What can be said about this rebooted, updated, grittier version of one of my most beloved childhood television shows? Honestly, and quite unfortunately, not much. I already had low hopes for this film once I saw that Michael Bay was attached to it. Then the casting of Megan Fox as April O’Neil further cemented my fears for this movie. After finally watching the movie last night, this movie can be summed up in one word: meh.
The film’s lazy dialogue, copy-and-paste story, and sub-par acting – particularly from Megan Fox, make this film extremely average. Sure, it has the definition of a big-budget summer blockbuster movie written all over it, but is without anything that made other films like Guardians of the Galaxy, The Dark Knight or Dawn of the Planet of the Apes so memorable. The only saving grace for this film was the turtles themselves, and even then it was hit or miss. At certain points, the film truly captured the essence of the turtles, particularly the elevator beat-boxing scene. This scene showed all of the brothers together having a little bit of fun in the middle of a serious situation, which is how they would normally act. Then, other points the film completely got the characters all wrong. The film portrayed Donatello as the geek, Raphael as the hot-head and Michelangelo as the fun party guy, but never once did I feel that Leonardo was the level-headed leader. Also, the film made Donatello too whiny and afraid. All four of the turtles are fierce warriors who kick-ass, and while yes Donatello is the nerdy one of the group, he ISN’T a terrified coward who screams like a girl because the enemies have guns, which he did in this movie.
With all of the negative criticism about the movie I’m dishing out, I must give credit where credit is due. And mainly that credit lies in the superb CGI and the awesome action sequences. Yes the turtles and Master Splinter look absolutely grotesque, which actually makes a bit of sense seeing as how four giant mutated turtles and a giant mutated rat wouldn’t exactly look adorable, but the CGI animations of the characters are tremendous. And the action sequences with all four of the turtles fighting were, for lack of a better word, radical.
The Bottom Line: I am a HUGE fan of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I REALLY wanted this movie to completely blow me away with its action, acting and story, but sadly it didn’t. The human characters are bland and horribly acted; the casting choices are strange (Tony Shalhoub as Splinter and Johnny Knoxville as Leonardo?!) and none of the human characters are developed in the story. Plus, the turtles themselves are only slightly developed at the end of the film. Again, the only saving grace of this film was whenever the turtles were kicking ass and when Mikey was throwing one-liners, which weren’t always that funny. This film did do slightly better than I expected, again because of the action sequences, but this film is quite literally average. Unless you are a HUGE TMNT fan, I would recommend waiting for the home release of this film and instead spending your money on Guardians of the Galaxy.