Entry #20: Trancers 6 (2002)

Well we’re back to the series that started this little Time Travel marathon of sequels – Trancers. This film film actually makes Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III bearable! Read on to find out how I can make such a sweeping statement!

In the sixth entry of this rather successful franchise, Jack Deth must once more be sent “down the line” to avert a trancer epidemic. [Check out Entry #15 to find out more about Trancers.] But this time, the story and film just does not work as well. In my review for Trancers, I said it was no Terminator 2. Well, Trancers 6 make’s the first film looks like Terminator 2, Back To The Future and Chinatown all rolled into one.

Apparently Tim Thomerson thought that after 5 entries in this series that he had better things to do with his career, and opted not to return. So he’s out, and Zette Sullivan is in. She plays Josephine Forrest, Jack Deth’s daughter that he must return to 2022 to save (that’s “300 years, 1 minute and 49 seconds” in the past, for accuracy sake.) Since Thomerson’s not in the film, how do you do this? Well, by using footage from previous films to make it look like he’s having a conversation with a council member in the future, and the use of a body double for when he’s lying on the time table.

But wait, I hear you ask: his daughter?? Yes, in one of the intervening 4 films Jack hooked up with Lena (Helen Hunt’s character from the first 3 films, who’s now a big Academy Award winning actress, so ‘natch she’s not here either), and impregnated her prior to “going back up the line.” Jack became his own great-great-grandfather, which is actually the least bothersome trope in this film. It’s bigger flaws include the writing, acting, cinematography and editing.

I could go on and on about the horrible aspects of this film. For example: A young boy, who is part trancer, hotwires a car and removes an Ethernet cable in the process. The astronomer friend of our lead heroine, of course, has a laboratory setup complete with glass beakers, tubes and colored liquids. Later on he appears to also be a chemist, as he derives a super-fluid from the trancer inducing meteor [honestly, I’m not going to even get into this…]. Or how about the 12 different times in the shootouts that the characters run out of ammo in their guns, at either the best/worst moment. So very tired!

All the time, the “puppet master” was Josephine’s boss at the LA Meteorological Institute, and he’s really an ALIEN! That’s probably what’s great about this film, actually. Everything is related and there are no wasted characters! The hot dog vendor at the beginning that knows Jo; he’s a gun-wielding enforcer for the trancer cult. That snotty secretary of Boss Alien that Jo/Jack is “checking out the ass on,” she leads the cult. And of course, that attractive guitar player that’s been picked up from the streets in the cult, he’s really a [SPOILER] mole for Secretary Lady. Oh the humanity!

All of the trappings of a real-low budget film are here as well, with the locked off camera. And the long takes. And the “it appears that your actor’s all brought their own wardrobe” elements. You may watch Trancers and think it’s low budget, but Trancers 6 is six-times as low-budget!!

You may actually feel as if you’ve been ‘tranced’ after watching this turkey. And as far as time travel goes, since we are trying to write about time travel films on this blog, Jack just travels back to inhabit his daughters body. That’s it. He decides to stay in her body at the end of the film, which sets up the future of the franchise with Jo, as a trancer and alien hunter in 2022! Thanks goodness that those sequels never happened!

I hope you enjoyed this mini sequel marathon. I feel like I need to go watch a quality time travel film next, as a palette cleanser. So look forward to something worthwhile next!

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