Thursday, August 7, 2014

Teenage Mutant Ninja Missed Opportunities

     It has been a summer filled with mostly lackluster movies. Let's be honest X-Men, Captain America 2, and Guardians are the only movies that really deserve a summer movie mention. People will argue a few more, but I am going with the undeniable winners. I don't have the hatred for Michael Bay that a lot of people do. The first Transformers movie didn't ruin my childhood. Now Bay and company tackle Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. It is a tough one and I learned after watching this that not every cartoon merits live action. 

    The city of New York is being corrupted by the foot clan and the evil Shredder. The turtles fight crime in the cover of darkness until discovered by up and coming reporter April O'Neil (Megan Fox). She tries to convince people of their existence only to lose her job and accidentally confide in her fathers former employer Eric Sacks (William Fichtner). She eventually discovers that the turtles were part of her fathers lab experiment and develops a friendship with the outcasts. They learn that the Shredder and Sacks plan to release a deadly toxin on the city and it is up to the turtles to stop them. 

   The heroes in a half shell have seen the big screen on four occasions. The most notable are the rubber suited classics from the 90's. The turtles are famous for immature comedy and silliness and the movie does hold true to that. They love pizza and are taught the art of the ninja from a talking rat. The movie is faithful to all of those source points. Make no mistake, the new turtles look much better.

   The redesign is the best part of the movie. The turtles are different sizes and their looks reflect their personalities. They still use their classic weapons and keep the distinctive colors intact. The fight scenes are fun and the movie has a few moments that work well. Shredder looks a bit robotic, but still better than the older movies. 

  The plot feels like a cartoon and is acted out accordingly. Fichtner isn't threatening, but it feels like it was on purpose. The movie seems to treat the audience like they are always nine years old. It never gets to intense on any level. I literally felt like I was watching a cartoon without the animation. 

  The plot is silly and simple and I am not a Megan Fox hater either, but it feels like she is the only one trying to take things seriously. Will Arnet seemed to need a pay check or has kids that he did it for. Fox seems to really try to convey emotion and it just seems even more cheesy. If they make Sharknado 3, Fox should be the lead. 

   It could have been more fun. The origin will anger fans of the original. I think the best turtle movie was the animated TMNT from a few years ago. To me, this is a franchise that really doesn't translate beyond a cartoon. It will make money and people will see it, but in the end it just lacks turtle power. 


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