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A Spy Gets A Look At Neil Marshall’s DOOMSDAY! How’s It Shaping Up?!

Hey, everyone. ”Moriarty” here. I’d say there’s a lot of expectation placed on this film right now. Neil Marshall has been “the next big thing” for a while now. THE DESCENT and DOG SOLDIERS both garnered some pretty effusive praise, but neither one was a breakout hit for him. He’s got the goods as a filmmaker... I think that’s obvious by now... but he hasn’t put it together 100% yet and made that movie that really cemented his place. Is this one going to be it? Man, I hope so. And I know a lot of other people who are rooting for Marshall, too. Let’s see what our spy thought of it:

Hello all at AICN. I'm at work right now and feel the need to send this review over to you. Forgive me for all the grammatical errors, I'm rushing this one, but you'll get the jist of it. I recently saw an early screening for Neil Marshall's next film "DOOMSDAY". As a fan of Neil Marshall i was excited to see this movie. Dog Soldiers and The Descent kicked fuckin ass, so obviously Doomsday could do no wrong. Or could it? Heres the skinny…. THE MOVIE:The movie opens with a voiceover by Malcolm mcdowell giving the viewers a background about a virus that is killing off most of Scotland and English bordering countries in the spring 2008.we see images of people decaying and dropping dead in the streets. to avoid the spread of infection, a wall is created at the London/ Scotland border which quarantines Scotland in its entirety.the people are forced back into Scotland through the doors or shot dead by soliders. Once welded shut, there is no escape for the infected and for the innocent. Everyone is forced to live amongst themselves in chaos until everyone kills each other or dies from the illness. One mother manages to give her small daughter to a group of soldiers and fly her out via helicopter. Skip to 2033. The virus returns in London. We also find out that for the last 3 years, there is new community of people or survivers living in Scotland. Long story short, there seems that there might be a cure for the infection over the wall. The hierarchy and General Bill Nelson (Bob Hoskins) recruit a kick ass soldier , Major Sinclair, well played by hottie Rhona Mitra and who was once that little girl who escaped the quarantine, to gather a team and locate Dr. Kane (Malcolm McDowell) and bring home the cure. The problem is that for the last 25 years, no one knows what or who's over the wall. Sinclair and her team head through the gates in armored tanks filled with the latest futuristic equipment. Once settled, they head out to investigate an old run down hospital hoping to find the cure. The place seems desolate, nobody in sight. The team spread out. They all end up not finding any further clue and leave. All of a sudden angry punk-like natives appear from every direction. They rush the team with homemade weapons and are out for bloodl. The team head back to the vehicles when seriously, half the team is killed. Sinclair is captured and brought to Sol, the leader of the people. 2 other teammates escape. Sinclair is hung up by chains in a cell and interrogated by Sol, a Mohawk headed, Scottish, punk leader not only interested in what Sinclair can tell him as to why they are there but to eventually cook her and eat her. Seems all the locals are cannibals. In the corner of the room is a gimp in full black zippered s&m ghettup chained to the cell wall. Sinclair tells Sol nothing and after getting punched in the stomach a full 5 times she passes out. Sol and his group of primitives leave the cell and go celebrate. We're in an arena, with a stage. Sol gets on stage to modern music classics and seems to have a concert celebration. People cheering, dancing, and raving with glowsticks? He gives a speech that describes how they are going to eat their captives and everyone cheers. One of Sinclair's team is brought out to the crowd, strung up on a post and ready to die. They light him on fire, and the crowd devours his cooked body. Sinclair awakes, picks her locks, and escapes. She has a sword fight with Sol's leading lady, chops off her head, and leaves, when someone screams for her out from another cell. Its Sol's sister, also the daughter of Dr. Kane. She tells Sinclair she can take her to her father. Sinclair agrees , they leave. The two prisoners meet up with the other group members and head towards the great doctor. The natives are hot on their tail, lead by Sol driving a beat up school bus. They manage to get on a train and escape. After traveling through the country side which is actually quite beautiful their ride is over. They head into the woods in the direction of Dr. Kane. All of a sudden we see knights in shining armor on horseback galloping through the forest. It's Dr. Kane's henchmen and executioner. They capture Sinclair and her team and take them to the doctor. The team is brought to a large castle in the countryside. The community within its walls are medieval. knights, peasants, weapons, and the king, or Dr. Kane for that matter. Sinclair is once again interrogated by the doctor. He doesn't want to help her or her team. He's bitter about being left behind to die in the first place. He tells her that after everyone with the virus died off the best of the best survived and reproduced becoming immune to the disease and starting a new life an old fashioned kind of way, hence all the knights and armor and swords etc…. He doesn't help her but instead throws her in a cell with his daughter and the rest of the group. Sinclair is called to meet her doom. Shes pulled from the cell and thrown outside in a gladiator ring to battle the king's executioner. People watch from above the ring, cheering. Obviously Sinclair wins the fight and escapes…again. They all rush out the castle but unfortunately another group member played by Adrian Lester gets shot by arrows and falls down dead. Her and her remaining teammate along with Dr. Kane's daughter escape to some kind of abandoned warehouse. There they open a trailer to find a sparkling new working Bentley. They also open brand new boxes of cell phones, grab one, get in the car and hall ass out onto a highway. Speeding over a bridge and on their way home, they realize they are now being tracked by Sol and his fellow punk rockers. Anarchy ensues all over again. We head into a mad max road warrior chase down complete with speeding, ramming, cars flipping over, explosions, people getting run over, guns, even the gimp is strapped to a board grunting for pain. Sol hops out of his vehicle and onto the Bentley. For about 10 minutes we see him trying to choke Sinclair in the passenger seat, while another punk anarchist is trying to steer the car off the road from the other side. A bus stops in the middle of the road ahead. They have no other choice but to drive right through it. Sol's head gets decapitated. We see his screaming head fly towards camera. This is supposed to be funny. Sinclair uses her new cell phone to call headquarters. The general takes a helicopter and lands in a safe spot to meet Sinclair and get his cure, which, confusingly is Dr. Kane's daughter, who is now immune to the virus. I know I was confused as well. Sinclair decides she wants to go back to her old home and reminisce about her mother she once knew when she was a little girl. Bob Hoskins shows up and tells her it's ok and to come back with him, she refuses, therefore he then says goodbye and she stays in Scotland to roam the land. The End. CRITIQUE: I knew I was going into this movie knowing that I would love it, or at least like it. What I got was something else. What I watched was this silly, far fetched, horribly paced apocalyptic disaster. Now I know this was only a test screening and not a completed picture. We all filled out the surveys at the end of the film and asked about what we thought etc.. but Neil Marshall people! C'mon! I like Neil Marshall's movies because of the lack of bullshit in them. So why in hell, is there more bullshit in this movie to last a lifetime? I have no answer. I'm not sure how much studio influence is to blame here. I mean Mr. Marshall wrote this thing also. Yes, it was a different take on these kinds of films, whether it be the Mad Max trilogy, 28 Days/Weeks Later films, or even Escape From New York, but Doomsday just didn't do any kind of justice to itself or even to a modern take on the classics. The story was too slow in spots and too fast in others. A re-cut should fix this, but it won't fix the far fetched storyline. It became laughable at times. It was like 6 movies in one and you didn't know what kind of movie you were watching. The whole knights in shining armor was just ridiculous. The character of Sinclair looking like one of the chicks from The Descent in black spandex battling a 7 ft armored executioner had me cracking up. I felt embarrassed. Then when they randomly stumbled upon the brand new and working might I add, Bentley using words like "looks good, I'll take it" has me looking for the exit to the theater. The movie had comedy in it. You were supposed to laugh at Sol sometimes, and his over the top nature, but why? There was so little comedy in this that I didn't understand why is was put there in the first place. Either they need to add more, or take all the comedic sections out, because they didn't work. The cast was basically miscast. Bob Hoskins as this general, or chief or whatever just didn't fit. Malcolm McDowell has the voice, the accent, and can play any kind of bad guy you want, but it's such a small role that it didn't matter who played it. What I'm trying to say I guess, is that besides Rhona Mitra, who had the sex appeal and believability as a kick ass soldier, everyone else in this movie stunk. Sinclair's whole team was filled with unknowns and then you have all these very small supporting roles played by movie stars. It felt strange, especially for a Neil Marshall film. Most of Sinclair's team had forgettable faces. Even the ones that made it to the end of the movie without being killed off I forgot about as soon as the credits rolled. The character of Sol was decent played by Craig Conway. He played it very over the top and insanely off beat compared to his work in Dog Soldiers and The Descent. It was the star power used in this movie that was unnecessary and ineffective. It would have been better to just use unknowns throughout this film. It didn't hurt The Descent did it? No. The score was a mixture of sorts. It reminded me of eerie sci-fi classics like Blade Runner or when used dramatically it sounded like an old episode of 21 Jump Street with 80's synths and droning pianos. The only thing that bothered me was during action and climactic sequences they used music from 28 Weeks Later and, I swear I heard score pieces from Last of The Mohicans in there. Again, this is a test screening so hopefully the score will be re-treated and mixed. I'm not sure who scored the film as I'm writing this. The special effects and gore were one of the only good things about this film. You have to hand it to Neil Marshall. The guy knows how to kill someone on screen. Whether it's eating someone flesh, chopping off someone's head, or blowing the shit out of a character, this guy knows how to do it. Some audience members said it was too gory at times but I disagree. It was spot on. And if you don't take the story too seriously while watching this film, then the gore can actually be your safety net to surviving it. Unfortunately I have to get back to work. I hope my two cents on this movie will give at least one person an idea of what they might be in for come Doomsday's release date. I myself, will be there again with my fingers crossed hoping somebody out there took the time to refine the shit out of it, because God knows it needs it. Call Me THE SICK KID
Readers Talkback
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  • Sept. 21, 2007, 8:51 a.m. CST

    Sounds like a video game

    by CarmillaVonDoom

    Is it based on one? And the quote from the reviewer about the "hottie Rhona Mitra" has me scratching my head in puzzlement as well.

  • Sept. 21, 2007, 8:54 a.m. CST

    But does he kill superman?

    by zer0cool2k2


  • Sept. 21, 2007, 8:55 a.m. CST

    oops my mistake

    by CarmillaVonDoom

    Rhona Mitra is pretty hot; thought she was someone else. This review is disappointing as hell, the stuff I've seen so far looked pretty good, and who doesn't like 'The Descent'???

  • Sept. 21, 2007, 8:59 a.m. CST

    The "London-Scotland border"?

    by Heleno

    Whereabouts is that exactly? Luton?

  • Sept. 21, 2007, 9:12 a.m. CST

    I'd sleep with Rhona Mitra

    by classyfredblassy

    And she would like it and come back for more.

  • Sept. 21, 2007, 9:12 a.m. CST

    How many times can you get captured and escape?

    by Abin Sur

    In just a two hour movie?

  • Sept. 21, 2007, 9:13 a.m. CST

    Well I don't have see that movie now...

    by V'Shael

    after getting that blow by blow scene by scene breakdown. <p> There should be a category above spoiler, for when someone basically gives you the entire story from start to finish.

  • Sept. 21, 2007, 9:14 a.m. CST

    was that a review or cliff notes version of the film?

    by c4andmore

    jesus christ, talk about spoilers. Now I have no reason at all to see that film since I know everything about it now. Fuck you

  • Sept. 21, 2007, 9:18 a.m. CST

    No shit V'Shael

    by redfist

    Why was the money, punkass told us the whole thing...I stopped read after she picked her lock and escaped. The Sick is The Retard Kid.

  • Sept. 21, 2007, 9:48 a.m. CST

    The London / Scotland Border.

    by kingrobot

    Is that like the New York / Mexico border? I'm reading no further. This reviewer is an idiot. I do not want to be burdened with any more stupidity.

  • Sept. 21, 2007, 9:55 a.m. CST

    you wrote ALL that at work? i would fire your ass!

    by future help


  • Sept. 21, 2007, 10:07 a.m. CST

    Soneone Tell Reviewers...

    by Kubla_Khan

    ...we need opinions, not blow-by-blow descriptions of the film. We just want to know if it's any good - we don't give a shit what colour the actress playing the lead's arm hair is. Fuck.

  • Sept. 21, 2007, 10:22 a.m. CST

    Christ what a horribly written review.

    by DocPazuzu

    And I'm not just saying that because I love Neil Marshall and want this guy to be wrong about Doomsday. <p> "London/Scotland border"? WTF? <p> A gimp on a board "grunting for pain"? <p> That having been said, this does sound pretty bad - or rather, it's either going to be one of the worst movies ever or mind-bogglingly awesome.

  • Sept. 21, 2007, 10:24 a.m. CST

    Hey heleno!

    by DocPazuzu

    Saw you on R&J.

  • Sept. 21, 2007, 10:26 a.m. CST

    thanks for the synopsis, i dont have to watch this now

    by HamiltonGeyser

    spoilers to shitty movies are great

  • Sept. 21, 2007, 10:34 a.m. CST

    A lot of people I know hated "The Descent"

    by Mr. Profit

    So I didn't catch it in the theater unfortunately. I wound up buying it on DVD though and I realized people were stupid for knocking the film. I thought it was great personally. It was like Alien 1 for the 1st half of the cave scenes, then the rest of the movie featured some great action. And I really dug the original ending. Anyhow, I'm now down for whatever movie Marshall makes.

  • Sept. 21, 2007, 10:38 a.m. CST

    Hasn't cemented his place, Mori?

    by fatdrunkandstupid

    I don't know what else you have to do other than make the best straight horror movie of the last 10 years in order to cement your place. Sure, THE DESCENT wasn't a huge box office hit, but time will hold it up as a classic of the genre.

  • Sept. 21, 2007, 10:39 a.m. CST

    And Rhona Mitra...

    by Mr. Profit

    Is one half of the "Carver" duo right? If it's the same chick, then yeah she is really hot. Marshall know's how to pick hot chicks. The woman who played Juno in The Descent was way hot.

  • Sept. 21, 2007, 10:40 a.m. CST

    Nothing's changed

    by The Handsome 12th Doctor

    Reading a bad review of this film may get me less interested in seeing it. But not *that* bad review. I stopped reading when it became clear they were writing a plot run-down and not a review. So for the time being this 'review' doesn't even exist to me. My interest in Doomsday remains the same as it did this morning.

  • Sept. 21, 2007, 11:12 a.m. CST

    real review

    by great whiter

    This guy is an idiot! Marshall rules. Below is a review I found on imdbpro.. by momoyanks 1 day ago (Wed Sep 19 2007 19:24:10) Ignore this User | Report Abuse -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- So apparently we were the first audience to see the unfinished product. The director, Neil Marshall and filmmakers were there, (i thought that was really cool). I am usually not into bloody and violent type films, i love drama pieces but I have to say the movie was great! It had everything u could want outta a film, a good story (very well told), action, drama, twists and turns, and the characters were memorable. I enjoyed the entire film including the violent and really gory scenes, in fact, it kinda made the movie for me. It was gross out/funny/shocking. Lots of blood, guns and killing. It started with a very brief Outbreak like story to transition into full on action (Escape From New York is the only movie I could compare it 2). It took u from modern day to an underworld to an almost medieval setting. I can not tell u how much i enjoyed it, maybe cause i went into it with no expectations and it was different from anything I've seen (but i don't watch horror). I actually thought it was a popular video game turned movie, I was really suprised (in a good way) cause i really never thought i could enjoy a movie like this and now I have to watch Neil Marshall's other films. I would recommend it to anyone, especially my male friends. It's gonna be a huge movie. If anyone else was there or has seen it please post, I wanna hear what evryone else thought.

  • Sept. 21, 2007, 11:15 a.m. CST

    Im Fucking Stumped!!

    by boyblue

    Some moron rights a blow by blow account of this film, Pulls a David Copperfield and makes 3 quarters of England vanish! (Scotland/London border?) And theres still no real AICN acknowledgement that there is a JLA film being rushed into production!!! Words fail me!

  • Sept. 21, 2007, 11:48 a.m. CST


    by Film Whisperer

    I stopped reading halfway through the synopsis. But as someone who thought DESCENT had one of the scariest first 45 minutes in film history, before descending (no pun intended) into ridiculous cheese when the creatures showed up, this movie sounds ridiculous. Even conceptually, it sounds like hack work. Maybe all that hype for Marshall was premature. And the title sucks, too.

  • Sept. 21, 2007, 11:53 a.m. CST

    Mr. Profit

    by DocPazuzu

    If by "the original ending" you mean the downbeat one, then that's actually the official ending of the film in every part of the world except the United States. <p> As for people dissing The Descent, I've found that they almost always consist of hopeless cinetard dumbasses who say things like "it was too dark" or "I couldn't tell which girls were which".

  • Sept. 21, 2007, 11:55 a.m. CST

    Dog Soldiers is gold, too...

    by DocPazuzu

    ...albeit for different reasons. A rare, successful combination of gore, siege and teh funny.

  • Sept. 21, 2007, 12:11 p.m. CST

    Virus has spread through London...

    by CopOnTheEdge

    There's an original premise. Pass!

  • Sept. 21, 2007, 12:14 p.m. CST

    The next time Sick Kid...

    by Hudson_77

    ...looks for the exit, find it & go. Seriously. In fact, you might want to avoid the one marked "Entrance" too. This is not hastily written with typos, this is just a poor writer. Glad to see you haven't given up your day job. Obviously one that didn't require basic secondary education qualifications like English & geography. I'm not making excuses for the film but it is at a VERY rough stage, it has not been scored yet & it is different from his previous efforts. It's certainly not boring & the studios have been good enough to stand back for the most part & let Neil put his vision to screen. Clear your mind of his previous work, don't go expecting "28 Weeks Later", zombies or any of the other misconceptions on the IMDB noticeboards & you might discover a little cult gem like we used to get in the 80's.

  • Sept. 21, 2007, 12:50 p.m. CST

    Road Warrior Turns into Excalibur..WTF?

    by Redfive!

    I saw the footage at Comic con in july,looked great.Of coarse no Excalibur shit in there.if its gonna drasticly change why not go all out and have Space Aliens arrive to save the day. Being a HUGE Dog Soldiers and Descent fan ill half to see this,but I dont know,sounds awful,especially bob hoskins,who i never really liked.

  • Sept. 21, 2007, 1 p.m. CST

    Descent was inspired ... stick to horror

    by cowboyone

    I'm a 100% Marshall believer after Descent (Dog Soldiers, not so much) Doomsday sounds like a Resident Evil Mad Max mash up? Ugggh.

  • Sept. 21, 2007, 1 p.m. CST

    Who wrote this mess-Queen Elizabeth.

    by C.K. Lamoo

    Sounds like the Brits are still sore about James I.

  • Sept. 21, 2007, 1:17 p.m. CST

    This Dude is an Idiot

    by Kilgores Doubt

    First off...SYNOPSIS...fuck, that was practically the script without dialog. Second off, I've seen this movie, or at least a rough cut. Yes, it is completely ridiculous, but it is also fucking awesome. It basically goes from 28 Days without Zombies/Outbreak to Escape from New York to Robin Hood to Road Warrior. And to me, that makes a sweet fucking movie. I am also not the hugest DESCENT fan. So I'm not just stroking Marshall off here.

  • Sept. 21, 2007, 1:18 p.m. CST

    "and the crowd devours his cooked body"

    by godoffireinhell


  • Sept. 21, 2007, 1:21 p.m. CST

    Marshall's great.

    by TattooedBillionaire

    By the sound of this, though, it sounds like it will need many reshoots.

  • Sept. 21, 2007, 1:39 p.m. CST

    Crap review

    by fitzcarraldo2

    A review should be an outline of the basic plot, the tone of the piece etc and if it's good or not. Now I feel like I've already seen the fucking film.

  • Sept. 21, 2007, 1:56 p.m. CST


    by Frietag

    Oh, wait ... he hates it. I guess not. NEVERMIND

  • Sept. 21, 2007, 1:56 p.m. CST


    by Frietag

    Probably whoever greenlit this obvious woofer.

  • Sept. 21, 2007, 2:38 p.m. CST


    by Dr Uwe Boll

    Doomsday sounds like shit, gawd - if I want to see Escape from NY or 28 days later again I'll just slip the DVD's in. Here's to hoping this reviewer is totally wrong and that Marshall can pull it all together to make an interesting mish-mash of a film. PS - The Descent is overrated (IMHO). Giant Fluke-Worm type monsters running around in the dark, c'mon - give me a fuckin' break, what am I two? (I swear, I sat there and thought - this is like an X-File episode except without Mulder and Scully) And I'd dump the crusty bitches in Descent for 70's era Sigourney Weaver in panties in Alien any old day (theys' bitches just aint got no class). Dog Soldiers was plenty fun though.

  • Sept. 21, 2007, 4:56 p.m. CST

    The reason the Scots caught the virus.

    by C.K. Lamoo

    Is because they were TOO DARN CHEAP to pay for a vaxine! Hoot mon!

  • Sept. 21, 2007, 5:04 p.m. CST

    oh... this is a real movie!! I thought it was joke...

    by Russman

    Was there a spoiler warning on this?

  • Sept. 21, 2007, 5:14 p.m. CST

    Round about now


    Neil Marshal should be aproaching something close to a fucking good film!<P>Dog soldier dint do 0 for me and the Decent was tense but overly ripped from far superior sourses so Hope this aint just MadMAx beyond 28 days Laterz.

  • Sept. 21, 2007, 5:36 p.m. CST

    How was that "rushed"????

    by BitterMan23

    It took me my entire work shift just to READ the goddamn thing.

  • Sept. 21, 2007, 5:50 p.m. CST

    Hmm. I call "Bullshit" on this review/synopsis.

    by palimpsest

    Lonely kid tries to be notorious by criticizing film she/he hasn't seen. That is all.

  • Sept. 22, 2007, 9:18 p.m. CST

    Viri Sure Make People Be Cannibals A Lot

    by skoobyx

    Its like a week goes by and suddenly everyone's a cannibal. You think there'd be more food because there's less people to eat it. Isn't there any SPAM in Scotland? <p> Try some of that before you go eating everybody. There's soda too you know.

  • March 17, 2008, 11:50 a.m. CST

    Let down by the action, story who cares!

    by expert24

    My problem with Doomsday was the action, and a small section of the film that turned into Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. Marshall pays tribute to George Miller and John Carpenter all in one but misses the mark with the action scenes and the silly portion with knights. The movie's score even has alot of John Carpenter sounding music similar to Escape from New York, which was cool. Then, the climatic chase right out of the Road Warrior was pretty cool too. I didn't mind the story being silly, but if you do silly sci-fi movies make the action as cool as possible and that's the problem with Doomsday. Not enough hand to hand combat with the lead actress, once she fights it's all wide shots with stunt person then skip to closeup of actress then another wide shot. I hate when action is done that way, it's so uninvolving. For example, the chick from The Matrix, all of her fights were filmed with wide shots all the way through so you could see it was the actress doing the fight, minus a tiny couple here and there. Marshall films all the fights from trick camera angles and edits in the lead actress with close ups. Then, the final chase, it's all done with sped up filming, not actual stunt people flooring it. For example, The Bourne Ultimatum that car chase was all real, not one part was sped up. Doomsday makes the cars look like they're going faster than what they are. There's a scene where she does a 180 in the car but it feels slow compared to the 180 Damon did in Bourne 3. The section with the knights should have either been cut out or done way more cooler than what they did with it. I didn't hate Doomsday, but they need to work on the action alittle bit better next time. Oh! the head bad guy was good, but needs more screen time. 7 out of 10