How do I begin to describe the awful mess that is Neil Marhsall's Doomsday, the new movie from Crystal Sky Pictures, starring British beauty Rhona Mitra (late of the absurd F/X late-night drama "Nip/Tuck")?
We start out watching a mish-mash of the plots from 28 Days Later and Resident Evil, as a beautiful government agent (Mitra) is sent to Scotland to seek the cure to the deadly Reaper virus. Scotland is now a walled-off wasteland of decaying urban set pieces and cast-offs from The Road Warrior. Pursued by ruthless punks replete with 80's-era leather and mohawks, Mitra and her team of commandos must reach Dr. Kane (Malcolm McDowell), the man believed to have developed a cure. How he managed to do so in a ransacked hospital in the midst of a collapsing society is never questioned. Of course, the doctor is nowhere to be found, and the commandos quickly get themselves captured. After a brief interlude including a scene featuring graphic cannibalism, Mitra escapes, and the chase is on.
At about the 80-minute mark, the movie violently and inexplicably changes gears into a medieval period piece: as our intrepid heroes flee from generic post-apocalyptic B-movie extras, they find themselves surrounded by… fifteenth century knights. If this turn of events doesn't make any sense here in this review, don't worry. Those of us in the theater were just as confused.
An hour and a half into the 105-minute "film", my fellow movie-goers revolted against Marshall's writing and direction. Smatterings of sarcastic laughter and snide comments began to break up the monotony, and I wondered if I wasn't witnessing the birth of a new cult phenomenon along the lines of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Would young goths and punks queue up at midnight to throw toast and yell out witty responses to McDowell's contrived dialogue twenty years from now?
I won't spoil the "surprise" ending for those you foolish enough not to heed my words and avoid this pap. Suffice it to say that the conclusion fits right in with what I'd come to expect from an hour and a half of baffling story and logic-free character development.
A mishmash of more movies and genres than I could name in such a short review as this, Doomsday tries to be many things at once and fails at almost all of them. The remaining stew of cliches and laughable "plot" points is unpalatable at any level.