|Directed by||Andrzej Bartkowiak|
|Story by||David Callaham|
by id Software
|Edited by||Derek Brechin|
|Music by||Clint Mansell|
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
|Box office||$58.7 million|
Doom is a 2005 science fiction film directed by Andrzej Bartkowiak. Loosely based on the video game series of the same name by id Software, the film stars Karl Urban, Rosamund Pike, Razaaq Adoti, and Dwayne Johnson (credited as The Rock). In the film, a group of Marines are sent on a rescue mission to a facility on Mars, where they encounter genetically engineered creatures.
After film rights deals with Universal Pictures and Columbia Pictures expired, id Software signed a deal with Warner Bros. with the stipulation that the film would be greenlit within a year. Warner Bros. lost the rights, which were subsequently given back to Universal, which started production in 2004. The film was an international co-production of the United States, the United Kingdom, the Czech Republic, and Germany.
Doom was theatrically released in the United States on October 21, 2005 to negative reviews. The film was a box office bomb, grossing $58.7 million worldwide against a production budget between $60–70 million. In 2019, Universal released a second live-action film direct-to-video titled Doom: Annihilation.
In 2026, a wormhole portal, the Ark, to an ancient city on Mars is discovered deep below the Nevada desert. Twenty years later, the 85 personnel at the Union Aerospace Corporation (UAC) research facility on Mars are attacked by an unknown assailant. Following a distress call sent by Dr. Carmack, a squad of eight Marines are sent to the research facility. The team includes squad leader Sgt. Asher "Sarge" Mahonin, "Duke", "Goat", "Destroyer", Portman, "Mac", a rookie ("Kid") and John "Reaper" Grimm. They are sent on a search-and-destroy mission to Mars, with UAC only concerned with the retrieval of computer data from their anthropology, archeology, and genetics experiments.
The team uses the Ark to reach Mars, ordering the Earth site on lockdown. Arriving on Mars, they are met by UAC employee "Pinky". Reaper finds his twin sister, Dr. Sam Grimm, and escorts her to retrieve the data. He learns that a dig site, where their parents were accidentally killed years earlier, was reopened and ancient skeletons of a humanoid race genetically enhanced with an artificial 24th chromosome pair were discovered.
While searching for survivors in the facility, the Marines find a traumatized and injured Dr. Carmack and escort him to the medical lab for treatment, but he later disappears. The Marines shoot at an unknown creature in the genetics lab that leads them down into the facility's sewer, where it attacks and kills Goat. They kill the creature and take it to the medical lab, where Sam performs an autopsy and discovers that its organs are human. She and Duke witness Goat resurrecting and killing himself by smashing his head against a reinforced window. The two are attacked by a creature, trap it, and soon deduce that it is a mutated Dr. Carmack.
The squad methodically tracks down and destroys several of the creatures, though Mac, Destroyer, and Portman die in the process. An angered Sarge kills the mutated Dr. Carmack. Sam, Reaper, and Sarge learn that UAC was experimenting on humans using the extra Martian Chromosome (C24) harvested from the remains of the ancient skeletons, but the mutants got loose, leading to the outbreak. Sam and Reaper try to convince Sarge that the creatures are humans from the facility, mutated by the C24 serum and that not all of those infected will fully transform into the creatures. Sam hypothesizes that some of those injected with C24 will develop superhuman abilities but retain their humanity, while others with a predisposition for violent or psychotic behavior will become creatures, a pattern she believes also happened with the Martians, who built the Ark to escape.
Some creatures use the Ark to reach Earth, where they slaughter or mutate the research staff. The Marines, Sam, and Pinky follow, and Sarge orders the squad to sanitize the entire facility. When Kid informs Sarge that he found, but refuses to kill, a group of survivors, Sarge executes Kid for insubordination, leading to a standoff with an armed Pinky. The group is suddenly attacked by creatures who kill Duke and drag Sarge and Pinky away. Reaper is wounded by a ricocheting bullet. To prevent him from bleeding to death, Sam injects her brother with the C24 serum, despite his concern that his violent past predisposes him to transform into a creature.
Reaper regains consciousness and finds his wounds have healed and that Sam has gone missing. Using his new C24 superhuman abilities, he fights his way through the facility, even battling a mutated and monstrous Pinky before finding an unconscious Sam with Sarge, who has become infected and has murdered the group of survivors Kid had previously found. Reaper and Sarge battle, both of them enhanced with superhuman powers. Reaper is able to gain the upper hand and throws Sarge through the Ark back to Mars along with a grenade, which destroys Sarge and the Mars facility. Reaper then carries his unconscious sister into the elevator and rides back up to the ground level in Nevada.
Between 1994 and 1995, following the success of Doom II, Hollywood began gaining interest in producing a live-action film adaptation of Doom. Universal Pictures initially acquired the rights, which were later obtained by Columbia TriStar. Former CEO of id Software Todd Hollenshead stated that a number of factors prevented the project from moving forward such as the Columbine High School massacre, lack of producers, and poor scripts. The id Software team screened a presentation of Doom 3 to agents from Creative Artists Agency (CAA) to see if they were interested in the property. Producers Lorenzo di Bonaventura and John Wells eventually obtained the rights.
Di Bonaventura and Wells initially set development for the film at Warner Bros., however, the duo moved development of the project to Universal after Warner Bros. failed to move the project into production after 15 months. The terms of the deal with Universal included gross point royalties for the developer and rights holder. In 2004, Enda McCallion was attached to direct the film and David Callaham was named the screenwriter, with the script loosely adapting elements from Doom 3. Callaham's early draft featured the Cacodemon, Arch-Vile, and other demons from the games but were cut due to time and budgetary reasons. In September 2004 McCallion dropped out as director and Andrzej Bartkowiak joined the project. Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg were approached to polish the script's dialogue, but declined and Wesley Strick was hired instead. Production was scheduled to begin in Winter 2004 in Prague.
Arnold Schwarzenegger was considered for the lead. Vin Diesel was offered the lead but turned it down. Dwayne Johnson was offered the role of "John Grimm" but turned it down in favor of "Sarge", stating, "For some reason I was drawn more to Sarge, I thought "Sarge" was, to me, more interesting and had a darker side." In September 2004, Karl Urban and Rosamund Pike were cast as John and Samantha Grimm. The RRTS actors underwent military training for two weeks under military advisor Tom McAdams.
Monsters and creature effects for the film were created by Stan Winston Studios, supervised by John Rosengrant. The visual effects were supervised by Jon Farhat. The film included 350 effects shots, the work was shared between two companies, Framestore who focused on character animation and creature work in 130 shots, and Double Negative who worked on environments, dimensional effects and futuristic weapons in about 200 shots. Pictures of Johnson were taken to conceptualize his demon makeup. The second layer of prosthetics took two hours to apply on Johnson while the third level of prosthetics took three hours to apply. Acrylic paint was used to cover Johnson's tattoos. After the 2D concept art, the creatures were sculpted and body-cast. Brian Steele and Doug Jones underwent head and shoulder life casting and body casting to get an impression for their body frames. An earpiece was added into the suits so that Jones and Steele could receive directions from Rosengrant, however, their mics were not enabled for them to reply. The team drew upon forensic pathology books to give the creatures a repulsive nature.
The first person shooter sequence was completely directed by Farhat and was filmed in 14 days after a planning period of three months. While the scene is one continuous shot, multiple cuts, that Farhat called "hook-ups", were made during filming, Farhat stated, "you can do it by moving a camera, and passing something, and cutting. And then rolling the camera again on a subsequent date." Other hook-up styles were used by using a green screen or blue screen when a door opens or jump cutting by whipping an object. The gun was only used on-screen when it was needed due to its size affecting the aspect ratio.
The film's score was composed by Clint Mansell, upon which he produced a remix of the Nine Inch Nails song "You Know What You Are?", which was used in the film's ending credits. The song "Switchback" by Celldweller was licensed for the trailers.
Doom received negative reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 18%, based on 137 reviews, with an average rating of 4/10. The site's critical consensus states, "The FPS sections are sure to please fans of the video game, but lacking in plot and originality to please other moviegoers." On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average rating of 34 out of 100, based on reviews from 28 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews". Audiences surveyed by CinemaScore gave the film a grade B- on scale of A to F.
Roger Ebert said, "Doom is like some kid came over and is using your computer and won't let you play." Rob Gonsalves gave it two stars, citing incoherent action sequences, flat and humorless characters, and poor acting: "Only Richard Brake, as the sleazy and duplicitous grunt Portman, gives a performance of any interest, and even that's on the level of caricature." Kim Newman of Empire magazine called it "Not quite as dreadful as Resident Evil: Apocalypse, but that's hardly a major achievement." Justin Chang of Variety gave the film a mixed review, he was critical of Johnson’s performance but positive about the "tongue-in-cheek sensibility" and the faithful display of weapons from the game. In summary: "It's really not all that bad. Ultra-derivative bigscreen transplant of one of the most successful (and controversial) games ever made plays like a mutant cross between a biotech thriller and a zombie movie, with all the alien autopsies, blood-gushing protuberances and meaningless scientific jargon that come with the territory."
Richard James Havis of The Hollywood Reporter wrote: "Plot, character development and dialogue are so sparse that the screenwriters are fortunate they're not paid by the word. But this basic approach doesn't render it ineffectual. There's so little to go wrong that those who like their entertainment mindless and violent will find little fault." Chris Carle at IGN gave it 3 out of 5 and called it "Easily the best videogame-to-film adaptation yet", saying although it is not big on plot or characterization "it succeeds in the things it sets out to do".
In a 2009 interview, Johnson described the film as an example of "trying and failing" to do a good video game adaptation, and that it was a cautionary tale of what "not to do". John Carmack (co-founder of id Software and co-creator of Doom) spoke favorably of the film, stating, "I liked it. Nobody expects a video game movie to be Oscar material, but I thought it was a solid action movie with lots of fun nods to the gaming community."
Doom was released on VHS, UMD, and DVD on February 7, 2006, HD DVD on April 26, 2006, and on Blu-ray Disc on February 10, 2009. The DVD, HD DVD, and Blu-ray releases only feature the unrated extended cut, with no options for the theatrical cut. The DVD grossed $29.2 million in domestic video sales.
In an October 2005 interview, executive producer John Wells stated that a second film would be put into production if the first was a box office success. In April 2018, it was announced that Universal Pictures was producing a new Doom film. Doom: Annihilation was released direct-to-video on October 1, 2019.
Doom is made to resemble and glorify a videogame. It has some tight action sequences and some righteous kills, and it succeeds in the things it sets out to do.