In Real Life

Someone's Making A Twisted Metal Flick And I Can't Wait For The Reviews

Let me put this delicately. I don’t want to see a Twisted Metal movie. But I do want to see a Twisted Metal movie get made. I want to see what happens when the whole thing gets trashed in a review. If it’s anything like what happened with the game’s review this week, it’ll be far more entertaining than whatever garbage Hollywood thinks gamers want to see.

To back up, Twisted Metal released on Tuesday. The same day, it was revealed that the co-director of the latest Ghost Rider flick will be writing and directing a Twisted Metal film. I suppose this is because he is now the leading auteur in the school of flaming-headed, hell-spawned, reckless-driving antihero cinema. Who knows when this will hit theatres, if it does.

I’m rooting for it, though. I want to see Twisted Metal‘s Legion of The Offended descend on the critic who inevitably craps all over it. And that’s not, in fact, what G4TV did this week in its review of the Twisted Metal game, despite efforts to portray its 3.5 out of five stars review as such. Fans and developers lashing out at critics is nothing new: unpleasant reactions go with the territory in reviewing games as much as it does (or should) in making them.

But G4′s review got raked over the coals for… what, I’m not sure exactly. The writer had a problem with the game’s physics; he called the called the game’s driving mechanics “underwhelming”. He did praise its multiplayer format, but ultimately called the game “a hard sell for for those in search of a well-rounded driving game”. That’s probably where all of this went off the rails. Fans poured out their disappointment in the review — which is really a silly thing, when you think about it. Someone’s looking to a review to affirm their own high opinion of a game? I’m unsure what’s going on when 3.5 of five stars qualifies as an agenda-based trashing.

The writer did himself no favours when he posted a follow-up comment to address the foaming rage, which then triggered a Twitter response from series creator David Jaffe that, let’s be real, stirred up his fans reaction even more. The writer made everything look even worse when he deleted his remarks, which you can see in full here.

What’s this got to do with movies? Well, I want to see how far this really goes. Because if criticising the driving mechanics in a driving game shows someone has an agenda, I can’t wait to see the reaction to criticism of a derivative film derived from a game inspired by a derivative film genre.

Twisted Metal as a concept isn’t egregiously derivative, of course, certainly not next to all the shooters and space marines and realm-saving quests you can buy up every year. The title’s reintroduction at E3 in 2010 pointed out the fact the car-combat genre has been largely AWOL on this console generation, certainly not at this scale of development.

But like the film that will follow it, Twisted Metal the game is a chair standing on two legs: Action and a thin story. Reading what happened after one negative review of the game definitely discourages me from ever trying to speak to its fans about anything. I just want to see their reaction when both the film and its reviewers openly insult their intelligence. Who will they attack first?