Thursday, March 20, 2008

Ms. Mitra, Tear Down This Wall!


Release: 03/14/2008
Rated R
1 hour, 45 minutes

Full Price ($$$$) <> Matinee ($$$)

It's 2008, and a decimating virus dubbed "the Reaper" spreads through the populace of Scotland. Afraid of the disease spreading across the Isle, the British government works quickly to erect a huge wall isolating the infected from the healthy. Nearly thirty years pass, and a second outbreak of the virus has been discovered. In a last-ditch effort, the Government, knowing survivors exist behind the wall, decides to send an elite military team to recover any information about a cure before they have to seal off another chunk of British real estate. Highly recommended and highly rebellious Major Eden Sinclair, played by Rhona Mitra (Shooter), leads her highly trained fodder, um, team into the unknown with less than forty-eight hours to save humanity...or not bother returning.

You ever find yourself watching a movie and you realize that its creator is really having a good time? Writer-director Neil Marshall (Descent) createss himself such a landscape in Doomsday. An elite team of ass-kicking soldiers complete with future tech square off against a forgotten people who have fashioned themselves into an army of tattooed, leather-clad, Road-Warrior style cannibals. That alone is a enticing premise, but why not go one more and give audiences a rival faction of survivors who have reverted to the Middle Ages (complete with knights on horseback) who even live in the castles of yore? The average director would have been satisfied, but not Marshall. For good measure he even throws in a wicked car chase, some funky '90's Brit pop, and I'm sure I spotted a kitchen sink in one scene.

Sure, Marshall was having a blast, but what about me? I loved it...mostly. Establishing the necessary premise for the film was thorough, but left me scratching my head on some of the finer points. Then with each new, wild layer, I felt my brow furrowing at the logistics of it all. But by the end, I found the explanations satisfactory enough, was rolling with the punches, and enjoying every minute of the glorious insanity.

Rhona Mitra does her best acting to date. Maybe it's because she gets to use her natural accent, or maybe it's because she gets to kill anything that moves. Either way, it's a good look for her. Marshall includes Bob Hoskins (Unleashed) and Malcom McDowell (Halloween) to add some much needed name recognition and acting cred, but not much else. Craig Conway (Descent), who plays Sol, has solidified his place in the halls of film's loco leaders.

Dirty Undies
Savage, sword-wielding punk women, armor-clad knights, leather-clad gimps and even '70's style drug runners; Mitra takes on all comers without flinching. If the movie excels at one thing above all else, it's the gratuitous violence. I lost count of how many heads rolled, how many vehicles exploded, how many bodies were crushed and how many bullets ripped people apart. The best part is Marshall captured every last gory detail and even threw in a bit of tongue-in-cheek to lighten the mood. All that, and Rhona Mitra was hot, too.

The Money Shot
Doomsday is Neil Marshall's wet dream. It may be too outrageous a concept for many people, but I have a feeling its eclectic concept is one that will solidify its cult classic status. Problems not withstanding, Marshall manages to entertain while injecting some social commentary. If he had only avoided the time-stamping dilemma suffered by Demolition Man...

Large Association of Movie Blogs


  1. S.D. "Snake" Plissken as a woman. Its too bad Mitra's character wasn't given the dialog to back up this obvious parallel.

    This movie got laughable really quickly.

    That medieval segment was a joke and the road warrior segment was corny.

  2. It was great cheesy fun, and as random as it comes. I'm curious to see if this will spawn a sequel.

    Maybe then she'll get some better lines.

  3. And a shower and f*ck scene. Wait a minute, the latter is on season 3 of Nip/Tuck.

  4. The shower and f*ck scene are a must have for Doomsday 2. But only if it's a women in prison shower scene.

    She's yet another of my fave actresses to appear on Nip/Tuck. I really need to watch that show.

  5. When I said shower and f*ck scene, I meant a Rhona shower scene and a Rhona f*ck scene.

    Her character was great on that show. She was great in the last season of The Practice and as well.

  6. When I wrote "But only if it's a women in prison shower scene." - I had Rhona in mind. I thought she'd get captured, forced into a communal shower that somehow evolves into a lesbian love scene.

    Guess that thought was more clear in my mind, than in my comment.

  7. Communal shower. That's better than what I thought up.

  8. Happy to spread my sordid fantasies around.

    The Afro-sporting chica in the intro reminded me of Pam Grier's prison-exploitation flick Black Mama, White Mama.