Dwayne Johnson has been a part of many huge movies. At the present time, he is the highest-paid actor coming out of Hollywood, stringing together hit after hit at the box office. But one of his movies, when he was going by his WWE moniker of “The Rock”, didn’t fare as well at the box office but has seen a lot of playtime on the Netflix streaming service. That is all about to come to an end when video game-turned-movie Doom leaves Netflix in the USA on April 27.
Those of you who are fans of the popular video game franchise will have an idea of what the movie entails. This story, which stars Dwayne Johnson as Sarge, finds a group of space Marines called the Rapid Response Tactical Squad on a mission to a science facility on Mars after a reported security breach. This team is able to get to Mars quickly as a wormhole portal, called the Ark, has been discovered in the Nevada desert.
The team, which includes Reaper (a game Karl Urban), is sent on a search-and-destroy mission and upon arrival, Reaper finds his twin sister Samantha (an also game Rosamund Pike) as one of the few survivors. They go in search of other survivors as well as data from earlier archeology and genetic experiments. As Reaper escorts his sister, he discovers that the dig site where their parents were accidentally killed years earlier has been reopened and skeletons with genetically enhanced DNA were found.
Doom quickly evolves into a monster movie, with the team getting picked off one by one. The remaining team then discovers that the facility was set up to experiment on humans with the extra DNA chromosome found from the remains of the ancient skeletons. Sam tells Sarge (Dwayne Johnson) and Reaper that not all humans turn into blood-thirsty monsters, some of them will not change entirely but instead have superhuman abilities.
Some of the remaining creatures have found the Ark and have made their way to Earth, where they have slaughtered the research staff. Some of those staff members have also changed into creatures. The remaining squad follows them, beginning their fight for survival while also trying to close down the Ark so other creatures cannot follow. During the battle, Sarge gets taken away by the creatures, and Reaper is injured by a bullet. To save his life, Sam injects him with the serum developed from the ancient skeletons.
What comes next is what made the video game so popular, a first-person shooter view of the battle between Reaper and a now infected Dwayne Johnson. The first-person view took 14 days to shoot after planning and designing time of three months.
Simply put, Doom was another failed attempt at turning a video game into a movie with the intention of a movie franchise. Producers were banking on Dwayne Johnson’s name as a huge selling point, along with the popularity of the video game, but what they failed to realize is that they also needed a good story to help sell the movie. While it may now be considered a cult classic, at the time it was released, fans did not flock to the movie theater to see it.
Arnold Schwarzenegger was the first to be offered the role but declined. Vin Diesel was also offered and he too turned it down. When Dwayne Johnson was brought on, he was first slated to play John “Reaper” Grimm but felt the role of Sarge better suited him, so he took on the “bad guy” role. During his appearance at the 2005 Comic-Con, he explained to fans via IGN his choosing of Sarge, “When I first read the script, and read it for [the part of] John, after I read it, I thought wow John is a great character and, of course, the hero of the movie,” Johnson said. “But for some reason I was drawn more to Sarge, I thought Sarge was, to me, more interesting and had a darker side.”
Doom was directed by Andrzej Bartkowiak and he was given a $60 million budget to bring the video game to life. Written by David Callaham and Wesley Strick, the movie was expected to be a box office hit. Instead, it was a massive failure. In total, the movie earned just about $59 million worldwide.
As for Dwayne Johnson, he has been able to put the disappointment of the movie behind him to become the world’s most popular and highest-paid actor. He did give an honest opinion of the movie when he spoke to MTV saying, “We are an example of trying and failing.” Johnson then added, “It always just comes down to writing and material.” Perhaps this is why Dwayne Johnson eventually formed his own production company (Seven Bucks Productions) and takes a major hands-on approach when it comes to scripts and movies he plans to appear in.
Dwayne Johnson’s popularity does not look to be waning. He has been part of some big franchises (Fast & Furious, Jumanji) as well as some big solo efforts (San Andreas, Central Intelligence) and looks to be continuing with his upcoming Netflix movie Red Notice as well as Disney’s Jungle Cruise and Black Adam. But if you’re in the mood for some early “The Rock” action and have no plans to use your brain, Doom is a great choice. But you better hurry, Netflix will say bye to it soon.