Who would’ve thought that a movie starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson would have any impact at all. In fact, we only ended up watching it because for some odd reason, The Corpse Bride was unceremoniously pulled out mid-week, and we were left with either watching the 40 Year Old Virgin twice, which I didn’t mind because it was completely hilarious, or Dubai twice, which I would’ve minded as it would have numbed me of all feeling.
At any rate, fifteen minutes into the movie I was transfixed, and not just because the luscious Rosamund Pike was in it, but because it was actually interesting. Of course, any video game to movie adaptation enjoys the “Wow I remember that from the game!” moments – however, that would only be good for the occasional nod of recognition. A movie will still have to be interesting for a whole 1.5+ hours, and Doom managed quite nicely to do this by putting in some actual interesting story and twist in the end.
Which brings me to this point, where I will sadly bewail the other end of the spectrum, the worst video game to movie adaptaion imho, Tomb Raider, which for the most part I wouldn’t mind at all, I mean a sucky movie’s just a sucky movie, except for one thing – you will probably not find a bigger fan of Lara Croft than me.
I mean, how can you not like Lara Croft. From the first TombRaider, she just blew me away. And unlike how you may think, I’d like to believe it wasn’t necessarily because of the short shorts, or those floatation devices on her chest we usually refer to as breasts. In my mind, there is no more obvious sign that game – programmers (or most programmers for that matter), need to get a life than Lara Croft.
The real reason I like her is for the simple fact that Lara Croft, the real version 1.0 Lara Croft of TombRaider the game and not the movie, amongst all the other video game characters I’ve ever played, is the meanest, toughest, grittiest downright bravest character I’ve ever played in a game.
Sure I know all your “you’re a freak go-get-a-life” alarms are going full blast right now, but there I was years ago, playing her character through hostile jungles, swimming in oceans (Those floatation devices must’ve helped. Sorry can’t help the pun.), battling t-rexes, thinking through complex puzzles in dark ominous underground caves and inside mountains, completely alone with nothing but the warmth of her H&K P8s to keep her company. Throughout playing it, I was thinking what a great role model she’d be for girls. Sure the fact that she raids tombs and collects ancient priceless artifacts for kicks is a little twisted, but hey Hollywood can easily re-write that little factoid to her favor I’m sure.
Anyway, it was a pioneering first person game to begin with, but the characters absolute lack of fear and ‘astig’ factor just blew me away. As far as the first version Lara is concerned, she had no room for fancy gadgets, relying on deft skill, smarts, and dexterity. As long Lara had her pistols, all was good.
Then came of course, Angelina Jolie with her ‘product-placement’ TombRaider series. I believe an interview came out saying how disappointed she was herself personally in them, saying that fans “deserved more” something or other.
So back to Doom. You can watch the trailer here, but you’ll likely think ‘b-movie’ just like anyone would with a movie so obviously hyped for teens, and being based on a video game plus starring The Rock doesn’t help in that department either. You just have to watch it really. Anyway I caught The Rock getting interviewed by CNN’s Jon Stewart and he mentioned he’s also doing Duke Nukem!, another great time-waster from my youth. Although there’s nothing solid yet, I’ll be looking out for that just in case it turns out alright too.