Plot: Darkness has settled over New York City as Shredder and his evil Foot Clan have an iron grip on everything from the police to the politicians. The future is grim until four unlikely outcast brothers rise from the sewers and discover their destiny as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The Turtles must work with fearless reporter April O’Neil and her cameraman Vern Fenwick to save the city and unravel Shredder’s diabolical plan.
Review: So after months and months of controversy and angry letters from fans, Michael Bays Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is finally hitting theaters this week. The question on every turtle fans mind is how bad are they going to f*** this up? Well the answer is not as bad as you may think. In actuality, they didn’t really ruin it; but they did not do anything great with it either.
This movie is basically a retelling of the Ninja Turtles origins, though it does not waste much time in getting you up to speed. They basically figured if you are seeing this film then you know what you’re in for. That being said, the first 20 minutes or so is slow and slightly boring, with the focus more on April O Neal (played by Megan Fox) trying to be taken serious as a news reporter. Fox really hams it up here, playing the go getter that wants to help people. Honestly it is pretty cheesy and watching it makes you worry that they did indeed screw this up. But once the turtles are introduced everything starts to become pick up speed. While Megan Fox does not seem to be trying to hard here, she at least looks the part of April O Neal.
But it is the turtles themselves that really make the movie watchable. All four turtle brothers are true to their older counter parts, with Michelangelo stealing the show with his witty humor and crush on April, which actually leads to some pretty adult jokes for a movie whose target audience is supposed to kids. Leonardo is still the leader and moral string of the brothers, Raphael is still the badass with the attitude, and Donatello is the nerdy tech turtle. The only difference now is that you can easily tell them apart just with a first glance. Raphael is bigger than the others, towering over them and bulked up. And boy did the director go a long way to make Donnie look as nerdy as possible, with the taped up glasses and gear.
Say what you will about the way the Turtles look, the humor is still present and that is what saves this movie from being a complete disaster. The Turtles tend to crack jokes whenever they can and still act like the teenagers they are supposed to be. An elevator scene towards the end had most of the audience cracking up, with a break from the crazy action that is quite hilarious. Speaking of crazy action, this is a Michael Bay film, so the action scenes are crazy awesome and beautiful to look at. The snowy hill covered chase that has been glimpsed during the trailers is a great sight to behold and will sweep you up quickly.
So, could the Turtles’ re-boot been better? Almost exclusively yes. The film lacks any semblance of a true story, they even tried the Amazing Spiderman approach by connecting April to the Turtles and the Shredder by her father. Which, by the way, not to spoil anything but don’t expect the Shredder to be who you think he is. I know they have been saying that William Fichtner would be playing the iconic villain but this was basically a bold face lie, though I don’t hate what they choose to do either. Now, was it as bad as it could have been? Definitely not, it just hit the middle of not great but not horrible. Let’s just hope they get a second chance to redo some of the mistakes, as the film left it open for a definite sequel. Hopefully we will see more characters that we know and love. 7/10