Yet another apocalyptic virus strikes the British Isles. Boy, there's a
spate of those goin' around. The virus strikes in Glasgow in 2008 and, in
order to contain it, the authorities in the UK quarantine Scotland by sealing
it up along the old Roman frontier, closing its airports, and patrolling its
sea coasts. That last one must have been no easy task, but Britannia does rule
the waves, I guess. Essentially, the rest of the world goes about its normal
business and leaves the Scots to live or die in lawlessness. Most die, but
others survive and create various warring post-apocalyptic tribes. The tribe
which rules Glasgow consists of the leftover extras from Mad Max, who spend a
good deal of their time creating some highly stylized pseudo-savagery while
they hold chaotic raves. The other main tribe recreates medieval life as
envisioned in the tales of the Round Table, with perhaps a touch of ancient
Rome added to the stew for seasoning.
In other words, after 27 years of lawlessness and savagery, Scotland is
pretty much the same as it is today. Maybe better, because the bagpipes seem
to be gone.
After all those years of successful
containment, the deadly virus finally breaks out in London. The only way to
save England from Scotland's fate is to send a team into the anarchy of
Scotland to analyze why some people were immune to and survived the virus,
thus facilitating a cure or a vaccine. For that team, headed by tough-chick Rhona Mitra, getting into Scotland is a simple matter. Finding what they seek
is difficult. Getting out is just about impossible.
The bad news is that the film has no real heart and soul, and is
just a sequence of more or less unrelated action sequences. There's the
mandatory "walking through dark places with guns and flashlights" scene, the
"medieval combat" scene, the "road warriors car chase" scene, and so forth. If
your friends are movie geeks, you can play "spot the movie reference" with
them. To begin with, you should spot Aliens, The Road Warriors, 28 Days Later,
Resident Evil, The Warriors, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, Escape from New York,
and the complete oeuvre of Robert Rodriguez. Plus a touch of Excalibur.
There's plenty of gore and
splatter virtually everywhere, almost always presented in fast cuts and
accompanied with wild music to make it all seem even more hectic. The entire
effort is consistently over the top.
As any good genre entertainment should, the film contains a gratuitous nude scene.
Not only is the nudity unnecessary per se, but it occurs
within an entire sequence which is utterly unrelated to the
main plot. A big thumb up from us to the director for not cutting it! Actually, it's a pretty cool action scene, as grisly shoot-'em-ups go.
At any rate, it would
not have been possible for the director to cut all the scenes in this movie
which seemed stranded from the others, since the entire movie seems like a
sequence of unrelated action scenes featuring a common character.
The good news is that the action sequences are actually pretty good, and
mostly done with real cars and horses and stunt performers rather than CGI and
miniatures. Although Doomsday seems less like a single film than like a
collection of four or five separate and vaguely related shorts, those shorts
are not so bad, if violent, crazed action is your bag, baby.