Director: Jonathan Liebesman
Starring: Megan Fox, Will Arnett, William Fichtner
Release Date: August 8, 2014
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles made their splash into our lives in 1984 via a comic book published by Mirage Studios. The original concept was just a joke at first but little would the creators know, they just created four heroes that would soon be loved by people all over the world. The turtles have went through many transformations since '84 and producer Michael Bay and director Jonathan Liebesman transformed the turtles once again. Originally they planned to have the turtles lose their 'teenage' and 'mutant' titles and just have them be Ninja Turtles... from space. But that idea was thrown out the window and instead they decided to give them a new look and somewhat of a new story. Unfortunately that wouldn't be enough to save Liebesman from putting out just an average film.
Darkness has settled over New York City as Shredder (Tohoru Masamune) 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.
If you're planning on watching TMNT with hopes of seeing the same turtles you saw growing up than abort mission now and don't waste your money. If you want to give this film an open mind than you'll enjoy a... decent film. Like I said previously, TMNT has been through many changes throughout it's history so no one should be surprised that Bay, Liebesman and their team decided to change the pizza eating ninjas once again. I personally grew up with the Foot Clan being ninjas, and some might have been fans of the Foot Clan members who were robots. But change is constant, and this time the Foot Clan are a paramilitary force.
When the word ninja comes up, I automatically think of lean, quick and fairly small fighting machines. In their latest adaptation, the turtles are no longer small but HUGE and STRONG. Yes, we see the turtles show off their martial arts skills with their weapons of choice but when it comes to fighting their opponents, we lose the martial arts and get more brute force that would be personally the only thing I have against the physical changes that the turtles went through. As for other changes, their story took a minor change that was too big for me to accept. For some odd reason, superhero films love to connect their characters together. April O'Neal, her deceased father, and his boss Eric Sachs all have a connection with the creation of the turtles. This addition to the story is unnecessary and creates a huge coincidence that O'Neal was the one who discovered the turtles which makes the film distasteful.
If you didn't love TMNT because of the action then you were definitely like myself and loved the franchise due to the relationship and interaction between Michelangelo (Noel Fisher
), Donatello (Jeremy Howard
), Leonardo (Johnny Knoxville
) and Raphael (Alan Ritchson
). As soon as the four turtles get some screen time, your love for the franchise will finally appear. Director Liebesman does a great job portraying the first 'T' in TMNT throughout the film which is 'Teenage.' You're drowned by humor and even though adolescents and children are the targeted demographic, adults will let go of a few chuckles. The interaction between our favorite pizza eating ninjas wasn't the only thing that was hit right on the nail. The characteristics of each turtle was perfectly demonstrated as well. With Michelangelo being the star of the film with his laid back personality and a very humorous crush on O'Neal. Perhaps Donatello's nerd level could have been toned down a few notches. Splinter (Tony Shalhoub) on the other hand gets more shine than he has in other mediums as we are shown how and who taught the turtles everything they know. As for the humans, they are pretty sub par in the film.
Overall, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles met some expectations but not enough for it to be a solid movie. I wouldn't consider it an awful film due to it perfectly capturing the brotherly love between the four turtles, which is something I enjoyed the most.
Liebesman took an odd direction when it was decided to make the turtles into huge monstrous fighting machines which totally disregarded the 'Ninja' in TMNT but the last 'T', 'Turtle', was used beautifully and often in the film. Especially with the fight scene that took place in the snowy scenery. There were enough parts to make this film really good but the film does not carry the entertainment throughout. The movie truly becomes dull when the turtles are not on the screen. Overall, I would only suggest you add this film to your DVD collection as a nice modern homage to your childhood.
Labels: 2014, Jonathan Liebesman, Megan Fox, Movie Review, On Demand, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Will Arnett, William Fichtner