TEENAGE NINJA MUTANT TURTLES Review

by on August 8, 2014

in Entertainment, movie reviews

Megan Fox in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, a review-brusimm

As much as I wanted to like the Teenage Ninja Mutant Turtles movie, it came across as dead on arrival in the movie theater.

As a youngster, I loved the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I even got a kick out of the movie they did back in 1990. The snark and attitude was just perfect, we were introduced to Elias Koteas as the hockey stick wielding Casey. But when Bay and company went to make the turtles a bit more serious and less snark, they completely gutted this franchise reboot. It was the over-the-top snarkiness that was fun, and that was pretty much gone.

The movie started with an intro scene of cartoon panels, describing the turtles past and how they came to be. We then segued into present day, and the evil Foot Clan was terrorizing the city, and mysterious vigilantes were stopping them.

We were introduced to April O’Neil (Megan Fox), who was on a quest to make a name for herself in the news industry by digging up clues to these vigilantes, but not having a great time of it. No one believed her crazy claims of six-foot tall Ninja wielding turtles. And a touch later on, we see and meet the turtles, Splinter, and of course, Shredder are introduced.

I don’t get it. With Michael Bay producing, and Jonathan Liebesman (Wrath of the Titans, Battle: Los Angeles) directing, I would have thought this to be much, much better. Instead, we got what amounts to a live-action, ninety-minute cartoon episode with a very flat, non-energetic delivery. The Foot Clan was already an established threat and their reason for being evil was so glazed over that I either missed it or they are evil just to be evil.

William Fichtner (Whom I truly enjoy watching) who played scientific industrialist Eric Sacks had a crucial role in the film, and yet his character delivery was literally flat and boring. That is very unusual for Fichtner.

Whoopi Goldberg, who played O’neil’s editor, was the most legitimate and enjoyable character.

I couldn’t even find any redemption in some of the CGI’d Ninja action.

As far as what the turtles have been known for, over the years, their classic snarkiness that fans have come to enjoy, was not there.  There was something else, some kind of attitude, but it wasn’t that magic combination of fun.

At least Michael Bay seems to be over that spat that came up between himself and Megan Fox way back when she called him a Nazi during an interview.

The other nagging issue I have in my head was that way back when Bay was first developing TNMT, it leaked out that he was going to have the turtles be aliens. The hard-core cadre of fans of the franchise went ape shit all over the web about this change up. He bowed to the nagging demands of the fans and put the turtles back to being mutants. He even added a joke about it in the movie when a character suggests these six-foot tall, talking ninja turtles might be aliens.  “That would be stupid.”

But considering how flat this film felt, I can’t help but wonder if he felt dissed by the fans and didn’t give it his “A” game effort to produce? It’s just a thought, not an accusation.

This film was optioned back in late 2008, initial scripts popped up in mid-2009, rewrites in mid-2011 and went into pre-production in early 2012. Filming started in March of 2013. Then today, I broke a psuedo rule of mine, to rarely drop bucks on a film that clocks in around 90 minutes. I should have stuck to that rule. But I was surprised when the theater ended up being about two-thirds full, with mostly families.

I was unimpressed through most of the movie. I wasn’t given any reason to care about the characters and at some point, I almost was rooting for Shredder because he had an incredible, powered Ninja armor suit with magnetically controlled blades.

There were a few highlights or funny points in the film, but seemingly predictable.  (The audience enjoyed them.)

I had been wondering when I would end up going to a movie that I was going to pan out on. I never expected it to be a Bay action flick, but there it is.

I feel like I wasted the money I dropped on seeing the film. It felt like a live-action version of a cartoon episode.

It might be a nice rental when it comes to the home entertainment market.  With that in mind, I’d suggest avoiding dropping the bucks on the pricey 3D screenings. AT my theater I had six 3D options and four 2D choices throughout the day.

Two big pluses… the turtles look incredible. I loved their look.

And one of the best scenes of the movie, sadly, was an elevator scene.  It felt like the turtles of old…  and double sadly… it’s one of the teaser clips.  I included the clip below. Yes, one of the best scenes of the movie.

On my popcorn review scale, I’d give Teenage Ninja Mutant Turtles (2014) a five. I didn’t hate it (strongly) but was almost bored with it. (The guy sitting next to me was very confused. He laughed at the weirdest scenes that didn’t seem to be aimed at being funny.)

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