I watched the newest Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie and I was thoroughly entertained from beginning to end. The 9-year-old me who saw the original 1990 film on opening weekend would have had his mind blown by this silver screen incarnation of turtle power.
Most believed this movie was doomed to fail the moment Michael Bay’s name was attached to the project. In fact, his name was mentioned so often that people thought he was the director when in fact, he was only a producer. Directing duties went to Jonathan Liebesman.
My preconceived notion of the film vetoed my desire to see it in the theater. I like to think that I don’t let reviews and other people’s opinions influence my decisions to see movies, but I fell into the internet’s trap and believed there was nowhere for the movie to go but down into the sewer of bad cinema.
TMNT did a lot more right than it got wrong. Changes such as bionic Shredder posed a more ominous threat because he is fighting four mutant turtles with enhanced size and strength. No amount of martial arts know-how, without physical augmentation, could combat our heroes in a half shell.
April O’Neil’s past connection with the turtles worked well here. I know that a lot of people hated this because it seems like lazy storytelling. However, this new origin story perfectly explains why they developed their bond so quickly. Besides, how many more times do we need to see April stumble upon the turtles in action?
Speaking of April O’Neil, Megan Fox was the wrong choice for this role. Most of what we experience with the story is seen through the lens of April and requires certain emotions and responses to be exhibited. Fox sounded the same whether she was happy, sad, in danger, or shocked.
Overall, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is a fun movie that has a nice balance of focus and screen time between the human cast and the heroes I paid to see. Those who crapped on the film need to remember that this didn’t need to be The Dark Knight where Michelangelo proclaims that he is the hero New York deserves, but not the one it needs.
This movie wasn’t made for us adults. It was made for the kids who watch the current animated series on Nickelodeon. The 1990 film remains my favorite, but the kid in me grades this 2014 rendition a C for COWABUNGA!