Leonardo Donatello Michelangelo


Growing up as a fan of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (I had toys, bedding, sleeping bags, clothes, and the works as a kid), I was excited to hear a new movie was in the works a few years back. However, once learning it was going to be produced by Michael Bay and after seeing the revamped CG interpretations of my beloved heroes in a half shell, I instantly felt sick to my stomach because I felt part of my childhood was destroyed.

Going into the TMNT previewing, I went in with SUPER low expectations. And rightly so. The origin of the turtles and the back story was revamped, which I really didn’t like. In this version the turtles and Splinter were science experiments. After April O’Neil’s father, who was one of the scientists on the mutagen project titled “Project Renaissance,” discovered the truth behind Shredder’s evil plan he tried to destroy all the data in a fire.

Young April saved the turtles and Splinter the rat, and she set them free at a sewage drain. From there our heroes grew and learned Ninjutsu from the self-taught rat.

Shredder seemed super human and unnatural, which I really didn’t care for. Also, there was very little back story on Shredder and The Foot Clan. Again, disappointed that they didn’t delve into those parts because it could have been more interesting.

The overall pacing of the movie was fast, but I found myself bored with the bland dialogue and action scenes that left me with little suspense. Sure, the visual effects were great and props to all the people who worked in it, but great visual effects and action sequences don’t make a great movie.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

My biggest beef with the flick was the character designs. I feel the redesign was just appalling. Also, while it’s good to give your characters some hint of their personality when it comes to their costumes I believe it was unnecessary to do the same to the turtles. They are blatant stereotypes (Donatello being the tall, skinny nerd with glasses, Raphael the big bad boy… you get the picture). We know the turtles and we know their personalities. There’s absolutely no reason to give them odd additions to the standard colored bandanas. I really feel like if they wanted a darker, more real looking turtle then artist Dave Rapoza would have done a better job. Also, my turtle heroes felt like a shell-less version of their former selves. The old 1990 original film had so much more character and pizazz, and it’s a film that I still enjoy watching today! The 2014 version feels so hollow in comparison.

However, there were a few good moments. Probably the best moment in the film was the awkward elevator scene where they all started beat boxing. I wish the movie had more corny humor. It did, but it often fell flat. I suppose the second best part of the movie was the intro title and story sequence which was in the style of the comic, a nice little homage.

As far as acting goes, I found Megan Fox as April as a poor choice. She felt like a damsal in distress who can’t keep her mouth closed in all the shots. There were a few moments of empowerment from her, but most of the time it seemed like she was just a pretty by standard. Will Arnett played Vernon, a Channel 6 camera man and van driver. I felt his acting fit the role, so no complaints there. Whoopi Goldberg made an appearance as Bernadette Thompson. Her role was small, but she also played it with authority.

On my crispy movie scale I’d give it 1.5 crisps. I’d say it’s rather soggy. The TMNT revamp had so much potential to be great, but it just left me oozing with dissatisfaction.

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