Archive for June 2016

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)   Leave a comment

As a life long fan of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise, I care very little about canon, and more about “major league butt-kicking.” I found this take on the Turtles to be very entertaining despite it’s shortcomings.

It’s pretty low concept. Bad guy wants to destroy things and get rich and somebody or something must stop it. Minus 1993’s TMNT III (the time traveling one) Turtle movies have never really fried your brain Christopher Nolan style. The lack of plot and story structure are actually a result of constant fan bitching. Michael Bay apparently wanted to mess with the origin of the Turtles and quickly learned that this could result in a hanging or a deadly Hollywood explosion of some nature. It’s not popular for someone who grew up with it all to say it, but a fresh new take on the franchise wouldn’t have killed anyone. But it seems disgruntled fans truly believe that their childhoods would disappear Back To The Future style if studios don’t stick to the same story we’ve heard for the last 30 years. So as a result of this several script changes and scenes had to be re-shot and led to an eight month delay. You can really thank Al Gore and his “internet” invention thing for that. It truly is a miracle something coherent came out of this mess.

And like most big budget movies these days, where the story lacks in originality and character depth, the special effects and action do make up for it to a degree. There are some really nice action sequences that genuinely blew me away. There’s a snowy downhill chase that didn’t seem to end until the budget said so, but a lot of fun when you add four turtles sledding down the hill on the backs of their shells. It reminded me of how much fun you can have watching a movie.

The Turtles in the flesh and April O’Neil (Megan Fox)

In this Turtle movie we see our heroes being able to do a lot more physically in motion capture CGI compared to the early 90’s Jim Henson puppet suits. I guess this benefits better for the human actors who actually have real actors to interact with rather than a tennis ball on a stick. As an old school fan I’ll always prefer the live Jim Henson costumes not only for the sake of nostalgia but they still look pretty good to me. There’s no substitute for a real life thing when you know you can touch it. Nevertheless the new CGI turtles look pretty stinkin’ real with solid voice acting to match the actors body language. Unfortunately the non CGI characters are less convincing at being life like. I was rooting for our protagonists April O’Neil and Vern Fenwick played by Megan Fox and Will Arnett to be a fun dynamic duo but there’s very little chemistry between them. Fox doesn’t quite have the personality to pull off the likability that April should have. I thought pairing her with Arnett would help but he doesn’t really play to his strengths either as he portrays sort of the awkward doofus of the film rather than that self absorbed jerk we love him for on Arrested Development.

Regardless of the film’s watered down feel I still want to see more of this particular Turtle world. With an origin story in place and our characters established the next film is less likely to get in its own way again. And there’s still an untapped resource that we have yet to see from any of the live action films: Bebop, Rocksteady, Baxter Stockman, Krang. Heck even Pizza Face would be fun. Well, maybe for Pizza Hut to advertise, but the list goes on and that’s why this franchise will too.

The Charasmatic Pizza Face


Posted June 7, 2016 by Nick Vitto in Uncategorized