They’re ninjas. They’re teenagers. They’re mutants. And they’re turtles. They’re lost in coherence of plots and depth of characters; as they bear lots of plot holes. But, they still have hyper-energy in humour and action. Another “guilty-pleasure” films, produced by another guilty-pleasure film.
The latest Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film is, obviously, the most not-anticipated film during this blockbuster season. Critics seem underwhelmed long before the screening—pointing out the producer—Michael Bay, who once again brings properties from our childhood to the screen (after the “glorified” Transformers) and his reunion with Megan Fox, also the Turtles’ sinister designs as sources of skeptical. Director Jonathan Liebesman’s filmography (noted Wrath of Titans) leaves no relief, after all.
I personally grew up with TMNT as a part of the 90s pioneering pop culture in any platform; maybe that’s the reason this rebooted TMNT is quite an entertainment for me. Our heroes are still turtles, anyway; and they’re still ninjas, teenagers, and mutant (literally) at once. Their new design, with Japanese chest armor and details of their peculiarity, is more badass and grimmer than anything before, moreover this mo-capped turtles make more sense than costumed turtles. Along with their hyper-energized genuine jokes and frantic fanboying to pop culture, these turtles is not dull—they’re entertaining.
What irritating from TMNT is, most obviously, the scripts—it’s like, omit the jokes and everything crumbles. This TMNT focuses on two interrelated storylines from POV of April O’Neil (Megan Fox) and the titular super-turtles—the leader Leonardo, ferocious Raphael, goofy Michelangelo, and nerdy Donatello. April—fed up with Foot Clan, criminal group led by TMNT‘s archenemy Shredder—witnesses vigilant action done by the coming-of-age turtles, who turn out, being crazy about pop culture and martial arts.
While April finds a way to prove what she witnesses, with helps from his bluffy partner, Vern (Will Arnett); the turtles get lessons of responsibility from their mentor, Splinter. Then, there’s turnovers to April; then, April and the turtles work together to fight the evil Shredder along with his allies. Everything goes swiftly as the plot downs to be extremely cliched and dried.
TMNT‘s super-swift plot is biased—gives no depth to the titular character, but focuses more to April. The worst of all, the script also impudently alters the origins of the turtles along with Splinter. Lack of energy on plot, TMNT fails to convince with hyper-energetic action—only one or two action sequences that work well, like the convincingly-staged snow-mountain slide sequences; other action sequences are banal, note the final showdown against Shredder. As I said before, omit the humour from the films and everything crumbles.
This year’s summer blockbuster season is proven to be very competitive and keen. And TMNT only wins over Michael Bay’s Transformers 4. So scoffing and ironic.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle (2014)
Action, Adventure, Comedy Running Time: 101 mins Directed by: Jonathan Liebesman Written by: Josh Appelbaum, André Nemec, Evan Daugherty (screenplay) Peter Laird, Kevin Eastman (characters) Starred by: Megan Fox, Will Arnett, William Fitchner, Johnny Knoxville, Tony Shalhoub, Alan Ritchson, Noel Fisher, Pete Ploszek, Jeremy Howard, Whoopi Goldberg