I was born in the 80s, which is honestly the best time in the world to be a kid. You could travel back in time in a car, live with an alien who dines on felines, and watch four radical mutant reptiles who took to the streets of New York and kicked some serious shell. These Brothers Turtle and I had many adventures fighting the Foot Clan and taking down the Shredder in multiple movies, a cartoon show, and a TON of toys. When I was a child, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reigned supreme!
I’m not going to lie when I say that I had pretty high expectations going into the new Jonathan Liebesman-directed Turtles film. I had grown up with these renaissance-named characters; and wanted to see them treated right. On top of that, I LOVE Michael Bay and couldn’t wrap my mind around a film that was produced by him. I’m sorry, but if I’m going to see the Turtles finally come back to the big screen in live-action format after a 21year hiatus; I can’t think of anyone better than Bay bringing them to the big screen.
So, what did I leave the theatre thinking? Well, it was good. It was by no means a great film and it was not what I had built up in my head. Not even close. If you want to see an amazing Turtles film, pull out your blu-ray for 2007’s TMNT or the original from 1990. Those encapsulate the Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird comics and bring real heart to the brothers and truly make you think “I love being a Turtle!” Unfortunately, this new film did not leave me chanting those words.
One of the main problems with the film is that I never felt that connected with the characters. The humans in the film were all useless. They didn’t even try to act in the movie. They took all the funny out of Will Arnett and put in someone who was more wooden than a marionette. He had one scene that gave me chuckles and that was more about the musical choice then his acting. Megan Fox seemed to actually be trying in this film, but even her trying to act is still horrid. I felt bad for William Fitchner because he started out pretty decent, but as the movie progressed, his lines got cheesier and his acting more terrible.
The score of the film was pretty decent. Brian Tyler had done previous work with Thor 2 and he did bring a superhero vibe to this film. Say what you want about the Shell Shock song by Wiz Khalifa and friends, but I don’t actually mind it; plus it didn’t show up until the credits. Jonathan Liebesman did a pretty great job directing the film and the snow chase scene was pure brilliance thrown in with a lot of Bayhem. It was a scene out of Transformers, just starring the Turtles.
What about the Turtles themselves? I actually loved them. All of their personalities fit how they have been since the beginning. My favorite character has always been Ralphael and he has some pretty cool moments being a bit of a jerk, but having some heart thrown in there as well. I wish they had shown a little more fighting between him and Leo, but overall all of the Turtles were spot on. Hearing Johnny Knoxville and Tony Shaloub as the voices of Leo and Splinter was a little jarring at first, but eventually I didn’t mind. The Shredder was pretty badass in this film, doing a LOT more fighting than he’s ever done. I was a bit saddened that he was mostly CGI and basically unstoppable, but he did kick some butt.
- The motion capture on the Turtles
- The humor of the film when it wasn’t with Will Arnett
- The Snow Chase scene
- The beginning titles where it was like a comic book and Kevin Eastman had his hand in it, even drawing up some of it
- Just how strong the Turtles were. When they punched a member of the Foot Clan, they knocked them across a room. It was awesome!
- Everything that comes out of Michelangelo’s mouth
- The ending being the same thing from Amazing Spider-Man where the Lizard wants to spray a gas over NYC to infect people
- Not even one little reference to Casey Jones
If you’re a huge Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fan then you probably owe it to yourself to see the movie because that’s what you were gonna do before you read my review. If you don’t like the Turtles or are on the fence, don’t bother. See Guardians for a third time because you’re guaranteed for a good time. I enjoyed myself, didn’t hate the movie, and just wanted it to be much more. Let’s hope it makes money enough to make a sequel that improves on the plot and acting in this film.
Be sure to check check out our Turtles Poll and vote on what Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle is your favorite!