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
(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. Eyes focused! Elbows locked! Stance lowered! Be...
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The film opens with an animated montage, reminiscent of the original TMNT comics. The film title appears at the end, with Leo's katana slicing through that. See more »
There's hardly a kid born from the 80s who has never heard of this totally bodacious group of walking, talking, pizza-eating, street-fighting reptiles. It has always been a goofy saga, but it was also hip, action-packed, and colorful. Can the same be said about the latest adaptation?
On the surface level, 2014's TMNT at least looks the part. It's a fairly breezy film that never takes itself seriously, packing on generous heapings of goofy comedy, stylish action scenes, and loads of special effects. The first half of the film takes its time to follow April O'Neil around, who inevitably uncovers the secret of the turtles' existence, and the outlandish Foot Clan plot to take over New York City. The last half of the film is pretty much all-out fighting and action, which includes a fight in the sewers, a lengthy chase scene down the slopes of a mountain, and a final showdown on top of a skyscraper. Thus, I found the last half of the film the most engaging.
It's still not without its problems though. Despite the light-hearted tone and all the jokes, very little of it made me laugh outright. The humor is quite low-brow and doofy. Action scenes will be a hit and a miss; fight scenes in the film's first half are horribly shot and edited (on purpose nonetheless). Later scenes are still hectic, but are at least watchable and fairly fun. Scenes in between try their best to keep things rolling fast and without becoming droll, but without any major emotional investment, these scenes tend to drag a bit.
Beyond the surface-level comedy and action, there's not much else to this film. The plot is pretty much a mash-up of typical TMNT fare and 2007's Transformers (also an adaptation of an 80s cartoon where human characters discover some weird life form and gets caught in the middle of a war nobody knew existed; both starring Megan Fox nonetheless). What plot the movie has is riddled with plot holes, and scenes that are simply way too unbelievable (maybe not a valid complaint for TMNT, but with the way the film tries to look believable, the film shoots its own creditability in the foot). The turtle characters are fun to watch, usually, and Splinter is one cool rat. They aren't terribly deep characters, but they are colorful, and there is just enough background to them to keep them from being total caricatures. Other characters aren't as good: April O'Neil is almost annoying as she obsesses over the turtles and shouts her findings at everybody she runs across. Her sidekick is a dork. Shredder is extremely flat, lifeless, and lacking in presence, serving little more than an excuse to have a boss fight at the end of the movie. The film draws some connections between all the characters to give their interactions more backing, but it only strains the creditability of the plot even further.
The film's photography looks good sometimes and terrible at other times. Editing is choppy. Acting is pretty lackluster from the whole crowd; Megan Fox is far from endearing despite her looks, the voice acting can be a hit or a miss, and other actors don't really take their roles seriously, for better or for worse. Writing is pretty daft. This production uses okay-looking sets, props, and costumes. Locales are pretty small-scale most of the time. Special effects vary from good to bad. Music is okay (I got to admit that I found the end credits song catchy).
This incarnation of the Turtles definitely has its flaws, but it tries to be a fun picture, and it is at least partway successful. Not everybody will be quite as easily charmed as I am, so I'm compelled to recommend approaching this movie with caution.
3/5 (Entertainment: Pretty Good | Story: Marginal | Film: Marginal)
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