Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

A Decent Pizz-a Entertainment

What?! Another turtles pencil case? I’ve already been given that. What I don’t have is the turtles van. Where is the turtles van?

Ahhhh… good memories. Of course, that was when I was about 8. I’d like to think I’m a little more grateful on my birthday nowadays.

So my memory has never been my greatest asset but I do remember being absolutely obsessed with the turtles as a kid so I secretly let out a little bit of wee when I heard about a turtles movie.

When I found out that it was Michael Bay directing the movie I couldn’t help but think this was going to be Transformers except with turtles and to an extent it is.

The film opens up with an uprising of a foot clan ruled over by the evil Shredder (Tohoru Masamune). April O’Neil (Megan Fox) assumes the role of the hot reporter given shitty scoops like a street fitness awareness campaign which is really an excuse for her to don skin tight lycra and jump around in a scene that is quite frankly just shallow titillation. But I’m a man, so… hmm.

Anyway! April wants to be a serious reporter so she hunts down the foot clan activity to get scoops and accidentally comes across the turtles. She tries to bring this revelation to Channel 6 station chief Bernadette Thompson (Whoopi Goldberg) who obviously thinks she’s lost it.

This tripe takes about 30 minutes of clunky acting and chemistry-vacant, boring, character introductions. By this point I’m thinking about committing seppuku to ease the pain.

Then we are treated to the sole reason you came to see this film: ninja turtles. Remember when they changed the names to hero turtles? Was that just in the UK? Well whatever but these turtles are most certainly ninjas.

The fight scenes are so much fun that I came out of the cinema wanting to watch it again immediately. The action is better than any of the episodes I watched as a kid and I happily sat there with a childlike wonder scribbled on my face with felt tip pen.

I know that a lot of people who grew up in the 80’s will be looking closely at the origin story and for the most part it follows along a similar line. I think the Splinter origin story is different and how closely April is linked to the turtles but like I said earlier my memory isn’t err… thingy.

If you can overlook the origin story’s what you might not be able to overlook is their faces. They look like the love child of a human, a turtle and a dinosaur. They have shells, walk and talk like humans but have the tough scaly skin and defined muscles of a velociraptor. It’s really jarring to watch at first but you get used to it by the end of the film and in fact I quite like how they look.

Even though they are the gritty reboot of their TV ancestors their individual characters are pretty spot on. Leonardo is the slightly boring leader but good all rounder. Donatello is the Genius who is probably the worst and ninjery-ness. Michaelangelo is the goofy party dude and everyone’s favourite Raphael is a bit of an a-hole.

Wait, what? That’s not how Raph is meant to be! He’s cool but crude. Not in this. In this film he seems to be played by angry black man. He is always moody and just gets on everyone’s case. It’s a bit weird but hopefully they’ll lighten him up for the inevitable sequel.

The story is, you know, acceptable and it’s faithfulness to the comics/TV shows is overall passable. More importantly is that the film is super fun and apart from the first 30 minutes it embodies the spirit of the original series that I couldn’t get enough of as a dumb kid.

Mix in some awesome fight scenes, especially the Shredder Vs Splinter fight some enjoyable turtle banter and you get more than a half shell of good times. Go watch it – just don’t expect Oscar winning anything.

Go See

  • Fight scenes are real good
  • Fun dialogue
  • Splinter – The new yoda

Avoid

  • The first 30 minutes
  • May not suit a turtles purist
  • Just entertainment nothing more

Overall

3-5-stars

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