Review: TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES (2014)


I'll just come right out and say it: I really liked the new TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES!  Now, that's not to say that it doesn't have its fault, because it does.  But what I am saying is that while allowing myself to be a kid again, I found myself grinning from ear to ear during a large chunk of the 101 minute run time.

I'd like to take a second to shame a lot of the critics for already bashing the movie.  It almost feels as if this movie was damned well before it was released, simply due to the fact that it is a Michael Bay produced film.  Now, I'll admit, some of, if not all, of the faults of the movie are very Bay-ish, but I'll forgive the man.  Just look at the title guys, don't take this too seriously.  Him, and director Jonathan Liebesman.  The true characteristics and personalities of the turtles were fantastically nailed.

What's a Michael Bay film without some fireworks, eh?  We got them in TMNT, but thankfully, they aren't too over-the-top.  Just enough.  And really, the action sequences here aren't too disorienting.  Which for the younger audience is a good thing.  Side note: this film works for all demographics.

Now let's talk Megan Fox.  Well, what is there to say?  She wasn't used purely as a sex symbol, but was inserted into the film to add a little back-story and substance.  Now, this didn't exactly work out, but this is primarily due to the fact that Fox wasn't really given a whole lot to work with.  But, really, she was fine.  She's 2014's April O'Neill.

A lot of the laughs in the film come from Michelangelo, who does nothing short of win the audience over.  In fact, if you didn't love all four of them, then you will once you get to the elevator scene towards the climax.  Classic.

I want to hit on a few cons now.  First up: the April's connection to the turtle's origins (and Splinter's).  Without spoiling too much, they've met before...about 15 years ago in a lab.  And April being in the center of this whole ordeal is just a little too coincidental.  But hey, it's a movie, I can deal.

Next con: The Shredder.  Again, not to spoil too much, but it seems that The Shredder we have all grown up with has actually been split into two characters here -- a physical being, and the mental brains of the operation.  And besides The Shredder's ridiculous attire, I can deal...again.  Although, I would've liked a Shredder-Splinter back-story.

Some of the things that got me all giddy in the theater was all the subtle homages to the original cartoon series and movies from the '90s.  For instance, there's a scene involving the slicing of a pizza in mid air which leads to a slice landing on Splinter's head.  Hello original TMNT!  Oh, and towards the end, when the turtle van finally makes an appearance, the horn is definitely the '80s cartoon theme music!  And let's not forget the cowabunga throwback scene on the roof during the climax.  Nostalgia overload -- I almost compared it to the Hulk finally saying, "Hulk smash!" during the finale of THE INCREDIBLE HULK.

Make no mistake, this is the most fun you'll have at the movies this summer!  GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY is definitely getting a run for its money, literally.  Also, the TURTLES ARE BACK!  What's not to love?!

Don't over-think it.  Don't analyze it.  Just appreciate it.  These are turtles we know and love.  

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