April O’Neil is investigating the rise of the Foot Clan who have been causing trouble in the city of New York. She hopes to find out who is behind the clan so that she can leave her currently uninspired news reporting at Channel 6, which sees her doing elaborate bird themed work outs in front of the camera. Her intuition soon brings her to the Foot Clan suspiciously unloading cargo from the docks. As she videos the crime taking place, she witnesses unidentifiable vigilantes stopping the Foot Clan in their tracks. This won’t be the last time she sees them.
Michael Bay brings another childhood staple to the big screen but this time from the producers chair. Although he may as well have directed the TMNT reboot as Jonathan Liebesman clearly takes notes from the Transformers director. Everything from the glossy CGI to the Bayhem that ensues, it would be hard not to draw similarities. At least this time Megan Fox isn’t just there for her looks, although it’s hard not to notice her in that bright yellow jacket.
Despite having watched the cartoons at a very young age, I wasn’t very enthused about the release of this film. Maybe because I’d forgotten a lot about the franchise or after watching Transformers: Age of Extinction a month prior, I just couldn’t stomach another Michael Bay film. That said, I decided to pass on the ticket price and waited for it to come out on video. Although I’m glad I didn’t pay the $10 to watch this film in the cinema, I can’t say that I would have been disappointed if I had. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles from the outset is clearly a child friendly film. Once I got in that mindset, it was easier to just sit back and enjoy it. It was nice falling in love with these characters again and remembering the old days coming back from school and watching these cartoons. For hard out fans it may not be the same pleasant case of nostalgia as I’m aware they’ve completely butchered the character of shredder, literally and figuratively. He looked like a walking Swiss army knife. The turtles and Splinter aren’t too pretty either, unluckily for splinter he doesn’t have a mask to hide it. That being said I don’t think this is a completely bad film. It’s a decent origin story and first installment in the franchise, and for me personally has aroused enough interest for me to be more enthusiastic about the sequel which is already planned for 2016.
TMNT doesn’t have much going for it in terms of story. It’s incredibly generic and worn out. Bad guy wants to release a biological weapon on the city, corrupt business man makes tonnes of money from curing everyone. Being child friendly isn’t a good enough excuse for a lack of originality. Although The Lego Movie pretty much had that same plot, except it had a nice underlying message behind it. TMNT is quite simply shallow mindless fun which is forgivable if it succeeds in being fun. In my opinion it succeeds thanks to the facetious nature of the turtles and the cartoony action. Although it is let down by a script caked in exposition. There’s a huge portion in the middle of the film which consists of flashbacks and explanations, which ultimately ruins the whole flow of the film.
I welcomed the prospect of seeing a Megan Fox led film, partly because she’s gorgeous but also because I think she has more to give. After seeing her in This is 40, it’s clear that she is funny and has a sense of comedic timing which makes a film like TMNT a place she can thrive. I was disappointed not to see a lot of comedic moments where she could showcase that, and when she did have that opportunity, she was let down by the script. That being said I didn’t connect with her character as much as the turtles. Overall there weren’t any standout performances from the cast; solid but comfortable.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles may not be the best film but thanks to some charismatic turtles and a few exciting action sequences, it prevents itself from being a bad one. It’s a film that kids are sure to enjoy but the script is neither exciting or funny enough for the whole family to enjoy together. For me personally, I’m glad that a sequel is being made so that it has another shot at success.