Twisted Metal

Twisted Metal

It might work for fans of the video game, but the series adaptation just doesn’t have enough steam to stand out on its own


TV Show

United States of America
Action & Adventure, Comedy
Anthony Mackie, Samoa Joe, Stephanie Beatriz
30 min


Unfortunately, Twisted Metal can’t L1+R1 God Mode its way into being as great as the game it’s adapted from.

What it's about

In a post-apocalyptic world where resources are scarce and cities are heavily bordered, weapons and motor expert John Doe (Anthony Mackie) races across the US to deliver a top-secret package in the hopes of finally being a part of a community.

The take

Based on a PlayStation game of the same name, Twisted Metal has a lot of the bullet-heavy, high-speed action of the original but with a lot more characters and backstory thrown in the mix. It certainly scratches a nostalgic itch for those who played the game growing up, especially once big names like Anthony Mackie, Stephanie Beatriz, and Will Arnet (or his voice at least) bring familiar characters to life. But beyond all the furtive action and winks and nods made to the video game, there is little about Twisted Metal that’s likable, much less watchable. Sure, it’s fun to see guns go boom and cars go vroom, but the core of the series never feels substantial enough to justify its existence. You might enjoy watching it, but you likely won’t remember much of it. 

What stands out

There is a moment in the pilot episode where an actual PlayStation copy of the Twisted Metal game falls from the shelf and onto John’s speeding car. It’s supposed to be a lighthearted meta moment, with John even pausing to consider what just happened, but it also feels like an inside joke that immediately excludes anyone who isn’t familiar with the franchise. It sets the tone for the entire show, which seems less interested in building a bigger world and inviting newcomers into it than in playing around with big guns, fast cars, and old tropes.


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