Trancers 4: Jack of Swords (Trancers 4: Journeys Through the Darkzone) Reviews

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Super Reviewer
July 5, 2011
Number four and back down we go, the roller coaster continues with Jack Deth and his adventures through time. Unfortunately after a better third film its back to a dreadful trashy B-movie without any amusing trashy charm.

Thomerson is still firing the wisecracks but the medieval setting for this is really bad looking. This kind of location can either work looking quite authentic or not work and look really obvious, this is the latter. Everyone is running around what looks like some local woods (you expect to see them run into a car park half the time) and a Romanian castle but you can tell the sets a mile off. Lots of really iffy looking fights, weapon usage and a really cheesy baddie at the top of the tree.

Plot wise its getting a bit messy, horrendously corny and badly cliched...actually I kinda lost the plot to be honest. Too many characters and little sub plots going on with rather messy direction and editing. still it doesn't matter as in the end you know Deth will win somehow.

I like this films title I might add, not really sure how it relates to the events in the film but its kinda cool.
September 29, 2009
The character of Jack Deth (Tim Thomerson) has been jerked back and forth from his time to our time in three previous films and has had to stop different sorts of villains all trying to do essentially the same dirty deed. By the third film, the concept of these villains using the "trancing" technology to conquer the world was losing some steam and Trancers 3 ended up being the first film in the series I didn't care much for. So my expectations for Trancers 4: Jack of Swords was lowered a bit.

The setting for this film does seem silly. This time, Jack is sent to an alternate universe where "trancing" is still being used for devious purposes. But this time around Jack is in a medieval setting instead of a modern/futuristic world. And this bizarre course for this film to take ended up bringing the series back on track, and Jack of Swords is on the same level of goofy fun that I enjoyed with the first two films, and missed with the third one.

Once again, Tim Thomerson takes charge of the character of Jack Deth and brings him to life unlike any way he has done in the previous films. There are a lot more comedic moments this time around, and Jack is at the center of a lot of them. On his journey to this alternate universe, some of Jack's technology has gone wonky. He has a watch that slows time down for ten seconds, but the user remains normal speed. This time around, the user is slowed down and the rest of the world is in regular speed. It was great watching Thomerson during this moment in the film, as it was watching him throughout the film.

The villains of the film are kind of neat. This time around the trancers are vampire-like. They use their special abilities to suck the life-force out of people, and have become sort of an unholy legion that rules over this world. I just wish there was more time spent developing Caliban (Clabe Hartley), the leader of this group. He wasn't menacing as he should have been, and Hartley wasn't very good with his performance. In the end, he become a throwaway nemesis.

I'll admit that Trancers 4: Jack of Swords felt like another filler entry in the series, but it still had enough good going for it to win me over. Since the filmmakers didn't appear to be taking this film too seriously, it helped break up the monotony that the series was getting into. It may not be a classic film, but it is still another enjoyable flick from Full Moon.
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