To preface this review, I’ve seen several Syfy original movies. You can find my reviews for such absurd endeavors as Ice Quake, and Metal shifters on this website, and I’ve managed to catch Sharktopus, and Megashark vs. Giant Octopus on my own, and they’re very fun for those of us who enjoy campy B-movies. So, given that, I can safely say that Doomsday Prophecy is the best Syfy original movie to date. This doesn’t mean that it’s a good movie, but it’s markedly superior to any other exposure I’ve had to this collection of films. There are many factors that contribute to this anomaly.
First, and most important, the script is totally decent. The story isn’t unlike any world-ending disaster movie that’s come out ever, and very much feels like the plot of Armageddon, or even the eco-preachy Day After Tomorrow. Here, the earth is being threatened by a black hole tearing its way through our solar system, on a collision course with our planet. Now, here’s where the premise gets dicey, but I did say that this is not a good movie. Humanity’s only hope is a modern day prophet named Rupert Crane (Matthew Walker), who has already published one book about disasters around the globe, which all came true. His second book is being courted by a New York publisher, and an up-and-comer in the company, Eric Fox (AJ Buckley), is sent to pick up the manuscript from Crane. Crane also enlists the help of Brook Calvin (Jewel Staite; Firefly, Stargate: Atlantis) to help the young publisher save the Earth. To do this, Crane entrusts a mystical rod to Eric which gives those who can use it visions of the future. So, not fully understanding why they’ve been chosen, Eric and Brook travel together to try to save the world.
I think the highest praise I can pay Doomsday Prophecy is that it resists the conventions of a Syfy original movie. In every one I’ve seen, the special effects are laughably terrible, the cast is desperate for work, and the script trips over itself to explain the “science” at work in the story. We don’t need to understand how an Ice Quake is possible in the real world. We simply need to accept that it’s a real thing within this movie and then move on. Doomsday Prophecy doesn’t ever explain how the psychic rod works; it just does, and that’s enough. In addition, the special effects are about as good as you’d expect for basic cable, which still puts them light-years ahead of other syfy originals.
And speaking of the cast, some might be concerned for Jewel Staite’s career hearing she’s agreed to do a Syfy original, but she seems to be doing just fine. I’ve been a huge fan of Ms. Staite for as long as I can remember; long before I had any idea who she was. From her work on Nickelodeon in Fast Forward, and Space Cases, to Joss Whedon’s Firefly, and now this, I remain as big a fan as always. Performances from A.J. Buckley and Alan Dale (Lost) are also very strong and make Doomsday Prophecy one to stick around for.
The sole special feature on the DVD is a featurette analyzing the mythology behind the film, complete with interviews from the cast and crew.
Available on Blu-ray and DVD from Anchor Bay Entertainment on July 17