Darkness has settled over New York City as Shredder and his evil Foot Clan have an iron grip on everything from the police to the politicians. The future is grim until four unlikely outcast brothers rise from the sewers and discover their destiny.
While many people were complaining over the new look of the turtles, it really doesn’t translate that badly on film. There is a lot more to differentiate the brothers than just a bandana color and weapon of choice. There are real differences in not only size, but build, the way they dress, and their over all mannerisms. I’ve seen, and LOVE, the 90’s TMNT countless times to the point where I can recite it verbatim ( So basically no one likes watching it with me). That movie did not win over critical praise, nor did any incarnation of the turtles, so I wasn’t walking in expecting a Scorcese film here.
That being said, there is a lot to love about these new turtles, especially Michaelangelo. Dude is straight up funny, as is the relationship between the brothers. The antics, the jokes, the silliness, the camaraderie are all present, along with a different fighting style from the other films you weren’t able to see until now. There are a lot of nods for fans.. so if you know your TMNT you are in for a treat. You’ll get bits from the 90’s movie, to the cartoons, even to the fan raging online as the movie was being filmed. I found myself having a good time and laughing out loud through most of the movie, as was the other people at my screening, in a good way.
The sequences in the film, especially the snow sequence, are rather breathtaking and worth the price of admission alone. If you see the name Michael Bay and already make up your mind about the film, it’s your loss. The film isn’t bad, it isn’t mind blowingly good either, it’s just a movie that has great action, great comedy, and a lot of fun. I’ve seen MUCH worse films than this get MUCH better critical praise and TMNT beats out the overly boring Godzilla in my book. As I watched the film I never begged the cinema gods to please end this movie quickly, and I would actually see it again. All good signs.
As I mentioned this isn’t an excellent movie, the story is rather stupid to be honest. That doesn’t mean that the movie still wasn’t entertaining. The parts they got right, were very good to me, but the parts they got wrong, oh man were they wrong.
I grow tired of the same old schtick of villains taking “control of this city”, ESPECIALLY New York… sigh. It’s like a person working at a fast food chain, where their main goal is to make supervisor.. not manager.. not franchise owner.. or dare to say full on partner. I mean you got some real low expectations here. It’s all so contrived and boring as the motivation for villainy.
The synopsis of the movie suggests that Shredder has a political hold as well as control of the police. That is nowhere in the movie to be seen, and would have been interesting to add.
Speaking of Shredder, that I didn’t care much for, It’s like watching a Transformers/Turtles crossover.. I prefer the 90’s Shredder showdown with the turtles, or at least see him fight the turtles on his own merit first. You’ll see what I mean.
The origin story rewrite is utterly stupid in every possible way, I mean why not just stick to the original formula.. it makes the most sense story wise. The way Splinter is explained is also foolish.. I loved how they named him from the cartoon.. you know “For obvious reasons” as he chomps through a plank of wood in one swift motion. But here? it’s just.. arghh. Also how he learns martial arts is the absolute most ridiculous thing I’ve ever seen. I’m trying not to spoil the movie here but it’s difficult this time around.
The original soundtrack is also contrived and easily forgettable. I tried to see if I could hum the tune in my head as I drove home and I couldn’t recall it, nor did I care to. It would seem they just downloaded some loops and put a track together for the turtles. I wonder when people are going to realize that epic themes play an integral part of the movie watching experience.
I’m sure some kind of comparison will be made in terms of Transformers 4 being good action and a subpar story, but in that movie it was mind numbingly stupid, all dialogue was horrible, and I truly wished it would end. In TMNT, I enjoyed it from beginning to end with the above gripes.
I’ll end my bad section this way. The CG and tech they use in the movie is utterly stunning, and it’s a shame that all that work goes to waste because the dudes/dudettes behind the screenplay, script, and dialogue suck, or didn’t care enough to polish their drafts.
There are much worse movies out there to complain about than TMNT. This was a good action movie, with a subpar story, and one very excellent sequence ( I have to keep talking about it because it was awesome). The movie is passable , and if you are a turtle fan, it’s even better. Don’t let the movie snobs keep you from an entertaining and fun time at the theater. Thanks for reading this Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Review and remember.. Stay Dorky!