[Movie Review] Should You Watch Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles?

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Remember the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? Well, they’re back in the big screen Michael Bay style. If you’ve seen the trailers, then you’ll know that they look nothing like their animated counterparts. Regardless, they’re back in 2014 with more ninja action. Question is: is it any good?

 

I’ll be honest: I was super hesitant to go watch this movie. Michael Bay has disappointed me too many times in the last few years with the successful butchering and dismemberment of another one of my childhood favorites in the Transformers. So when I learned that he was doing TMNT, I didn’t really look forward to it. I considered skipping it but finally decided to give it a go.

 

Plot

The evil foot clan are out to do their routine bad stuff in the big apple Manhattan led by their supreme leader, the Shredder. It’s up to the 4 mysterious vigilantes to become heroes, figure out his plan and beat him up. Along the way, an up and coming reporter April O’Neil, tries to figure out who these heroes are. Along the way there’s a mysterious company, Sacks, who tries to help out in catching the foot.

 

Characters

Surprisingly, the focus of the movie are not the turtles, it’s April O’Neil (Megan Fox – Transformers). You know that feeling when people tell you that the world doesn’t revolve around you? Well, not true for April O’Neil, because somehow, everything revolves around her. It’s hard to tell whether she did a good job or not. April’s character has always had things stacked up against her and her strong personality would always come out on top. I didn’t really get that from Megan. I’d say she did an ok job, but not great. April’s co-worker Vernon is played by Will Arnett who you may know from Arrested Development. He’s the annoying uncle. His character is supposed to be annoying but there are some scenes wherein he kind of becomes likeable. Regardless, he’s ok.

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Next are the turtles: Leonardo, Raphael, Michelangelo, and Donatello. I’ll be honest, I looked at the people who did their voices and I do not know anyone. That’s not to say they did a bad job, I actually liked the way each of their characters were portrayed. Leo always the cautious but strong leader; Raph the brute whose rash decisions always get the best of him; Mikey who just wants pizza and to have fun; then Donny who’s a super nerd. Among the family, Splinter is the weakest link… I don’t know how to say it, he just sucks.

 

Eric Sacks, who owns Sacks Industries is played by William Fichtner, a Michael Bay favorite who also played col.Sharpe in Armageddon. He’s one of my favorite actors and he does well here. Then there’s the Shredder played by Tohoru Masamune. He is credited as, get this, being a security guard in the movie Inception. I racked my brain trying to figure out which one he was until I later on saw that he was the guard in the first scene of the movie that found Leo on the beach. The only reason in my opinion why he was picked for this movie was that his surname, Masamune, has always been associated with swords. So that’s 1 more sword added to the bazillion swords on Shredder’s costume.

 

Story

Here’s the only way you’ll enjoy the story. Turn your brain off and forget everything you know about the TMNT universe. The pacing was terrible, I thought it took too long to reveal the turtles. Shredder’s reveal was super unexciting. Story sucks guys. What saved this movie are the action scenes and the ninja turtles’ personalities. It actually benefited from being a Michael Bay movie since the slow-mos actually let me see what the heck is going on.

 

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My favorite scene in the TMNT movie has to be when they go back to the turtles’ childhood. Usually they just show them as small turtles, then the next is them being full teenagers. This has to be the one single good thing this movie brought that I could take away.

 

3D

The movie I saw was in 3D. There was a scene near the start where the camera falls from a high building. That was the only scene that I felt the 3D. the rest of the movie didn’t really do anything with it.

 

Overall

Despite everything I’ve written above, I actually enjoyed watching the movie. I had lowered and lowered my expectations to the point that I just wanted to just be done with it so I can say I’ve watched TMNT… and then something wonderful happened, it didn’t suck as much. It even exceeded my expectations. So I’ll say go watch it… there’s going to be a sequel most probably after the first week box office so might as well watch this first one. I’m treating this as an investment. Hope we see some Bebop or Rocksteady next time.Director Jonathan Liebesman did an ok job.

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Score: 3 out of 5 (Exceeded my very low expectations.) Although I'd probably watch it again when it comes out on video.

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