Director Neil Marshall has proven an ability to revise genre films in the past, whether it was werewolves(DOG SOLDIERS) or mutants(THE DESCENT) so, it was easy to be excited about what he'd do with his take on "post-apocalyptic" horror films. While there are some creative moments in "DOOMSDAY," nothing about it is as original or inspired as were his earlier films, and even at its best, it only "tries" to pay homage to films like "ROAD WARRIOR: BEYOND THE THUNDERDOME" and even the worst of the "Mad Max" trilogy was better than this.
Rhona Mitra, a pretty, and does a fine job here, but, it's obvious that she's meant to capture the persona of "KATE BECKINSALE" of the "UNDERWORLD" films and those were better too!
Set in Scotland in the future, a virus has spread, causing zombie-like results and plenty of cannibalism. The government has sealed off the perimeter of the main country, and sends off an elite commando unit to bring back survivors, apparently cured by a maniacal scientist, in hopes of finding the cure and vaccine to halt any future spread. Of course, things go wrong immediately and the members of the team that haven't met horrible deaths, rather quickly, are left to fend for themselves. A lot of obvious back-dealings are being made, and the film moves towards a pretty obvious conclusion, but not before taking some laborious misadventures into a world built to capture the Medieval aspects of the society that has endured on the outside.
There are certainly going to be fans of "DOOMSDAY," and for those unfamiliar with the previously mentioned films, much will feel new and possibly even bold.
UNIVERSAL has provided the correct 2.35:1 aspect ratio for this 1080p/VC-1 blu-ray release. Colors are often rich, and much of the film offers great depth. Unfortunately, contrast could've been better and many of the darker scenes come across as flat, due to the lack of deep blacks and grays. There are no compression artifacts, and the overall image quality is superior to many titles already available on blu-ray from other studios. A good transfer, just not great!
UNIVERSAL has provided a DTS-HD Lossless Master Audio 5.1 mix, and it engulfs the audience from beginning to end. Bass and discrete effects are utilized with impact in scene after scene. Unfortunately, there's no subtlety here, and the mix isn't as well balanced as on other UNIVERSAL releases, necessitating this reviewer to have to adjust center channel for dialogue clarity over the score and effects, more than three times.
UNIVERSAL has included a fair share of extras, including the "Unrated" version, running 10 minutes longer than the theatrical cut, and offering more gore, for the most part. An audio commentary with Marshall is offered, but it's so dry that it will only be of value to the film's biggest fans.
UNIVERSAL is again offering some great features, incorporating their "U- Control" option along with 1.1 technology, allowing for trivia facts, and featurettes/interviews to pop up during the film.