Transmorphers: Mech Beasts (2023)

Now Officially Streaming.

Just some advice: If your entire movie’s existence is centered on the fact that you’re an off brand Transformers, it’s a good idea to show us some transforming robots every now and then. After sixteen years (!), Asylum finally scrounged up enough to deliver a sequel to their first high profile mockbuster series “Transmorphers.” They offer us their answer to “Transformers: Rise of the Beasts.” If you didn’t like the “Rise of the Beasts,” odds are you might enjoy “Mech Beasts”—if you’re a fan of actors staring off screen and describing robots rather than ever showing them, of course.

We get a lot of that, and so very little actual robotic action or science fiction chaos on screen. Characters run to one room and explain things to one another, then they run up stairs and then downstairs and then explain things. They’re struggling to survive through this war zone hiding inside a warehouse that is in a deserted terrain that still has the sense to light up the Exit signs in the stairwells, and the characters love to use the word “Transmorph” and its variations. Basically the transmorphers from the first film are obsolete and there are new transmorphers that can transmorph in to any machine. But their real forms are “mechanic tigers” for—uh—reasons?

In 2324 a firewall breach is discovered at the New Los Angeles Power Station. This breach can cause the generators to turn into a giant robotic lion, that can fire a death ray from its mouth. Hoping to stop this potential development are remaining human forces Mark and Agnes who have discovered another bunker full of weapons left over from the war. There are also the rambunctious teenagers, Trevor and Reena who learn how to use old tech to help stop the new Transmorphers.

Said new transmorphers are more transmorphic than their previous transmorphisizing bots and now the remaining human rebels figure out the only way to stop them is to use old weaponry. This is where we get the chance to see a soldier explaining to a younger woman what a baseball bat is. How are we so advanced that we can’t quite comprehend what a blunt object is? In either case, the tiger transmorphers look neat on screen but they appear only sporadically and for ba rely two seconds at a time. They don’t do much of anything, and we don’t learn a single thing about them. And this is in spite of the characters doing nothing but over explaining things to us over and over again.

There’s also Tom Arnold who is on screen merely to offer exposition and deliver stilted dialogue to his co-stars and look determined. “Mech Beasts” has a ton of potential to be goofy, cheesy fun, but it’s hindered by droning dialogue, paper thin characters and robotic villains that during its ninety minute run time are on screen for a total of three minutes, tops.