Plot: What’s it about?
When a lethal virus known as the Reaper overtakes Scotland, the entire nation is not just quarantined, but walled off from the rest of the world. After years pass, the virus resurfaces outside the quarantine zone, which prompts officials to seek out a cure in time to save mankind. The mission is to go inside the zone, locate survivors, and find out how they’ve avoided death. The leader of the squad is Eden (Rhona Mitra), who was inside the zone as a child, but now serves as an officer in the Department of Domestic Security. As Eden and her elite squad go inside the zone, they discover a wasteland, overrun by vicious cannibals out for blood and run by an insane tyrant. But a potential cure is rumored, so despite the incredible dangers involved, Eden and her crew must push on. Can they survive the trek inside the zone and if so, can they find the supposed cure and save mankind?
If you’re a fan of post-apocalyptic cinema, you’ll not want to miss Doomsday. While this movie might not be long on originality, it pays tribute to all the genre staples and then some. Fans of post-apocalyptic chaos will be able to pick out scenes lifted from other films from start to finish. This might put off some folks, but if all you’re after is wild action and a fun, but familiar atmosphere, then Doomsday will deliver. I had a blast with the picture myself, as I love movies like Mad Max, The Warriors, and Escape From New York, so this ride was a pleasure. At the same time, Doomsday doesn’t earn much praise for its own performance, as it does just take parts from other sources and little else. So if you’re after a unique cinematic experience, skip Doomsday, but if you love these kind of movies, it is well worth a rental.
Video: How does it look?
Doomsday is presented in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen. I wasn’t as taken in by the visuals as I expected, but this is a solid high definition presentation. I found detail to be strong, but not often up to that three dimensional presence that we’ve come to love and expect. Even so, most scenes look crisp and well detailed, to be sure. No issues arise with colors, as hues hold up a bright, bold look, while contrast is on the mark and consistent. In direct comparison to the DVD release, this Blu-ray is head and shoulders above and this is the version you should seek out.
Audio: How does it sound?
This DTS HD 5.1 option is great, a fun and active soundtrack. The surrounds are loud and wild here, with power to burn and great attention to detail. So not only do the gunshots ring out with such snap that you might duck behind the couch, but calmer scenes stand out as layered and well developed. This adds a lot to the experience and while this soundtrack isn’t landmark, it is better than most. The music sounds good too, while dialogue is clear and never falters. So a great soundtrack, but even so not a disc to use as a reference. This disc also includes subtitles in English, Spanish, and French.
Supplements: What are the extras?
U-Control is here and while it looks like some of the DVD supplements are absent, in truth a lot of that material has been usurped into this U-Control presentation. You can check out Tech Specs for some insights, Reaper Files for backstory information, and Picture in Picture for behind the scenes clips and what not. I didn’t explore this U-Control content in depth, but the PIP material seemed worthwhile for the most part. Exclusive to this Blu-ray release is an audio commentary with director Neil Marshall and assorted lesser members of the cast. Marshall dominates the session, which is good since the four actors are by no means prominent within the film and as such, less is more.