“Doomsday” – Susan Granger reviews

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There must be people who are drawn to action-packed, post-apocalyptic fantasies – because there are so many and, remarkably, most of them seem to make money. So here goes….

In the 2008 prologue, a pandemic threatens to annihilate the human race. It begins in Scotland and, within days of detection, the virulent Reaper virus infects millions. The United Kingdom declares the entire country a “hot zone” and quarantines the populace with a 21st century version of Hadrian’s Wall – with reinforced, steel ramparts and remote sentry guns.

Skip ahead to 2035 and the Reaper re-appears – only, this time, it’s in London. And the Brits discover that, miraculously, there are survivors in Glasgow. Somehow, they must have developed a cure. The Prime Minister (Alexander Siddig of “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine”) summons the Security Chief (Bob Hoskins), who recruits Major Eden Sinclair (Rhona Mitra), a sexy eye-patch wearing Scot who was evacuated as a wee lass. She and her armed soldiers are to go into the “hot zone” to find a Dr. Kane (Malcolm McDowell) who was working on a counteragent. What they discover are crazed cannibals in a gruesome, graphic medieval netherworld straight out of “Mad Max.”

Writer/director Neil Marshall (“The Descent,” “Dog Soldiers”) shamelessly rips off elements from “28 Days Later,” “Escape from New York,” “The Road Warrior,” “Resident Evil,” and “I Am Legend,” among others, giving you the eerie feeling that you’ve seen all this mayhem before. No doubt that’s why it was not screened for critics before its initial release. It’s also revealing that – in the production credits – the stuntmen and women outnumber the actors.

On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, “Doomsday” is a disgusting, gore-filled 2 – with a conclusion that leaves the door ajar for a sequel.

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Susan Granger

Susan Granger is a product of Hollywood. Her natural father, S. Sylvan Simon, was a director and producer at R.K.O., M.G.M. and Columbia Pictures; her adoptive father, Armand Deutsch, produced movies at M.G.M. As a child, Susan appeared in movies with Abbott & Costello, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Margaret O'Brien and Lassie. She attended Mills College in California, studying journalism with Pierre Salinger, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, Phi Beta Kappa, with highest honors in journalism. During her adult life, Susan has been on radio and television as an anchorwoman and movie/drama critic. Her newspaper reviews have been syndicated around the world, and she has appeared on American Movie Classics cable television. In addition, her celebrity interviews and articles have been published in REDBOOK, PLAYBOY, FAMILY CIRCLE, COSMOPOLITAN, WORKING WOMAN and THE NEW YORK TIMES, as well as in PARIS MATCH, ELLE, HELLO, CARIBBEAN WORLD, ISLAND LIFE, MACO DESTINATIONS, NEWS LIMITED NEWSPAPERS (Australia), UK DAILY MAIL, UK SUNDAY MIRROR, DS (France), LA REPUBBLICA (Italy), BUNTE (Germany), VIP TRAVELLER (Krisworld) and many other international publications through SSG Syndicate. Susan also lectures on the "Magic and Mythology of Hollywood" and "Don't Take It Personally: Conquering Criticism and other Survival Skills," originally published on tape by Dove Audio.