What I’m about to do might be classified as controversial and I shudder at writing this a little. But then I remember I wanted to do it anyway. It started when I was browsing the Kobo store one night.
Ever since I got myself a Kobo I’ve frequently searched for novels related to things I like and then I found DOOM novels, the first on the search results was a novelization of a movie from 2005 written by John Shirley. Generally, a lot of video-game based films never surpass the games, but I try to keep an open mind. Did I lose brain cells, not really. But I decided to read the book and then watch the movie to see what else is in the DOOM universe and here are the results.
The prologue had a pretty brutal intro but there’s more gore to come and this book doesn’t mask it.
So there’s marines eh? Centered around John Grimm, codename Reaper, clearly living with PTSD (at least it seemed like he has it) as his squadron is sent to investigate the Olduvai UAC facility on Mars from Carmack’s distress call
One character I didn’t like immediately was Portman. He’s still new to the squad but no longer a rookie who hasn’t earned a codename yet, but he picks on the Kid (the youngest of the group and the real rookie) and complains about everything, so I have to say he got what he deserved eventually. But the way he treated the Kid before it reveals he’s helping the latter dope, just is a total cliche where the young newbie has to earn their place while everyone treats them like shit.
I was starting to like Duke, until he began to get flirtatious with Reaper’s estranged sister Samantha, one of the surviving scientists. Destroyer was badass who came in and went out like one.
I did enjoy the chapters that covered backstories of each marine, and I remember sitting in a quiet room reading the one where the squad goes into the sewers to chase the first spotted demon. They were later called imps but I didn’t picture them as the actual imps from the games! There was also the mention of one of them being a Hell Knight but that’s as far as we go. Turns out they are not from Hell but are the result of genetic mutations in one of the experiments the scientists were doing there. Uh, okay then.
But I think my favorite chapter was when Sam had to get by on her own to evade the demons while searching for Reaper, whom I could have sworn she shot him before he got infected but maybe I missed something. I knew there was something I didn’t like about Sarge though, the confrontation between him and the Kid could have gone better but somehow the former just turned into a killing machine.
The book was not bad despite some writing in it was cheesy and with a lot of profanity but that’s to be expected in these military stories.
Not much of a difference when I started watching but the CGI of the demons isn’t great, it’s hard to make them out for the majority of the film.
It didn’t take long for me to figure out which marine was which, although I must admit I thought that Dwayne was playing Reaper before I watched this, not Sarge. But then again, I have seen him in films where he started off as the good guy and then turned evil like when he was Agent 23 in Get Smart. I conclude after watching that yeah he seems more like Sarge material.
Many scenes occurred just as I thought they were going to go like in the book. Although there were some things they toned down or took out like some dialogue in the beginning. In the book, Portman was ripped to pieces by the demon that attacked him and here that did not happen. That was the only part of the gore that was toned down.
I’m disappointed that it cuts out Sam’s escape to make the first-person shooting scene the focus. I get things being cut out like brief backstories on each marine, but not this.
Actually a lot of things in the book were cut out which I didn’t like but if I listed them all then this post would be too long.
Now I see what happened to Reaper, the C-24 chose not to infect him, but it made him stronger and it chose to infect Sarge.
Over all, there isn’t much to say because I think I’ve covered everything I wanted to say with regards to story and characters without leaving too many spoilers. This was like a cross between horror and action. It’s not terrible, but it’s also not a masterpiece.
I can say personally that the book was better.
There’s another DOOM related film from 2019 that I may consider watching but I think I’ll just stick to the video games and hopefully the other books I found by a different author will be worth reading too.