Apt Title

Main Cast: The Rock, Karl Urban, Dhobi Oparei, Rosamund Pike

Director: Andrzej Bartowiak

I’m trying to decide something. Is this movie a parody?

I don’t come to this decision lightly. I’ve been thinking about it after watching the movie, and I can’t come to a conclusive answer. Let me detail the plot and people while I keep thinking.

A gateway from Arizona to Mars was discovered (somehow, I suppose by archeologists looking for dino bones) and quickly exploited. A big base was set up, and scientists were sent off to try to find out what happened to those who built the gate. They don’t seem to be around anymore. In any case, something really bad happens (we see it as the movie begins) and people are torn apart by mysterious things in the dark.

That’s where the main characters come in. They are a group of Marines (I think, at least special ops military gun-guys) led by Sarge (The Rock), all big muscle and clipped, military-speak. They are sent off to Mars to find out what happened. He’s given orders to pretty much do what he wants, including blowing up and killing everything and everyone in his path. That seems so much neater, cleaner, somehow. Annoying civvies in your path? Mow ’em down, man!

In any case, we go up to Mars and the Marines chase shadows down black corridors and find hacked-up bodies. A lovely scientist (Pike), the sister (now that’s different, usually it’s an ex -lover or -wife of the main character) of the second main named Reaper (Urban), helps the Marines try to figure out what went wrong. Okay, okay: scientists and long-lost genetics equals. well, I won’t spoil it if you don’t know the genre. If you do, yeah, it’s what you think.

Now, back to my parody theory. The director throws in every cliché known to the horror/sci-fi genre. We have the truly idiotic people who go off alone and, yes, get themselves killed; we have the zombies (sort-of) that shuffle down corridors; we have lights that conveniently go off when the monsters are around; we have paper-thin characters who are there simply either to be eaten or to blow away the baddies; and we have the lovely woman (a blond, yet!) who stands around and screams and is rescued.

Okay. Did thee writers and director truly think all this was original? If so, I cry. If not, then I must commend them in creating a pretty good parody flick, without the overt humor. If it’s there, it’s subtle. I almost missed it. Almost.

But just in case there is no underlining meaning: well, it’s Doom the video game. This is about Marines blasting monsters. If you walk in to the theater expecting anything else, you are in for a disappointment. It delivers exactly what you expect. Only. if my theory is right, you can walk away thinking that it may be a bit more.

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