Friday, August 8, 2014

Review: teenage mutant NINJA TURTLES

(Image taken from:

Since I was born in 1983, I wasn't really old enough to seriously get into Thundercats, G.I. Joe, or The Transformers. I mean, I knew about them, had toys of them, but I wasn't that big a fan of them. I actually got into The Transformers much, much later, so the Michael Bay movies never really offended me all that much, aside from being terrible movies in general. Every last one of them.

But while I wasn't old enough to appreciate the most popular boy cartoons of the 80s, I was old enough when turtle fever finally hit, which was around 1989. I was fanatical, and I ingested every last thing I could that pertained to the turtles. Unfortunately, a lot of that stuff was garbage ("AAAh, Skipping stones!"), so I'm used to getting burned when it came to my heroes in a half shell. None of the movies were really any good except for the first and the animated one that came out around 2007. So when this new movie was announced about a year ago, I didn't get my hopes up. And when the images finally came out of what the turtles looked like, it was settled in my mind. This movie was going to be awful.

So, after seeing it last night, I'm actually quite surprised that it wasn't as bad as it could have been. Don't get me wrong. It's not good, and you won't be saying "radical!" by the time you step out of the theater. But it could have been a lot worse, especially with all the problems they had with the script. I'll just say this--It's better than all of the Transformers movies combined. I really couldn't ask for anything better than that.

But why is it bad? Well, it sucks for a number of reasons. The primary one is that it's slow. When I went to see it last night, a little girl who couldn't have been older than six whined about a quarter way through and said, "This is so BORING!" I couldn't have agreed with her more. April 'O Neill, played annoyingly by Megan Fox, takes up a huge portion of the movie as she's directly connected with the turtles. The turtles, I might add, don't fully appear for at least 15 minutes. So that sucks. And when they do appear, well, they're not so great. Leonardo doesn't really lead so much as he grimaces, Donny is made into an uber-nerd, but not in a good way (the kind you want to stick his head down the toilet and flush kind of way), and my favorite, Raph, is roid-raging and growling pretty much the whole way through. The only one with an actual personality is Mikey, and even he gets a bit annoying at times. Not good.

Also not good are the action scenes, which suck. There's one decent moment out in the snow that you've seen pieces of in the commercial, but other than that, the action is piss poor. It's cut too fast so you don't really see what's going on. And the Foot Clan is a joke. They're more terrorists than ninjas. What's the deal? Oh, and The Shredder might be the biggest offense of them all, as he has zero personality or backstory. His character could have been anyone. And...well, there are just a lot of problems with this film. The plot sucks, the characters suck, and even the music is annoying.

Buuuut, again, it could have been a lot worse. At least the movie was tolerable. I went into the film thinking, "If I was a kid and have never seen the turtles before, would I like this?" but I actually think I wouldn't. It was either too slow or frenetic fast. The only reason I didn't hate it might just because I still have a bit of the turtle fever in me yet, and it's nice to see my boys back in action, even if it's not the best showing it could have been.
Two stars out of four

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