The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have deeply ingrained themselves in pop-culture with their first introduction in the comics to the cartoon series we all know and love. I’m very sure that we’ve all been guilty at one time or another yelling ‘Cowabunga’ and laying siege on an unsuspecting adult… or in my case a younger brother. These memories will forever keep the turtles close to our heart and and the same time very apprehensive the moment there’s a new incarnation of the fab four.
From the moment the movie was announced, TMNT has been met with as much criticism as excitement, an I can totally understand why. I’ve seen the Tranformers totally slaughtered in the Age of Extinction and while Michael Bay is only a producer for TMNT I couldn’t help but shudder at the though that this could really be one for the sewers.
Needless to say I went in with NO expectations whatsoever… and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. I simply love how the Turtles themselves turned out. Granted they do look eerily like Shrek, but their individual personalities shined through – something that was severely lacking in Transformers. Michelangelo is aloof and random but very endearing and genuine. Donatello is very evidently the brains of the group and ever involved with his gadgets and inventions. The hot-headed Rafael (my personal fave) is not as much of a smart-mouth as I’d like him to be, but his passion and grit shine through. Leonardoplays his part as the dependable leader very well and I really enjoyed the way his conflict with Rafael plays out. Splinter does come across at the zen-like fatherly figure that kicks ass when provoked. Finally April O’neill, played by Megan Fox is decent enough – not a performance that will stand out, but not the over-played and cloying damsel-in-distress either.
The action sequences and backdrops look suspiciously like a Transformers movie, but it’s the fluidity of the Turtles’ movements that I liked. The Shredder however looked very cumbersome – not as ninja-like as he should have been and more like another rendition of the Silver Samurai from The Wolverine.
While the plot isn’t grade A material – c’mon it IS a show about mutant turtles, that are ninjas… and are teenagers – it’s an enjoyable experience that definitely has its moments. The banter between the turtles are reminiscent of both the comics and the cartoons and the animated series. With 4 movies (3 live-action and 1 animated) a couple of incarnations of the animated series and the comics, the latest offering is a decent addition to the franchise.