The original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie from the ’90s was not the greatest but nevertheless it had heart, which is what the newest film is completely absent of. After the Turtles successfully hit the big screen in 1990 the franchise’s sequels have been a huge disappointment. So growing up as a huge TMNT fan I’ve always wanted to see my beloved turtles get another shot at the big screen, but when I found out that Michael Bay was involved I quickly became skeptical … sorry, a film requires more than explosions.
Yes, Mr. Bay was only a producer for this film, but even his presence reeks with bad a resume of garbage films. Of course, everything that Hollywood did to reboot our fighting reptiles did not redeem them, instead it depletes them. Paramount did everything wrong with its direction (director Jonathan Liebesman), cast (Megan Fox), dialog, editing and action scenes. Liebesman (Battle: Los Angeles and Wrath of the Titans) was a horrible pick for this film. He doesn’t know how to rightly construct a film and failed at giving the turtles an even semi-worthy tribute. As for the cast, Fox can’t act to save her life and was probably only picked so Mr. Bay and middle school boys could drool over her on screen. Fox’s performance of New York’s most admired new reporter, April O’Neil, is like a slap in the face to turtle fans.
But enough of me ranting, let’s dig into the film itself … The plot, as in the other turtle movies, is rather simple: Shredder (Tohoru Masamune) and his evil foot clan are stirring up trouble and chaos in New York City. It’s up to the turtles, Leonardo (Pete Ploszek), Michelangelo (Noel Fisher), Donatello (Jeremy Howard) and Raphael (Alan Ritchson) to team up with news reporter O’Neil (Fox), eat some pizza and take down Shredder. Sadly, what could’ve been turned into a fun adventure turns into a brainless, worthless mess of a film. Yes, the special effects are top-notch and make our turtles look more real than ever (better that those puppet suits from the ’90s), but the overabundance of CGI and bloated action scenes wear this film down. Not to mention the poor dialog and sloppy editing that will leave you with a headache by the end.
What set the original apart from this film is that the original was actually enjoyable and full of heart. Now, we get a dull and lifeless turtles film lacking any sense of human touch or emotion. I was not looking for a masterpiece when I went into this film, but I would like to have seen a little more effort put in than what was shown on screen. It is so frustrating when you want to see at least a half decent film created by the studio, but in the end receive nothing. To make matters worse Paramount has already signed for another sequel in 2016. My hope is for other turtle fans to see that they deserve better and not stoop down to this rubbish. In the end, I’ll just continue to re-watch the amazing ’80s cartoon and the original on VHS. Hopefully, someday there will be a brighter future for our pizza-loving reptiles. Sorry dudes, no Chowabunga this time around.