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Review byMatthew Turner7/05/2008

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 105 mins

With its bonkers mish-mash of genres and blatantly stealing from other movies, Doomsday is utterly ridiculous but highly entertaining with it.

What's it all about?
Doomsday begins in June 2008, when the outbreak of a deadly virus leads to the rapid evacuation and subsequent quarantining of Scotland, with a heavily reinforced barrier erected on the site of Hadrian's Wall. Twenty-seven years later, a new outbreak of the virus is discovered in London, causing the Prime Minister (Alexander Siddig) to send an elite group of soldiers (including Adrian Lester and Sean Pertwee) into still-quarantined Scotland in search of a possible cure.

The soldiers are led by no-nonsense commanding officer Eden Sinclair (Rhona Mitra), who was separated from her mother during the evacuation and subsequently raised by the military. What they find is a gang of feral survivors headed by the vicious Sol (Craig Conway) and a rival, quasi-Mediaeval society led by Kane (Malcolm McDowell), the mysterious doctor who may hold the key to the survivors' existence.

The Good
It's hard not to love a film that sets a deliriously exciting Mad Max-style car chase to the sound of Frankie Goes To Hollywood's Two Tribes. This set-piece is undoubtedly the film's high point, but director Neil Marshall also throws several other gleefully bonkers sequences into the mix, including: a battle to the death in a gladiatorial arena; an escape (by steam train, no less) from an angry mob; and a bizarre cabaret-cum-ritual sacrifice scene that has to be seen to be believed.

The Bad
Those expecting serious sci-fi are destined for disappointment, as the flimsy script is just an excuse to stitch together the various genre-blending action sequences – indeed, the film's premise is completely forgotten in all the mayhem. Similarly, the acting is dodgy in places (though Mitra does okay in the ass-kicking stakes) and there are some ridiculous lapses of logic.

Worth seeing?
Despite its ridiculous plot, Doomsday delivers plenty of thrills and is hugely enjoyable in a leave-your-brain-at-the-door sort of way. Worth seeing.

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Content updated: 25/01/2020 12:41

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