Friday, 22 July 2016
For a film featuring a massively fatal pandemic striking London, cannibal Scottish punks, Rhona Mitra being a badass, post-apocalyptic medievalists and a car chase straight out of Mad Max, there is a surprising lack of momentum to Doomsday. Perhaps it's the very fact that it contains such a wide range of elements: the movie keeps stopping to explain the next bit of madness. Or the last bit of madness. Or the current bit of madness.
The premise is that a terrifyingly virulent disease breaks out in Glasgow. Within days it has killed thousands. In desperation the UK government erects a massive metal wall to seal the border between England and Scotland. Everything north of that line is declared a no-go zone: no-one in, no-one out.
Twenty-five years later, the disease reappears: except now it is in London. The government resolves to send a team north of the wall at last, seeking Scottish survivors that they already knew existed and hope might have a cure.
Leaving behind the escalating crisis in London, the team - which is led by the aforementioned badassness that is Rhona Mitra - finds all those other things I mentioned in my opening paragraph. Demonstrating an implausible but narratively convenient facility with swords, axes and other hand to hand weapons, Mitra and her team engage in all manner of action-packed sequences as they fight for a cure that - for secret reasons of their own - the wicked politicians down south might not even actually want. Because yet another plot element was something that needed to be wedged into this already over-stuffed film!
So at the end of things Doomsday is half the movie it might have been if they'd had the discipline to only pack it with half as many things. But I still enjoyed it, because (a) Rhona Mitra is a total badness in it, and (b) it has a stonkingly fun 80s soundtrack that's a blast right out of my childhood.