Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Review
By: Wesley Boutilier
The Ninja Turtles reboot suffered through a good bit of criticism before even being released. Whether it was the announcement that Michael Bay was set to produce the movie or the fact that Megan Fox would be playing April O’Neil, it seemed like TMNT just couldn’t catch a break. I was tempted to boycott this film altogether, until a new trailer showed up online. “This movie might actually be good,” I thought.
I was sort of right, but not really. This movie isn’t really bad or good. In fact, it isn’t much of anything. I know I sat through a movie, but I never really felt involved with anything that was happening onscreen. That’s pretty bad when the film in question is about anthropomorphic turtles doing karate.
One problem is that there is way too much time spent exploring the origins of the turtles. What could have easily been explained during an opening credits sequence is drawn out much longer throughout a series of flashbacks. These characters have been around for over a decade, we don’t need that much background information. It was originally reported that this movie would show the turtles as aliens from another planet, rather than mutants. That turned out to be untrue, but somehow they still managed to make unnecessary changes to their origin story. These changes might seem like a “fresh” take on the story, if they weren’t so similar to the origins used in the recent Amazing Spider-Man films.
A more obvious issue is the cast of human characters that share the screen with our four heroes. Megan Fox may no longer be a part of the Transformers franchise, but that doesn’t stop her from playing the exact same character in this movie. Will Arnett isn’t much better, as his attempts to make us laugh are continuously thwarted by terrible writing. William Fichtner plays a decent villain, but Eric Sacks isn’t the most exciting character. However, he’s a lot more interesting than Shredder, who seems like nothing more than an unnamed boss at the end of a video game level.
The turtles themselves all looked great visually and had the personalities to match. Leonardo was clearly the leader, Raphael was the bad boy, Donatello did machines and Mikey was definitely the party dude. There were times when their dialogue would get a bit tiresome, such as Michelangelo’s constant remarks about April being hot, but they really did a good job capturing their brotherly bond. Unfortunately, the turtles get their asses kicked throughout the entire movie. I have no idea why, but it was almost depressing to watch. At one point Raphael even says “We’re getting our asses kicked out there.” That’s how bad it was.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is proof that some things are better off left alone. I’d advise you to stay home and watch the original 1990’s trilogy before shelling out fifteen bucks to see this 3D fiasco. The obnoxious child sitting behind me in the theater said it best when he shouted “Is this movie over yet?”