Staring: Megan Fox, Will Arnett, William Fichtner, Johnny Knoxville, Tony Shalhoub, Whoopi Goldberg, Alan Ritchson, Noel Fisher, Tohoru Masamune
Directed by: Jonathan Liebesman
Written By: Josh Appelbaum, André Nemec, Evan Daugherty
Rated: PG-13 Running Time: 1hr 41 min
When I heard they were going to release a mega-budget Ninja Turtle movie this summer, I must admit to being a little confused. Because I honestly didn’t think the Turtles were still a ‘thing.’ I remember watching the cartoon during the 90’s – Heroes in a half shell, Turtle Power! I also dimly recall there were three not so great, cheaply made movies. But I guess I was wrong as it still seems to be a viable property and here it is in our movie theaters. Loud, loaded with action, and it certainly doesn’t look cheap that’s for sure.
The plot isn’t much to talk about, other than maybe some changes to the Turtle origin story. The bad guys, led by Shredder (Tohoru Masamune) – who looks like the unholy combination of Edward Scissorhands and Robocop – want to kill a lot of people, and our four mutated turtles led by their large Rat father Splinter (Tony Shalhoub) have to stop them. The Turtles are also helped along the way by their news reporter friends April O’Neil (Megan Fox) and Vernon (Will Arnett). Simple enough, and the basic formula of pretty much every Saturday morning cartoon since cartoons and Saturdays were introduced to each other. Expecting more plot from a movie like this would be just silly.
What I was expecting though was good action, great visual effects and some nice moments of humor. Which to my surprise was exactly what Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles provided. I thought the visual effects were great, and I really liked the Turtle character design and animation. The action was nicely put together, the fights scenes were well choreographed, and Michelangelo was on hand to deliver some nice moments of humor.
The only real complaint I have with the film other than its basic plot, is due to Megan Fox’s performance. At times she seemed strangely disconnected from the action around her, and must have studied at the same acting school as Mark Wahlberg. Breathlessly delivering most of her dialog even though there was no reason why her character would be out of breath.
This is loud, and loaded with action and visual effects. I think kids are going to love this, and parents should be entertained enough. Make sure you have some extra cash handy because I think you’ll be heading out for pizza after the movie!
The visual effects are impressive, so I think a cheaper 2D matinée showing will deliver the goods. If you wait for the rental then get the HD version of the film to watch on your home theater system. A smaller tablet or phone sized screen viewing is not recommended.
Best moment: << mild spoiler >>
Our four heroes are taking the elevator, and Michelangelo starts tapping out a beat with his nunchucks. One by one the rest of the Turtles join in, adding to the rhythm, and a little beat-box is thrown in for good measure.