Thursday, August 7, 2014

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Review

T-U-R-T-L-E POWER!! T-U-R-T-L-E POWER!! T-U-R-T-L-E POWER!! I myself am a big fan of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Or at least I should say I am a big fan of the 1990 live action version of the turtles. Yes, I do enjoy the cartoons as well, but THAT movie is one of my favorite movies of all time. A bit of a cheesy 90's movie? Sure. But it has heart. It has great characters. It has good acting. It has a great story line. It's a hilarious movie throughout. It has one of the best movie villains ever. The turtle action is a blast.  It's the turtles!! Classic movie! Now I'm not morally opposed to my beloved turtles being rebooted. However, the idea of a Michael Bay version of TMNT just simply scared me. Nothing about Michael Bay + TMNT sounded good at all. "But Adam, wait for the trailer to come out before you start to bash it." No. I don't need to. Michael Bay + TMNT is just a bad idea. But ok. We'll wait for the trailer. *trailer arrives* WHAT?!?!? WHAT IS HE DOING TO MY BELOVED TURTLES?! "But Adam, wait for the movie to come out before you start to bash it. It might surprise you." No. It won't. It's Michael Bay + TMNT. Bad idea. Plus, I now have all this awful trailer stuff to go off of. Nothing from the trailers made me excited. But ok. We'll wait for the movie to come out. And do you know what, I'm going to go in with an open mind and try to enjoy it. *movie comes out* HA!!!!! I TOLD YOU SO!!! Ok, I'll admit that this isn't the worst movie of the year. Transformers: Age of Extinction, for example, is worse. But still. It is what I thought it was. Michael Bay + TMNT. And that was a bad idea because this is just an outright dumb movie.

"But Adam, this is Johnathan Liebesman directing. Not Michael Bay. Bay is only a producer." Oh really? You could've fooled me. And if it wasn't for the fact that the movie said "Directed by Johnathan Liebesman" when the credits rolled, I wouldn't have believed you because this is a Michael Bay movie. He may only be a producer, but this has him written over every second of the movie. But even so, the fact that this is directed by Liebesman doesn't really change things. The man is the visionary director behind Wrath of the Titans and Battle Los Angeles. Not much of an upgrade. And it shows. Now I know I have been complaining about this for a long time and thus it may seem that my opinion may be skewed. But it's not. I promise. The thing is, everything that I have been worried about over the last year or so is exactly what was wrong with this movie. So if this review seems familiar, that's the reason. I could essentially say "refer to all my previous complaints about this movie" and we'd be good. But we're going to go through this again anyways.

Problem one: the turtles themselves. They're HUGE!! This is practically Teenage Mutant Ninja Godzillas. The fact that they are huge makes some of the fight scenes no fun. Smack a member of the foot clan and he or she goes flying ten feet. Boring. Also, they're ugly. I guess the CGI is done fine, but it's the design that is awful. But it's not just the look, it's the gear. Nothing about the look of the turtles is good. But hey, if they get the characters spot on, the look is less important, right? Sure. That's a good point. I could forgive the weird, awful look if the turtles themselves were awesome. But they aren't. We'll start with the voices. Completely miscast, except for maybe Mikey. Leo and Raph had these huge ominous voices that just did not say turtles at all. It's like they tried to create these huge awesome turtles with these big scary voices and it just didn't work. Donatello was a nerd with a nerdy voice and all these nerdy gadgets. Also weird. Like I said, Mikey was good, but that's it. But that's not all. In addition to the bad look and the miscast voices, the characterization of the turtles is just completely off. They try to be light-hearted and funny like the original turtles, but it doesn't work. All the jokes fall flat. They also don't have good chemistry. So in general the turtles were big, giant, weird, ugly idiots that I didn't care about. And when I don't care about the turtles themselves, nothing else matters. I could end this review right there with that. But I have more.

Problem two: the enemies. Let's start with the foot clan. They're dumb. They don't feel like this ninja gang at all. They're just a gang. They fight with guns. They have no depth at all. We don't get to see any Danny-like characters that show us this gang is full of teenagers that are lost and trying to find their way. They're just random characters with guns that we know nothing about outside the fact that they are attacking the city. That's it. Nothing. No depth. No soul. Dumb. And their leader? The Shredder? Thankfully it's not William Fitchner playing Shredder. We do have an actual Shredder. But we don't learn anything about him. AT ALL. No depth. No back story. He had scratches on his face, which made me excited for a bit that he'd be this deep Oroku Saki like character. But no. We don't even get his name. He's just Shredder. And he looks like this giant transformer version of Shredder, because you know, they made the turtles huge so they had to have a huge Shredder. But this was so disappointing. No villain had any back story at all. Except for maybe William Fitchner's character, but that's only a tiny bit. So we had lame turtles fighting a lame villain. What else could go wrong?

Problem three: the human protagonists. April O'Neil. Because who in their right mind would think of casting Megan fricken Fox as April O'Neil? WHY?!?!?!?!?!?!?! There are so many good actresses in this world that could've done a great job, but no. We get to suffer through Megan Fox. The positive thing is that, for the most part, she's not sexualized like her character in Transformers, but the woman just can't act to save her life. "But Adam, perhaps this could be a break-out role for her and she could actually be good." HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!! Could you go read that? Do you realize how ridiculous that sounds? Megan Fox is Megan Fox. She can't act. She has never been able to act. She will never be able to act. And thus she does an outright terrible job. "But Adam, at least there's Will Arnett in this movie. Can't go wrong there, can you?" You'd be surprised. And this is what I call the Transformers effect. All four Transformers movies take great actors and turn them into sludge. It's almost impressive how every good actor in those movies is just terrible. Thus is the case here. Will Arnett is terrible. And that's depressing.

Problem four: story/script. At first it was rumored that there would be alien turtles. That was terrifying. Luckily we don't get anything that bad. But what does happen is pretty bad. This paragraph will include minor SPOILERS, so skip over this if you don't want any of that. But I do have to say something and this movie is just dumb so do you really care? You know how the original is. Splinter loved his master. His master got killed by Oroku Saki. Splinter almost got killed, but escaped while managing to scratch his face. Pretty awesome ooze magic happens and suddenly Splinter finds himself raising these mutant turtles, training them like ninjas in the vane of his master. It's a good back story. These turtles and this Splinter were lab experiments by Fitchner's character and April O'Neil's dad. Yup. But not just that, the turtles and Splinter were April's pets from when she was little. WHAT?!?!?!?! Dumb. And that's the part I probably shouldn't have said, but I don't care. I needed to get it out. DUMB!!! Oh but that's not all. Just like nothing in this movie has any depth, the over-arching story has no depth either. Shredder and the foot gang are attacking New York and the turtles have to stop them. That's it. And April gets sucked into this because she is trying to do a story on the turtles that just gets her fired and, for various reasons, the turtles now have to protect her. Now I won't give away the ending, but I will say that if I am Sony right now, I might not be the happiest because this has almost the exact same ending as The Amazing Spider-Man. Like exactly. And yes, this section was about the story AND the script, so let me talk about the script. IT'S TERRIBLE. All around. From the turtles to Megan Fox, to Will Arnett, to Whoopi Goldberg, to everyone. It was all bad.

Miscellaneous problems: Splinter. He looked ugly. He was an idiot. I didn't care for him one bit. Family. That was the whole theme of the original movie. They tried to copy it in this, but no one had any family-like chemistry. PRODUCT PLACEMENT!! IT WAS EVERYWHERE!! Which of course is to be expected from a Michael Bay movie. Still not an excuse, though. I know product placement has to happen these days because we as human beings are getting pretty good at avoiding advertising. But product placement has to be done right. You shower a movie with product placement and it just gets in the way. That's what happens here.

Any entertainment value in this movie at all? Well yes, actually. I'm glad you asked. There is this one scene where Will Arnett manages to drive the huge truck off the road and everyone involved ends up going straight down the mountain side. These whole sequence was a blast!!! Yes, you heard me say that. I had a LOT of fun with THAT scene. I even was smiling the whole time. And for a flash there, I saw visions of a modern-day live-action TMNT movie that was awesome. And I wished that the whole movie would've been that enjoyable. But nonetheless, that scene ended and thus ended the enjoyment. Right after that we started our Spider-Man ending. Sure, the battle between the turtles and Shredder was mildly entertaining, but no one involved in that fight any depth, so it was boring.

Yes, this has been a long review and finally it is time to finally wrap it up. But hey, I've been complaining about this movie for a long time, so now is my one opportunity to get all of my venting out in one post. But I am done. And in wrapping this all up, I will give this movie some credit. I didn't walk out of this movie feeling offended. I didn't walk out of this movie with the idea that Michael Bay has ruined my childhood. This movie wasn't even the worst movie of the year, I can think of several movies from this year that are worse -- one of which being Transformers 4. But what this movie is is just dumb. Everything that makes the 1990 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles a classic is gone. No heart. No good characters. No depth. No good acting. Would the kids like it? Uhhhhhh....... I don't know. I don't think this is exactly kid appropriate, but that's just me. In the end, my grade for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is a 5/10.

No comments:

Post a Comment