This piece was written during the 2023 WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. Without the labor of the writers and actors currently on strike, the series being covered here wouldn’t exist.
Twisted Metal marks the second PlayStation Productions show released this year and overall, with The Last of Us having released earlier in the year. It’s currently the third overall Playstation Productions with Uncharted being the first to come out last year.
Uncharted may be regarded as the worst PlayStation production ever, but Peacock’s Twisted Metal is the new reigning king. Twisted Metal is a deplorable excuse for a television show. Each game’s plot is unique, although it all revolves around a vehicular combat competition. The show appears to utterly disregard this and pursue its own interests. Though originality in adaptations can occasionally result in strong material like the Sonic the Hedgehog movies, this isn’t always the case as seen here with this show.
Twisted Metal follows the story of a motor mouthed outsider who’s offered a chance at a better life, but only if he can successfully deliver a mysterious package across a post-apocalyptic wasteland. It’s also based on an original take by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick.
This unique interpretation of Twisted Metal is ruined by the fact that the story being told isn’t sufficiently compelling, and when combined with poor writing and subpar acting, it just gets worse. The dialogue delivered by Anthony Mackie’s character, John Doe, is full of crude jokes that fall flat due to his bad comedic timing. The show’s other characters, especially Stephanie Beatriz’s Quiet, suffer from the same lack of comedic timing as Anthony Mackie’s character.
Stephanie Beatriz’s character was similar to Rosa Diaz from Brooklyn Nine-Nine but done tremendously worse. It’s impossible to care for any of these characters which makes watching the show start to feel pointless when characters fall in love or when they start showing backstories. The backstories in this show are supposed to help you connect with these characters. Sadly, there’s just no emotional impact with them or the show overall.
In this version, Sweet Tooth, a key mascot of the Twisted Metal series, hardly even seems like Sweet Tooth. Compared to the character from the game, this one has a completely different history and motivation. He’s one of the most enjoyable things to come out of this series even though he’s not an exact replica of the Sweet Tooth we all know and love. All his scenes are fun and engaging to watch, making you wish he had more screen time.
I can only think of one good thing to say about this show: it had the classic Twisted Metal vibe. The world was illogical, untamed, and unplanned. This is demonstrated at the beginning of episode one and gives it a lot of promise, but from that point on, everything goes south. If it had been developed as a movie rather than a television series, it would have been fantastic; something along the lines of Mad Max: Fury Road.
Twisted Metal, when viewed in retrospect, appears to be just another unsuccessful video game adaptation with CGI blood, a poor script, dreadful acting, and emotionless moments. Twisted Metal shouldn’t deter people from watching video game adaptations as they’ve been given a higher reputation. When it comes to PlayStation Productions, we still have Gran Turismo, Horizon, and God of War to look forward to in the near future.
Twisted Metal premieres exclusively on Peacock on July 27.