With the video game adaptation “Twisted Metal” the “Deadpool” team wants to push the envelope together with Anthony Mackie, as the teaser trailer shows.
Who doesn’t remember all the countless flops of video game adaptations of the past decades? From Super Mario Bros. (1993), which basically only has the names of the characters in common with the original, to the Uwe Boll era of infamy to the flash idea of filming video games that are relatively insubstantial in terms of content even more insubstantial (“Doom,” “DOA: Dead or Alive”) – everything that should be avoided at all costs in the film business has been checked off.
The whole thing has changed in the meantime, especially regarding respectful treatment of the source material, because the people in charge come from the generation that grew up with video games, and some of them are big gaming fans. You can see that in works like “Mortal Kombat,” “Pokémon Master Detective Pikachu,” the “Sonic the Hedgehog” movies, but also the 2018 action-adventure “Tomb Raider.”
This new understanding of the subject matter is paying off at the box office: “The Super Mario Bros. Movie,” which involves Nintendo and creator Shigeru Miyamoto, has already grossed more than $900 million worldwide. The animated film is expected to break the magic sound barrier of over one billion US dollars. In addition, “The Last of Us” has inspired the gaming community and those unfamiliar with the video game.
The time is therefore ripe for adaptations of lesser-known titles or video games from the supposed second series. One of these video games is the “Twisted Metal” series, in which eight games were released for various PlayStation systems from 1995 to 2012. Sony Pictures TV and PlayStation Productions have produced a post-apocalyptic action-comedy series for the streaming service Peacock, for which a first teaser trailer has just been unveiled:
There really isn’t much to see in the teaser trailer, but no one expects that from such a teaser. What jumps out immediately, however, is the generally relaxed and cheerful vibe, only genuinely with nineties music (“Steal my Sunshine” by Len) from the CD player. Even though the plot is set in a post-apocalyptic world, there doesn’t always have to be a gloomy mood. Hope and good humor should sweeten the action-packed spectacle here. Clearly, “Twisted Metal” wants nothing more than to entertain splendidly, at least that’s what the teaser suggests.
Twisted Metal: Marvel star Anthony Mackie has to deliver a package
However, it is a little surprising that those responsible have decided to film the “Twisted Metal” series, which has not continued for over ten years. After all, the original is basically a pure multiplayer material battle with vehicles that have more weapon systems than many a state. Although there was a thin frame story, it only revolved around the deadly and titular tournament of organizer Calypso.
Instead, the video game series, which celebrated its best days at the end of the 1990s, scored with totally wacky characters such as Needles Kane aka Sweet Tooth, a crazy serial killer with a clown mask and ice cream truck as a vehicle, and Dollface, a narcissistic model with a disfigured face adorned by a doll mask that can no longer be removed.
From this basic idea, showrunner Michael Jonathan Smith, based on an idea by “Deadpool” writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, has formed a crazy post-apocalyptic adrenaline chase, in which Marvel star Anthony Mackie (“The Falcon and the Winter Soldier”) embodies the outsider Michael Jonathan Smith, who is offered the chance for a better life. However, he must transport a mysterious package across a destroyed wasteland to its destination. To avoid any nasty surprises along the way, he has not only an escort of car thief Quiet (Stephanie Beatriz) with him, but also some hot guns mounted directly to his vehicle that will spew ammunition at any time. And they will, because the road is paved with marauding gangs and a serial killer named Sweet Tooth (Will Arnett voicing and Samoa Joe acting).
In addition to Anthony Mackie, “Twisted Metal” also stars Thomas Haden Church, Will Arnett, Neve Campbell, Tahj Vaughans, Stephanie Beatriz, Chelle Ramos, Jamie Neumann, Angel Giuffra as well as Han Soto.
“Twisted Metal” will be available through Peacock beginning July 27, 2023. In this country, you can get the streaming service in combination with packages at Sky.