Wasteland Weekend

Fury Road

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Doomsday - some criticism!

I like Doomsday. I really do, but, there are three things about it that annoy me to varying degrees so here we go...
I have to say this, Sinclair should have made her escape in a FORD CAPRI. That would have been a knowing lads nod to the British Isles version of Mad Max's Bob! That would have been in sync and engaging with the rest of the movies eighties iconography. How would you connect with a new rolls Royce Bentley? It's certainly British but it's definitely not a guys car. It's a souffle when what was really required was beans on toast. The Bentley (at the time) was a new product that had no history, visual familiarity, sentiment or car culture affinity. For the amount of money that was spent on the Bentleys twice as many Capris could have been bought and another stunt set-piece could have been added to the chase sequence. While we're at it I wish Sol's Jag had been the eighties XJS. Again it would be adhering to the eighties motif. Imagine the smackdown between a Capri and the XJS. If Sinclair had been driving a p.o.s. vehicle just like those of Sol's gang it would have leveled the playing field and raised the stakes of risk and excitment in the final chase. How is it that we are in a scene paying homage to eighties movies with a character emulating eighties heroes being chased by villans in a fleet of eighties vehicles to the beat of a classic eighties anthem having a go at an iconic eighties British muscle car... oh sorry, I mean a Bentley that has less than thirty or more years of relativity than any other vehicle in these scenes? Can you see the disconnect here? This brings us to another issue I take with the movie, it's timeline. It starts in the present, jumps to the 2030's where we revel in the 80's! I have a theory that Neil Marshall's original intent was to have a story spanning a period from the eighties to the present (that being the 2008 present), an alternative eighties and present if you will. I was looking at a scene near the beginning of the movie where the Scotish evacuees are heading towards the wall. Look at the traffic jam and check the year models of the vehicles. There's a lot of eighties cars on that road. Even though Greg Staples did a concept painting of the Bentley busting through the bus I can't help but feel it's addition was a late, (and bad), decision. As for Sol's fleet, well, they had a choice of every abandoned vehicle in Scotland so why is everything they drive predating the nineties?  There's got to be some kind of conceptual reasoning for those eighties elements and I cannot but help feel it was for an abandoned story timeline.
That's the first two complaints about Doomsday.

The third is this.

I had a lot of enthusiasm for Doomsday on opening day. Probably more so than anyone else in the cinema at that moment. But when the smashing of the APC window incident happened the film literally stalled for me and for about a minute I had to wrestle with a WTF moment. It's not just that an armored vehicle windshield was shattered and smashed by a hatchet, (which it shouldn't have), but it was also an important cause and effect incident on the story but one which had a lame establishing. Like I said, I was very forgiving of Doomsday's ideas and easily bought into the notion of all Scotland being walled off, Eden's bionic eye and a bunch of other leaps of faith that unraveled on screen but this window thing just would not and still doesn't digest! I tried to rationalize it... "well maybe the integrity of the glass was compromised  if it had been hit by the rear door that was blown off the other APC." Nah! What compounds this even more for me is that almost every discussion I have with other people about the movie includes the lamenting of this incident at the instigation of these others that I talk to. I read the second draft of the screenplay and there's no mention of smashing windshield, Read crashes the APC whilst swerving to avoid a kid with a molotov! It should have been obvious in the editing suite that this didn't gel and I'm certain they would've known after a test screening!

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