I went to see Doomsday last night, on something of a whim. And boy was I glad I did.
Spectacular action sequences, wonderful scenery, side-splitting humour and homages to numerous other films made it one of the best films I have seen in a long time.
Doomsday is the story of of a post-apocalyptic Britain, where Scotland has been walled off due to a disease that has destroyed the population. The government in London discovers survivors in Scotland and so when the disease is found in London, a team is sent over the wall and into Scotland, to track down an antedote.
The films follows their venture into a wasteland where crazed, tattooed, cannibalistic tribes run wild and feudal order has returned among those (un)lucky enough to survive. There is violence aplenty, but done in a way that is hysterically funny before it can be gruesome or repugnant.
The director was clearly having fun with Doomsday – there are nods towards scenes, styles and plots of other films like Mad Max, Aliens, Lord of the Rings, and (according to websites) numerous others that I’ve not seen. The film is full of wonderful ripostes of action film clichés, and some hilarious touches of very Scottish comedy (despite it having an English director, there was clearly some Scottish influence or understanding in the script).
But it is also very well-made, well-acted, and spectacularly put together, with some amazing scenes of a futuristic Glasgow wasteland, with run-down west end tenements and notable buildings from around the city only barely recognisable among the decay and chaos that has overcome it.
You could write the film off as shallow and silly, but given that it is a pastiche of action films rather than necessarily a serious contribution to the genre, that’s no bad thing. I haven’t laughed this much for a long time, and highly recommend anyone who likes action films, futuristic thrillers, and good doses of ridiculous humour.