Thursday, 3 December 2015

Transmorphers - More than meets the eye, but your eyes will hurt

I'll always prefer movies/creators that try to do way more than they have the capability to and therefore fail miserably, over movies that just couldn't be bothered trying more than the bare minimum (I'm looking at you Birdemic, the only movie (so far) I've ever rated a "1" on IMDB), and Transmorphers definitely falls into that first category.

This Asylum mockbuster, trying to look like Transformers (released the same year), is actually in the vein of Matrix/Cleopatra 2525 with elements from Demolition Man, Blade Runner, Star Wars, Terminator and Transformers (the animated ones), and some (inadvertent) social commentary.

- A hundred years after mankind blew up the skies to combat the rising army of robots, the remaining humans have been surviving under the earth, keeping a stale-mate by not engaging the robots, and prosecuting anyone who suggests fighting. Finally scientists think they have found a way to fight back, but the team sent out to test the new device were all slaughtered. Seeing no other option, the military defrosts known pro-war vigilante Warren Mitchell and his friend "Itchy" to launch a final, desperate attack at the robot overlords. But is there more to Mitchell than meets the eye?

The script is trying way, way too hard, with so many sub-plots and characters that it's hard to keep up (I only mentioned about half the plot threads in my summary), not to mention the amateur editing that rhythmically flashes "lightning bolts" at you and runs both the sound effects and the music over the voices when we're outside making it impossible to hear what anyone is saying (which unfortunately is almost half the movie), and yet, there's a certain charm to the whole thing.
While none of the plot elements are unique or new, the way the story is grafted together is pretty well done, and the lesbian sub-plot (from not having enough male lead actors) blends quite well with the futuristic, dystopian setting (though she is a really bad general). It just doesn't have time to develop any of the story threads since it's basically forcing 5 films into 1.

The ending is genuinely almost good, and Matthew Wolf as Mitchell is head and shoulders above Asylum's usual actor quality, while Griff Furst (Itchy), Sarah Hall (trooper), and Shaley Scott (crazy person, see above) all deliver quite entertaining performances.

If you can handle the headache-inducing flashing and the inept sound editing, and like different takes on known sci-fi plots, this asylum mock-up is actually worth a watch.

P.S - Leigh Scott, you can overlay the countdown over all the scenes, even when we switch to people/places where the countdown wouldn't be heard. We would understand that it's an editing choice to bring all the different plot elements together.

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