I got to see the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie on Friday and to my surprise the movie wasn’t half bad, of course it wasn’t half good either. Let’s get all the formalities out of the way. The film was made by Nickelodeon studios with producer Micheal Bay. TMNT was written by Josh Appelbaum, Andre Nemec, Evan Daugherty, was directed by Jonathan Liebesman and stars Megan Fox as April O’Neil with Will Arnett as Vern Fenwick. The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were created by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird. With all that taken care of let’s get down to the fun part, my thoughts.
Warning Spoilers Ahead
Let’s start with the beautiful elephant in the room Megan Fox. It’s no doubt that she is one of the most beautiful movies in the world but that is the extent of her “talent” and in this film she is nothing but a very pretty 2 x 4 used to hold the movie together. Anytime she opens her mouth I hear “Blah, Blah, Blah, Ninja Turtles, blah, blah, blah my dad’s death, blah, blah, blah, Vern.” This formula has been used a lot in Hollywood, see Jessica Alba in “The Fantastic Four”. Beyond that she is in almost every scene, in fact she is in the movie more than the actual protagonist, the Turtles. This is a Bay staple just as in Transformers, we focus more on trying to develop the human characters and less on trying to the develop the actual characters in our case the Turtles. The worst part of this is that she is the story, she named the turtles and splinter, she saved them from a fire, she accidentally leads Shredder to them. She saves the Turtles from Shredder and she makes the Shredder kill that’s right April O’Neil beats the Shredder. Ugh…just ugh with a side of ugh.
Will Arnett is awful as Vern Fenwick April’s comic relief/love interest. There was no need for his character as the comic relief of the movie came from Michelangelo who hit on all cylinders. Fenwick came of bland and only useful to get April from point A to point B. William Fichtner’s Eric Sachs was another useless throw away character. Fichtner who was originally to play the Shredder fell victim to reshoots and was taken down to evil scientist role. If an evil scientist was needed why not use Baxter Stockman character, he fits into Turtles lore and has reuse potential as a mutated villan instead of a guest cameo role. Sachs character goals are nothing to be desired all he wants to be is “stupid rich”. Shredder is more one dimensional than the rest of them. He wants the turtles so he can use the mutagen in their blood to rule NY? His armor was more Iron Samurai that Shredder. I get that he should have some upgrades to fight giant mutant turtles but to have swords that can be shot at you then recalled seems like overkill.
Surprisingly I did enjoy the Turtles, the voice acting was spot on even Johnny Knoxville as Leonardo impressed me. Even Tony Shalhoub as Master Splinter worked well. The action scene on the snowy mountain was awesome showcasing the Turtles characteristics and traits very well. Like I said earlier Mikey and even Ralph were great as the comic relief. I love the fact that they are working on a Hip Hop Christmas album. I also enjoyed the elevator scene before the Shredder fight. In this scene the turtles create a killer beat with just some beat boxing their weapons banging and the elevator ding. My only wish that they were in the movie more.
In the end TMNT was a horrible movie with some redeeming qualities. The Turtles were the best part of the movie but were glossed over for a April O’Neil story which was not needed. The human characters were all bland and boring. They only Turtle with a character arc of any type is Raphael and it really was much of anything. In the end 8-18 year old boys will love this film, true fanboys will hate the movie. If you are a fan boy go watch the 90’s TMNT movie instead.
Oxidation Level 2 out of 5