So here is an interesting premise. A sequel to a major blockbuster translates to a prequel to the corresponding mockbuster. What, you don’t think that makes sense? Well that is exactly what happened regarding today’s movie. With Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen coming out in theaters, The Asylum decided to make another mockbuster of the series. However, they decided to make it a prequel to show the initial invasion, as the first movie pretty much had an ending that didn’t leave room for a sequel. So let’s see what kind of a movie I have on my hands with today’s movie, Transmorphers: Fall Of Man.
The plot: A diplomat’s daughter is driving her car erratically and arguing on the phone with her now ex-boyfriend when she is pulled over in a small town by Officer Hadley Ryan, who gives her a warning about driving while on the phone. As the woman drives away, she finishes arguing with her ex and puts the phone down on the passenger seat but the phone suddenly changes into a robot and attacks and kills her. At Edwards Air Force Base, two NSA agents are discussing a report and when told it is verified, one of them asks the other to get Dr. Jo Summers; who at that time is getting coffee but when she sees the newspaper story of a the diplomat’s daughter’s death, quickly leaves the shop. Back in the small town, Mayor Ethan Holt arrives at the autopsy and speaks with Hadley about the girl, who tells him that she wasn’t shot but neither he nor the medical examiner can explain the wound in her head. The next morning, Madison Ryan returns home from work and finds her TV is on the fritz so she calls the satellite company to send someone to fix their dish and is surprised to find it is her ex-boyfriend Jake Van Ryberg, a military vet that had recently returned from active duty. Jake goes to check the satellite dish when he hears a strange sound and sees it moving on it’s own before it changes into a robot. Jake quickly grabs a gun and when Madison asks what is going on, he runs back to the house, inadvertently knocking her down, and tells her to get get “Nanna” out of there and call the police, then goes back outside to look for the robot. Meanwhile, Jo approaches Hadley, saying she is from Homeland Security, and asks him some questions about the girl’s death when they are approached by the two NSA agents, who tell Jo that she has to come with them while Hadley gets a call about his niece, Madison. In their car, the two NSA agents start questioning Jo, who tells them she noticed a strange signal and something from Earth communicating back with it. Meanwhile, Hadley pulls up to where Madison and Jake are and, after asking Jake to hand him his gun, asks them what is going on. When Jake tells him about the satellite dish changing into a robot and Madison confirms that the dish is missing, Hadley tells them to get in the car and drives off but is forced to take a detour to investigate a murder. Arriving at the scene, he sees the victim has the same wound as the girl and a witness tells him that the car pushed the body out of the car and then drove away on it’s own. Hadley heads back to the coroner’s office to get the cell phone from the girl’s accident and the medical examiner tells him that the Feds were there looking for it but it is missing. Deciding to search the office, Hadley finds the phone and goes to leave when they are attacked by the SUV. Hadley gives chase and tries to arrest the driver, not realizing there isn’t one, but when the satellite dish robot shows up, he quickly gets back in the car and leaves, with the SUV giving chase again. They attempt to lose the SUV but when they find themselves boxed in, the SUV changes into a robot and attacks them but they are saved when a military helicopter attacks the robot while the female NSA agent pulls up and tells them to get in the car. The agent takes them to Edwards Air Force Base, where the senior agent introduces them to Jo, then explains what they know and that Jake was brought there because of his experience with UAV’s. The agents learn that more robots are appearing all over the world, primarily in cities with military bases, when suddenly, the SUV robot arrives and begins attacking the base, killing everyone in sight. Jake theorizes that the robots are probing their defenses and comes up with a plan to shut down the robot by jamming the signal controlling it. With Madison providing a distraction, Jake and Jo head towards the control tower and grab the equipment to jam the signal while Hadley gets into a helicopter so he can destroy the robot. Madison manages to distract the robot, almost getting killed by an explosion in the process, but she bought enough time for Jo and Jake to jam the signal but Hadley’s helicopter was damaged while fighting the robot so he radios Jake to take care of Madison, then sacrifices himself by crashing into the robot, destroying both it and himself. With the threat seemingly over, everyone moves on with their lives and Jake and Madison end up getting together, unaware that thousands of cubes are floating through space heading right towards Earth. The next day, Jake and Madison are woken by the sounds of explosions and head outside to see dozens of objects falling from the sky. Jake heads back inside his home to grab a gun, then heads back outside to Madison and they leave, just as a robot lands nearby. Jo pulls up and they get in her SUV and drive off, with a flying robot chasing after them. Jake is able to destroy the robot, getting wounded in the process, but they end up getting into a wreck and Jo’s leg is injured. They are picked up by Mayor Holt, who takes them to a refugee camp he established out in the desert after the robots took over the city. When they get word of the robots doing something to the water, Jake decides to lead a team to the aqueducts to stop them. Jake, Madison, Jo, Holt, and two others grab all the dynamite available and head out but two of their group are killed along the way. The meet up with a surviving member of a special forces team, who explains that he was on the way with his team to destroy the terraforming machine nearby, explaining that the robots are changing the entire planet to suit their needs. Deciding to change their mission, Jake and the others follow the soldier to the terraforming plant, with the soldier dying to provide a distraction to get them inside, while Holt is killed as well. Jack sets the explosives and tells Madison and Jo to run, then follows them outside only to come across several robots approaching him. When the explosion occurs, Madison cries thinking Jake died but he appears through the smoke and the two embrace and kiss. Afterwards, Jake, the new leader of the human resistance in the area, sends out a message to any other survivors telling them they lost the battle but the war isn’t over and they should join him.
Weak story aside, this is a much better movie than the first one. The acting was ok, with Bruce Boxleitner (Hadley), Shane Van Dyke (Jake) and Alana DiMaria (Madison) all doing good jobs in their roles. The story was admittedly a little weak but they did a good job if incorporating some of the story from the first movie into this one. I did like the set up that Jake’s last name was Van Ryberg, the same last name as Eliza Swenson’s character from the original movie, indicating that she is a descendant of Jake. The special effects were still not the best but definitely better than the original movie, though there were a few times that they reused the same scenes that could have been done better. It’s not the greatest cinematic movie of all time but it did show the improvements that The Asylum has made over the years and indicates how they will only get better.
Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5