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DOOM

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Video games are fun because they put the player in control: Open this, turn here, kill this, kill that. You rule, dude. Films based on video games pointedly leave the viewer outside the action, watching passively as somebody else cocks the Big Effin' Gun and takes aim. But since even wildly successful video games such as Doom don't need a back story, any attempt to add one inevitably falls flat. The narrative -- check that, narratives -- added to Andrzej Bartkowiak's adaptation are deeply lame, running the schlock gamut from bio-engineering to war drama to family crisis to some bits leftover from Alien and Monday Night Raw. Shot entirely in murky corridors, the film scrimps on monsters and offers zero thrills. Even The Rock, who stars as the leaden Sarge, fails to turn on his winking he-man riff. By the time the film switches to aping the game's first-person-shooter framing device, you'll itch to blast this dreck right off the big screen. (AH)

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