First things first—Twisted Metal, based on the eponymous videogame, is no The Last of Us, and that is not at all a bad thing. Twisted Metal, working as a prequel to the game(the game involves demolition-derby style vehicular combat), tells a story as twisted as its name, peppered with characters ranging from ridiculous to rabid and everything in between. Speaking of rabid, there was no reason to kill that darling golden retriever — I am docking a significant amount of points for that transgression.
Twisted Metal (English)
Creators: Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick, Michael Jonathan Smith
Cast: Anthony Mackie, Stephanie Beatriz, Samoa Joe, Will Arnett, Thomas Haden Church
Storyline: In a post-apocalyptic wasteland, a milkman with amnesia is given a mission to traverse the desolate world to deliver a cryptic package in order to stay alive
The exposition in the first few minutes tells us of a world gone to hell and people walling themselves into cities, leaving the vast countryside to the lawless. John Doe (Anthony Mackie) is an amnesiac—he does not even remember his name, all he has is a burnt out photograph of his family and a memory of waking up in a car with a headache. John is a Milkman, delivering needful things to and from cities, making it to through the dangerous hinterland by his wits, motor mouth and beloved car, Evelyn.
When Raven (Neve Campbell) a powerful woman from New San Francisco, offers him a chance of a better life, if he makes this one important delivery in 10 days, he grabs it with both hands. Off he goes his merry way. We meet the principal players including Agent Stone (Thomas Haden Church) a rogue cop in the pre-apocalypse days, who, with fellow officers are bent on dispensing their particular brand of justice.
Sweet Tooth (Samoa Joe, Will Arnett – voice), the demented clown and iconic antagonist from the videogame is waiting at his casino in ‘Lost Vegas’ for an appreciative audience. Tired of waiting and encouraged by John, Sweet Tooth decides to go looking for his audience rather than wait for them to come to him.
Quiet (Stephanie Beatriz) and her brother, Loud (Richard Cabral) are on the run from unspeakable horrors and have the misfortune of running into Agent Stone who offers them something of a Hobson’s choice. Two somewhat friends and former security guards, Mike (Tahj Vaughans) and Stu (Mike Mitchell) are rescued from cannibals by Agent Stone’s gang and find their fate not so much improved.
Holy Men led by the Preacher (Jason Mantzoukas) need to be avoided. Amber (Diany Rodriguez), believes in extreme recycling by planting her victims’ body parts in her herb garden, a moving city of monster trucks led by Granny Dredd who wishes to go out in style in her Beamer, which is her pride and joy, and sundry others to make the trip on the right side of exciting.
There are jokes—that torture by playing Aqua’s ‘Barbie Girl’, and being made to fill out forms in triplicate while zip-tied, are just a few samples. The music is a glorious succession of needle drops. The episode titles taking off from personalised number plates is a charming bit of detailing. The chemistry between Mackie and Beatriz is warm and compelling. Mackie is the beating heart and voice of Twisted Metal as he anchors the action with his wisecracks and charisma. Now, if only that dog had not been killed…
Twisted Metal currently streams on SonyLIV