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The 2005 adaptation of the video game Doom was a mess. From the acting to the effects to the massive failure of the experimental “first-person shooter” sequence, the movie fell on its face and it fell hard. On the plus side, though, while the story was decidedly horrible in the adaptation, it wasn’t the actual story of Doom the series. If the rumor that Universal is hunting for reboot scripts is true, as suggested by What's Playing, there’s potential for someone to come in and do it right.
But there’s an underlying story here that’s worth examining. Universal is entering into this production based on the success of G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra. I repeat, success of G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra. That particular film made $300 million worldwide, $125 million of which was profit - hardly gangbusters for a film of that nature with that name, but, nonetheless, it made money. The shocking part of that statistic is that G.I. Joe was a really bad film and thrashed the very essence of what the real G.I. Joe series was and still is to the kid in all of us.
Based on that, you can plainly see a mindset change in the studio. Making a movie based on the success or rather non-success of G.I. Joe tells us that Universal no longer is looking to please an audience, they’re looking to trick an audience into giving them more money. They’re no longer thinking about how to deliver a great movie, they’re calculating just how bad a movie they can deliver and still make a profit.
One way they’re going to trick you is by making the film 3D, which for some reason holds some sort of appeal to the teeming masses of movie goers and will cost a minimum of $2 extra per admission. Next, they’ll probably try and save all the money they can by keeping the budget low rather than shoveling the $60 million they threw at the original Doom. And finally they’ll cut a flashy, incomprehensible trailer that will trick you into thinking the film looks awesome, when really they’re soaking a blanket it perfume and using it to hide a big pile of shit.
This is where we need to make a change as a collective. Movies like The Dark Knight and Inception have proven that big action tent poles can be both entertaining and smart. They’re not explosions for the sake of explosions; they’re cohesive engaging stories that both visually entertain and provoke thought... and then there are explosions. Even movies like The A-Team, a more mindless action piece, have found ways to entertain and at their core remain good, balanced films. We need to stop rushing to theaters for the crap, and wait for the movies that really are good. This involves a little trust from us, your go to critics, and spreading the word about a bad movie you may have been swindled into seeing. Tell your friends, tell the internet, make people steer clear of that movie.
One thing’s for sure, we can’t keep going on like we are. Spending $13 a ticket to see films like G.I. Joe has finally manifested tangible evidence of studio greed. Join me in what I’m going to call “Operation Steer Clear” and help bring cinema back to what it should be, an artistic outlet for viewers to escape to, rather than the beacon of rampant capitalism it will soon become.