The very idea of cryogenically freezing criminals is moronic. People pay millions of dollars to have themselves cryogenically frozen so they can live forever. Hardly seems like punishment to me. This conceit is also a blatant rip-off of Demolition Man. That film benefited from Daniel Waters’ brilliant screenplay that elevated the material from B-movie idiocy to a social satire on the dumbing down of society due to consumerism. Leigh Scott is no Daniel Waters. Scott’s script is proof of society’s intellectual downslide.
It’s painfully obvious from this point on that the filmmakers had no clue where to go with the story. They didn’t have enough money to carry out the special effects necessary for most of the action sequences. So instead the viewer must suffer through an hour’s worth of static “talking heads” scenes. There are innumerable scenes of dialogue discussing the extreme badassitude of the obviously straight-laced and priggish Mitchell. There are countless scenes introducing numerous characters that add absolutely no depth to the story. It’s enough to make you yearn for those laughably bad CGI bots from the film’s opening.
Even the heavily-touted catfight scene fails to deliver the goods. It consists mostly of blurry close up shots of hot chicks making angry faces. Sadly there is no removal of clothing. You’d think in a movie this bad would be chock-a-block with bare female flesh.
In this action scene, Scott perfectly captures Michael Bay’s infamous knack for disorientation and incoherence.
The action doesn’t let up there! The chicks’ superior officer, Scary Cat Lady, bursts in on the scene to get a piece of the action. One of the catfighters starts beefing on the Scary Cat Lady. The Scary Cat Lady responds with the best (and most baffling) line of dialogue in the whole film:
“This war has been going on for hundreds of years. And we just now decided to fight it today.”
The gravitas of this line is made even more resonant thanks to Shaley Scott’s approach to acting, which consists of yelling – REALLY, REALLY LOUDLY. Even louder when she’s angry.
The film finally (and thankfully) ends with Mitchell, who SPOILER ALERT! is really a robot, leading a final assault against the robaliens. We finally get to see some Transmorphers! But it’s so epically underwhelming. There’s only about two different models of Transmorphers.
And when they “transmorph” they change from fast-moving, multi-gun-brandishing robot to slow, lumbering, single gun wielding tank.
It reminded me of that scene in Big when Tom Hanks is at the toy agency and he totally rips apart some guy’s idea of a Transformer toy that turns into a tall building.
Sure enough, the climax of Transmorphers involves the Transmorpher HQ building transmorphing into a Transmorpher.
And the less said about the aerial dogfight sequence, the better.
Whenever a plane gets hit, you can see the laser beams passing through the hull leaving the plane unharmed. Lame!
Transmorphers is a complete and utter disgrace to cinema. I’ve reviewed truly bad films on this site before, but I’ve never come across one so wretchedly soulless. In most truly bad movies you can at least tell that the cast and crew enjoyed themselves during the production. Not so with Transmorphers. This film was made with the worst of intentions: to cash in on the popularity of other filmmakers’ work. Every performance is so gloomily bland. Matthew Wolf (Warren Mitchell) is the only remotely competent actor in this film. He had a bit role in Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End and provided voice work for numerous videogames, including Fable and Call of Duty 3. I actually feel sorry for the guy for getting stuck starring in such a stinker.
The editing in this film (also provided by Leigh Scott) is even more incompetent than the special effects. All the cuts are distracting and jarring. But not in a Michael Bay or Paul Greengrass way. It’s jarring in an “I’ve-never-used-Final-Cut-Pro-before” kinda way.
The audio on the DVD was a few seconds off. That’s not a fault of the DVD, that’s a fault of the audio “experts” who mastered this film. Shameful, just shameful.
The only silver lining in this storm cloud of crap is that Leigh Scott is an avid participant on the discussion boards of his IMDb page. And he’s been fighting off wave after wave of criticism for his slipshod work.
It’s often said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Whoever said that never had to sit through the 89 minutes of hell that is Transmorphers.
-5 poorly rendered polygons out of 5.
I didn’t believe in giving negative scores. But this turd sandwich sent me over the edge! I hated this shitfest!
(Not So) Fun Fact
As unspeakably awful as Transmorphers was, The Asylum actually produced a prequel to coincide with (read “cash in on”) the theatrical release of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. Transmorphers: Fall of Man chronicles the robalien invasion only hinted at in the first film’s unnecessary introduction. This new film is set in modern day. To paraphrase the late great B-movie legend Vincent Price, modern setting means lower budget!
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