Doomsday ** (out of ****)

Director: Neil Marshall
Writer: Neil Marshall
Cast: Rhona Mitra, Bob Hoskins, Adrian Lester, Alexander Siddig,
Malcolm McDowell Rating: R (strong bloody violence, language and some sexual content/nudity)
Running Time: 105 min
Release Date: 3/14/08

There must be some gloomy premonitions in Merry Ole England of late. They have been treating us to some very depressing visions of the future such as The Children of Men and V for Vendetta. Neil Marshall who previously directed The Decent is back with Doomsday.

The premise is that a viral epidemic breaks out in Scotland in 2008. The Reaper virus is so deadly the British government writes off all of Scotland by quarantining it with a 30 foot tall wall constructed along the English-Scottish boarder. All of Scotland is left to die. Then 25 years later the Reaper virus breaks out in the slums of London. It turns out that a satellite photo of Glasgow has revealed signs of human life during the past three years. British officials believe that Kane (Malcolm McDowell), a medical researcher left behind in Glasgow, may have found a cure.

The government has just the operative to lead a team into quarantined Scotland to find Kane and hopefully get the cure. Eden Sinclair (Rhona Mitra) is a major in the Department of Domestic Security (DDS) with a reputation for doing the tough jobs. She is one of the few who got out of Scotland just before the quarantine. However, her mother was left behind in order to give her a place on the last helicopter out. One further note is that she lost an eye due to a ricochet when a soldier fired on an infected man. Her new artificial eye contains a video camera that will play a key role in the finale.

Major Sinclair is leading a force in DDS troops in two armored vehicles into post-apocalyptic Scotland where we find that the survivors have been reduced to cannibalism. They fearlessly attack anyone not of their group. There are two factions that we might call “the punks” and “the medievalists” who are at war. The punks still have rock concerts and favor music by the ’80s group Fine Young Cannibals. They have a lot of piercings and body art as one would expect. The medievalists led by Kane have a castle, knights in armor, and bowmen.

We have plenty of action as the DDS troops are killed off leaving our girl Eden to settle scores. The potential viewer should be warned that this is a very violent film with people decapitated, burned alive, and killed my different ways. This will most likely set Rhona Mitra’s career on the path to be Britain’s new tough girl. Perhaps writer and director Neil Marshall was trying for a certain comic element in all of the mayhem. If so I believe that he succeeded.

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