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Darkness has settled over New York City as Shredder and his evil Foot Clan have an iron grip on everything from the police to the politicians. The future is grim until four unlikely outcast brothers rise from the sewers and discover their destiny as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The Turtles must work with fearless reporter April O'Neil and her cameraman Vern Fenwick to save the city and unravel Shredder's diabolical plan. Written by
The Turtles are primarily influenced by their Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003) characteristics: Leonardo is a samurai, Raphael is a brute fighter, Michaelangelo is a cool punk and Donatello is a tinkerer. See more »
(at around 51 mins) The cameraman's head is briefly visible. See more »
You are extraordinary, my sons. Unlike anything the world has ever seen. Bowed in greatness, destined to protect the people of New York! A dark force is growing: a criminal organization known as the Foot Clan, so named because they step over the good people of this city with no regard. Their leader, Shredder, will come at you with ferocity. His Foot Clan will outnumber you! The people of New York will look upon you as their only hope.
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Part of the closing credits are a sequence of illustrated scenes from the film. See more »
Like many other people, the original 1990 "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" movie has a very special place in my childhood. Even if the movie wasn't all that great, it was fantastic for what it was trying to be. Now we're in 2014, where our beloved turtles have been given a whole new lick of paint with a straight-up reboot and have the daunting task of winning the long time TMNT faithful over. Needless to say that for the most part, I am one fan that was not entirely won over.
First and foremost, the Turtles. What is the fundamental premise of the TMNT? They're wise-cracking, pizza-eating, energetic teenagers that just so happen to be mutated ninja turtles that fight crime. The Turtles are goofballs, but in 2014, it's a little bit of a different story. There's still the humor, the jokes and comedy, but now the turtles are massive 6-foot-tall, muscle-bound turtle-men who have a very gritty feel to them, and when they're not in action, look way too real and off-putting. If they weren't green and didn't have shells, the Turtles would literally just be your average hulking action heroes. This franchise is about giant turtles who do martial arts. It's a goofy concept. Giving the Turtles a gritty makeover seems to miss the appeal of the characters in a fundamental way. However, despite the poor design choice of the Turtles, they really are a joy to watch. It might be a lot more serious than you'd expect from TMNT, but the Turtles are still wildly entertaining and more action-fueled than ever with the help of solid effects and choreography that bring the Turtle action to life. If you can withstand the eyesore that the Turtles' design brings, then there is still a lot of old school TMNT magic to revisit.
For the movie's main plot, you have what is essentially the most painfully basic, generic action story that a film can get. The movie is so predictable, it's almost laughable. What is also very disappointing is that the Turtles are no longer fighting crime, even though that's what is essentially believed, but a basic supervillain. Yes, the ultimate TMNT villain Shredder is in the film, but not only does he not get the screen time or proper development he deserves, he's basically cast aside as a secondary villain to the "I'm rich but have to get richer" villain that is Eric Sacks. It's disappointing to not be able to see the Turtles fight their way through dozens of foot soldiers like the old days, with all of the witty remarks during combat intact. There are still funny lines sputtered during combat, but the action scenes are so limited that there's simply not enough of it.
Not helping is the horrendous casting of Megan Fox as April O'Neil. In 1990, April O'Neil was the hot shot news reporter that made the amazing discovery of the Turtles and she developed an amazing bond with them. She was important to the story no doubt, but wasn't essential in the Turtle's story. Fast forward to 2014, and now April is nothing but the center of attention for everything in the movie, even essential back story information about the Turtles. Megan Fox amazingly gets much more screen time than the Turtles, and every time she comes on screen I cringe until our shelled heroes return. Not every action movie has to have an epic story line or to feel gritty and real. TMNT is supposed to be all about the opposite, but the unfortunate presence of producer Michael Bay is clearly felt in the direction of the film. From the camera shots, to the serious tone of the action to the slow motion parts, this movie has too much of a focus on seriousness, when it should be taking itself very lightly.
Like I stated earlier, despite the off-putting design and feel of the Turtles, they still are a lot of fun to watch and are the lifeblood of the film. What is missing, however, is the strong character development of the Turtles. There isn't enough down time in the movie to really get to know them. Some of the best moments of the 1990 film were in the form of the Turtles hanging out, making jokes, eating pizza and training together. That chemistry was not felt as strongly in the new TMNT and the movie just assumes that you all ready know who and what each Turtle is all about. But all you really find out is that one is a jokester, one's a tech geek, one's the leader and one has anger issues. More down time and better character development would've given the Turtles the extra boost to make them the incredibly entertaining bunch they're meant to be.
Being such a huge TMNT fan, I wanted to have higher expectations for this reboot. But with Megan Fox and Michael Bay attached, the poor look and design of the Turtles, along with the general off-setting feel of the film, I had to come in with lower expectations. There are some wonderful action sequences and the Turtles bring enough pop to the movie to make them likable and fun, but sadly, my low expectations were met in this failed attempt the reboot a childhood classic.
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