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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - Movie Review

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - Movie Review


1 star

Not even Megan Fox and her moody eyes can save this unremarkable crap. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is what happens when a poorly stitched together movie climbs out of the sewer of bad ideas and spews foul-smelling nonsense on its audience. Forget about the turtles, dude. Creator Peter Laird should be ashamed for even selling the rights to his property. Nickelodeon and Platinum Dunes have done him no favors. This movie stinks. Another childhood toy crapped on by Hollywood and Michael Bay. Of course, he only produced. Only. His frenzied mark is all over this radioactive muck, though.

For all its inherent silliness, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles takes itself far too seriously to be entertaining. In spite of its flaws, the original 1990 version never made such an egregious error. It was goofy, fun, and knew its audience. Nor did the original cartoon series (which closed its doors in 1996) and was followed by two other like-minded cartoons; they played to their audiences and marketed general goofiness. In this reboot, director Jonathan Liebesman celebrates mediocrity to the nth degree and gives us a film that plays to absolutely no one. Its PG-13 rating means it isn’t even safe for its kiddie demographics already primed by all these TMNT t-shirts in stores and will certainly turn off fans who have outgrown their turtles in a half shell fanaticisms with its bending and treatment of their heroes.

Fox gets top billing as fluff-piece reporter April O’Neil, who wants to be taken seriously as an investigative journalist. Her town has been overrun by The Foot Clan. The NYC police department has been able to stop nothing and the spread of their corrupting forces is everywhere. Her discovery of the teenage mutant turtles was written in the stars. That’s right – Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello, and Raphael – are all side characters in their own movie. Their origins are changed and so are the reasons. Want to get to know them? The new them? Too bad. Like the bloated, self-serious Transformers series, Bay and company only see the value in shiny, moving things and don’t pause anything to allow the audience to give two shits about these characters.    

These bulky turtles are made real via a cinematic mixture of CGI and stop-motion techniques but that doesn’t mean they are pretty individuals or that you will care about them. Not at all. They are nasty, aggressive, and more annoying than Jar Jar “Yoosa should follow me now, okeeday?”Binks on helium. Splinter (Tony Shalhoub) tries to reign in on their ugly personalities and play the father figure we expect him to be in their collective lives but he’s rendered useless by some of the worst lines of dialogue a person has ever been paid to pen. There’s no relationship explored for any characters throughout the running time. It’s all dim-witted action beats and no character building. Even Shredder (Tohoru Masamune) is given a low blow by the inane script written by Josh Appelbaum and André Nemec and Evan Daugherty.

There is little screen time devoted to showing the turtles actually getting along. Their chemistry has always been a factor before. In 2014, I guess we just want them to kick ass, including each other’s. Well, after seeing this mess, I guess I would pay money to see them obliterated on a widescreen – just to know that I wouldn’t have to sit through the generic stupidity again. And that’s just it. With a title like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, one doesn’t expect generic garbage. Action beats are all we get. If that’s what gets your heart racing, then – by all means – go see the film because you get it by the truckload. Myself? I’ll be in the next theater watching Guardians of the Galaxy again and having a blast.    

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is just another $100 million cash grab.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - Movie Review

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sci-fi action violence.
101 mins
: Jonathan Liebesman
Writer: Josh Appelbaum, André Nemec
Megan Fox, Will Arnett, William Fichtner
: Action | Adventure
Meet the new face of justice.
Memorable Movie Quote: "And we're teenagers. But we can have adult conversations."
Paramount Pictures
Official Site:
Release Date:
August 8, 2014
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
No details available
Synopsis: The city needs heroes. 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 (Megan Fox) and her wise-cracking cameraman Vern Fenwick (Will Arnett) to save the city and unravel Shredder's diabolical plan..

No details available.

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