. This is not, I repeat, NOT survival horror. You’re not conserving ammo, you’re not hiding from the boogeyman, you sure as shit aren’t praying that nothing will be around the corner waiting to rip your head off. Your mission is to destroy every mother fucker that comes out of that portal from Hell. Your objective is to shove a double-barrel shotgun up a demon’s ass and pull the fucking trigger until it goes “click”. Your purpose in life is find a rocket launcher that can shoot rockets faster than you can say, “suck my boomstick!” so that you can paint the already blood-soaked walls of Hell with a fresh coat of demon guts. You’re a pissed off space marine with heavy armaments, a strong back, and an itchy trigger finger.
There’s no way we can fuck this up!
Oh hey, we fucked it up…
Remember when you were a kid in elementary school and you had to do a venn diagram, showing the differences and similarities between, say, a book and its movie adaptation? Well let’s do that, but with DOOM.
Similarities: It’s called DOOM.
And now the differences: Instead of one tough-as-nails space marine we get eight quirky space marines. And hey! They even have a really cute name: The Rapid Response Tactical Squad (RRTS) Hellfighters. Aw… that’s adorable. Instead of a gateway to Hell being opened up, we have the discovery of a 24th Martian chromosome which, when injected into a normal human, either transforms them into raging zombies, or super humans (depending on how much “good” they have inside them). Instead of an army of Imps, Demons, Spectres, Cacodemons, Lost Souls, Barons of Hell, Cyberdemons and Spiderdemons, our villains are zombies (not in DOOM) and a Hell Knight (from DOOM 3). Did anyone involved with the making of this movie ever play DOOM?
Since The Rock, or “Sarge”, turns out to be a total dick and just wants to kill everyone, I guess our Doomguy for this movie is Karl Urban or John “Reaper” Grimm….oh I fucking get it now! “Reaper Grimm – Grimm Reaper”. Clever shit, man. Reaper has a twin sister who is a scientist and does things throughout the movie. There’s also a guy who’s completely missing the lower half of his body and moves around on Professor X’s wheel chair. I guess he does stuff during the movie, too. Since this isn’t technically a review of the movie, I’ll keep my opinion short and sweet: it really fucking sucks.
What if it didn’t suck, though?
Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against Karl Urban, but what was the point of casting him as the protagonist if you already had The Rock on board? Was it the other way around? Was Urban signed on before The Rock? Did they doubt their ability to put asses in the seats with a movie based on DOOM, so they tried appealing to the WWF/WWE crowd? Whatever the case, pick one – not both. There’s one Doomguy, not many Doomguys (don’t get semantical – multiplayer doesn’t count). If you want those other marines to be around, fine, but have them all get possessed by demons or killed right away. RIGHT AWAY!
Also, this isn’t fucking Resident Evil…in space…Dead Space. This isn’t Dead Space! This is DOOM. There aren’t any zombies, just demons. There isn’t some “virus” or “infection” or “chromosome”, just a portal to Hell. I want to see Imps and Demons get blown apart by Doomguy. I want to see Doomguy drop into Hell and battle Spectres, Cacodemons and Lost Souls! I want Doomguy to have the most epic, balls out, brutal, heavy-metal throw down with the Cyberdemon. And I want all of these demons to be brought to life on screen with practical effects! Limit the fuck out of use of CGI. And you know what, while we’re at it, if you can’t produce a movie scene that looks like this, just don’t fucking make horror movies!
Speaking of visuals, let’s see Hell! Turn it out, man. Let’s make this evil as fuck! I want to see pentagrams, inverted crosses, goat heads, the Time Warner Logo – anything associated with evil. I want pools of blood and lava and bones everywhere! Towers of corpses reaching up to as far as the eye can see! The transition from the sterile space station to the pit of hell needs to be the most dramatic, haunting and disturbing thing ever put to film.
Conversely though, just like in the video game, Doomguy needs to not give a fuck! He gets off on this shit! Surrounded on all sides by nothing but pure evil? So fucking what?! This guy’s got nothing to lose. He has to stop Hell from invading Earth. He’s going to use his elite training and his thirst for combat to bury all of the minions of Hell under his boots. Of the two choices between The Rock and Karl Urban, I smell what The Rock is cookin’!
There obviously needs to be some substance with the movie in terms of dialogue and storyline, otherwise you just have a 45 minute long music video. Throw in a few characters that Doomguy meets along the way. Maybe a sniveling, wormy-guy that acts as the comic relief and even gets Doomguy out of a few sticky situations. Give Doomguy some independent hot chick to banter back and fourth with until she eventually succumbs to his gun oil soaked “charm”. Give him a commanding officer that guides him through the space station, loses contact with him in Hell, and eventually betrays him – revealing this was all a set up. At this point, I almost don’t care how canned or cliche the storyline is, just give me a proper translation from the game.
Honestly, I’m not surprised the movie sucked. Making a movie based off of a popular video game is apparently a death wish. Hell, call this movie anything but DOOM and you might even have a semi-decent action/horror flick. It’s the legacy that drags it down. You’ve got to be too tough for Hell to live up to the expectations this game brings. And what if the movie version of DOOM didn’t suck? Well, we’d probably have a trilogy of movies and The Rock probably wouldn’t have been in Gridiron Gang or the Tooth Fairy. So, yeah, our lives would have totally been changed for the better…or something.
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