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Michael Bay wants you to believe in turtle power. The producer known for explosions and thin screenplays has worked his magic on a series that has been dormant since the early 1990s, and the outcome is exactly what you’d expect.
Regardless of the source material, most people are familiar with the turtles through the 1990s film franchise and the late 1980s show. If you’re a fan of those, like me, you’ll be disappointed to learn that Bay and director Jonathan Liebesman have transformed Michelangelo, Leonardo, Raphael, and Donatello into hideous, obnoxious, and largely unlikable CGI creatures that do all the CGI things that make certain movies hideous, obnoxious, and largely unlikeable.
Whereas the first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles had a discernible real-world roughness to it, or at least the practical effects made the surroundings feel semi-accessible, this new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is essentially a whirl of color and bigger-and-louder action sequences. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles made me wish Shredder had finished off the entire cast of characters in the first five minutes, thanks to a bland premise and eye-rolling dialogue—even for a movie about talking deformed turtles. Also, you must try to play this Which Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Character Are You quiz.
Which Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Character Are You?
April O’Neil (Megan Fox, who apparently reconnected with Michael Bay since he’s the only guy who will offer her jobs anymore) is an obnoxious want tobe reporter who is constantly placed in demeaning settings because that’s what a female reporter can do in a Michael Bay-produced picture.
But, in reality, the film is a jumbled muddle. While it made a lot of money as is, it’s a shame a bit more effort wasn’t put into the story and scripting. A film about mutated turtles doesn’t have to be Oscar-worthy, but a bit more originality and less lobotomy-inducing jargon would have helped.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is a terrible, ugly, and obnoxious collection of computer-generated special effects. Turtle strength? I’d rather have turtle soup.
Can this turtle spectacular possibly live up to such high expectations after receiving so much media attention? Happily, and somewhat surprisingly, the film Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles considerably outperforms it, owing to the fact that it is worlds apart from the youngsters’ TV cartoon.
About the quiz
The word Ninja in the title provides a hint that things is not as it appears. The BBC dropped it (along with a lot of the TV series’ original martial artistry) in favor of Hero, and it’s re-inserted here in a film that stays true to Laird and Eastman’s original comic, while the amphibians themselves, vastly simplified by the animator, have been suitably reconstructed to resemble those first muscular, vaguely threatening drawings. The foursome themselves are the largest, most pleasurable difference of all. Without the cartoon’s gadgetry – flying cars and the like – they’re given recognized and very individual identities, providing a stage for the snappy, squabbling, completely grown-up humour the creators lavished on their streetwise creations through their interplay.
The plot is, thankfully, straightforward. The Turtles stop Shredder’s Fagin-style crime wave in New York City by saving April O’Neill, a constantly though impractically mini-skirted TV reporter, from a mugging. They do this because they a) like her and b) enjoy a good battle, rather than because they have a strong sense of right and wrong.