Main cast: Rhona Mitra (Major Eden Sinclair), Craig Conway (Sol), Malcolm McDowell (Dr Marcus Kane), Adrian Lester (Sgt Norton), Darren Morfitt (Dr Ben Sterling), MyAnna Buring (Cally), Alexander Siddig (Prime Minister John Hatcher), David O’Hara (Michael Canaris), Cokey Falkow (Major Hendrix), Sean Pertwee (Dr Norton), and Bob Hoskins (Bill Nelson)
Director: Neil Marshall
Doomsday is a post-apocalyptic thriller. You may be led to expect zombies and such, but make no mistake – there are no zombies here. The villains are human, very much so. In 2008, a new incurable virus hit the people in Scotland. Called the Reaper virus, this deadly plague quickly killed thousands of people. The government of Great Britain solved the problem by walling up Scotland and leaving the people there to die off from the Reaper virus. Hmm, it seems to me that the people behind this movie are still holding a grudge when it comes to Scotland-England relations. Eden Sinclair, our heroine, was smuggled out of Scotland when a sympathetic soldier sacrificed himself and allowed her mother to put Eden into a military helicopter in his place as the helicopter was leaving Scotland.
In 2038, Eden has become a kick-ass take-no-prisoners heroine, working for the British government as a member of the military. She is nonetheless haunted by her past, wishing to know more of her mother and her past as all she has of her mother is a piece of paper with their Scottish address scribbled on it. Of course, she can’t just visit Scotland – that place is a no man’s zone now, with everyone in that place assumed to be dead already. When the Reaper virus shows up in London, however, Eden is tasked by by her superiors to lead a special team into Scotland. There have been recent satellite snapshots showing that there are still folks alive and well in Scotland. Has there been a cure found by those folks in Scotland? Eden’s team is now charged to discover this cure and bring it back before everyone in London dies.
Eden and her team soon find themselves in Scotland, which is now divided into two warring zones. Dr Marcus Kane rules an area which have resorted to living as if they are now back in the medieval era (think knights on horses and people living in makeshift castles) while his son Sol rule the ruins of the city, his men clearly inspired by those Mad Max movies. Both father and son hate each other, and poor Eden and her team are going to be caught right in the middle of the crossfire.
There is something missing from Doomsday. There are many good things about this movie. Rhona Mitra is more than capable of playing a fabulous quiet-but-deadly heroine and there are plenty of delicious gore laced with black humor. The movie boasts a pretty good cast, actually, and the pacing of the movie is good. However, the movie also has too many ongoing story lines that for a long time, it is floundering, unsure on what it wants to be. As a result, sometimes this one is occasionally a scary thriller, sometimes it is a black comedy. The focus of the movie jumps from Sol’s pack to Dr Kane’s Round Table to the sinister politic game happening in London, shortchanging all three as a result of the brevity of the focus on each story line. Actors like Bob Hoskins and Malcolm McDowell are severely underused, while of the remaining cast, only Eden and Sol stand out in any way as memorable characters. Sol is deliciously nasty and it is fun to see how he and Eden duke it out as while their personalities are so different, they both have the same merciless streak in them. But alas, even then, the movie cheats me of a really good showdown between these two characters in favor of an amusing but ultimately empty car chase that is nothing more than a product placement moment for the Bentley.
Doomsday is a fun movie to enjoy with popcorns and such, but ultimately, its lack of focus is its downfall. This movie tries to do too much only to end up not doing enough instead.