Saturday, March 15, 2008


"Sure. Why not."

That's what I told myself about midway through Doomsday, after our hero(ine) and the survivors of her commando squad had escaped a post-apocalyptic Glasgow only to encounter dudes dressed in homemade armor, riding horses through the woods and menacing people with spears and bows and whatnot. And if you should find yourself in the theater as this thing unrolls, just repeat that like a mantra, every 15 minutes or so, and you'll find the movie stays on the right side of the "stupid"/"stoopid" line.

It's a dumb movie, make no mistake. It gathers up all the high points or at any rate the most memorable aspects of Escape From New York, the first two Resident Evil movies, 28 Weeks Later, and probably a bunch of other movies, too. But it's vigorous enough, gory enough (by more than half) and enthusiastic enough about its pilfering and collaging, that I was never bored. There were a few moments when I considered walking out, but I never quite tipped all the way over the edge. If you've got two hours to kill, you could do better with this than, say, No Country For Old Men.

I watched that arid marathon of crap the other night, and rarely have I more strongly regretted allowing myself to be swept along on the tide of critical opinion. It was ludicrous in its pseudo-profundity, at least a half hour too long, and offered not one good performance to focus on (okay, Woody Harrelson was tolerable). I like one or two Coen brothers movies, but I dislike many more (I consider the time I spent watching The Man Who Wasn't There, The Big Lebowski, The Ladykillers, The Hudsucker Proxy, and O Brother Where Art Thou? to have been time wasted). I think I'll be skipping There Will Be Blood until it shows up on cable; movies that get raves and awards have been striking me as pieces of crap more and more frequently in recent years. On the other hand, critically reviled hunks of genre sludge have been providing me pleasure and entertainment - and that's all I go to the movies for.

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