Movie Reviews: ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’

Movie Info

What Worked?

Back in the ’90s, the turtles in a half shell hit the big screen with three live action movies that were ridiculously fun to watch for kids. Michael Bay wanted to bring those four pizza-eating, ass-kicking, cowabunga brothers back and resurrect them in a modern setting with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and seeing that he is Michael Bay he did exactly that.

If there’s one thing positive about this movie, it’s definitely the turtles. They look a bit odd, with their steroid-enhanced bodies and endless turtle “flair,” but they can be a fun bunch. The humor is extra cheesy at times, but the turtles seem to maintain a nostalgic hold. Once they get into action, they really shine, as the action scenes are pretty inventive and entertaining. The turtles probably never looked so bold in taking on Shredder and the foot clan.

Johnny Knoxville is Leonardo, Noel Fisher is Michelangelo, Alan Ritchson is Raphael, and Jeremy Howard is Donatello. They all have their moments to shine in this film, but the one that stands out is Fisher as Michelangelo, simply because he’s the most childish of the bunch. Despite all the downfalls, the turtles keep the film watchable with all of their silliness.

Overall, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles wasn’t the blockbuster we were hoping for, but it does give us a reason to eat pizza afterwards and it does give us some throwback turtle action. In other words, the film is entertaining, but you’ll probably be yelling “go ninja! go ninja! go!” walking out the theater instead of any line from this film.

Potential Drawbacks:

The story of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is completely ridiculous to begin with, so it’s not expected to be realistic, but it could’ve had a better plot. A guy that already seems to be filthy rich and powerful wants to kill off thousands of people to become even more rich and powerful? Right. The plot seemed like one lifted off of a video game from the ’90s. Just because the concept of mutated turtles being heroes is ridiculous already doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to have a good plot.

The dialogue was flat out horrible for the most part, and a lot of the jokes fell flat like week-old soda that’s been left out of the fridge. Will Arnett forced some of the most poorly-written jokes, which is sad, because he’s such a funny actor. In addition, Megan Fox was a non-factor as April O’Neil. Sure, she looks amazing, but she should’ve been allowed to actually do something. Typical Michael Bay banter with forced pop culture references and plugs are sprinkled throughout the film, which is expected, but it’s not even well done.

Let’s also take a look at the design of these characters beyond their poorly written back stories. Why in the hell does Shredder look like a throwaway character from Transformers 4? Bay must have been that lazy with this film. Although the turtles do look like they can wreak some havoc with their swole new look, who’s idea was it to vomit a crap load of accessories on them?

By the end of the film, you’ll be happy that you got to see TMNT in action again, but you’ll probably wonder why they used to be so much cooler.



About Author

Mike spends most his time and money on movies because of his strong belief that there's more truth in fiction. In the past, he's written for the Patch and Culture Mob news websites, particularly for the arts/entertainment and sports sections. He's also a published author, and an aspiring screenwriter. Show some love or call him out:

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