Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014) Mini Review

“You are extraordinary, my sons. Unlike anything the world has ever seen. Bowed in greatness, destined to protect the people of New York!”

Directed by: Jonathan Liebesman

Starring: Megan Fox, Will Arnett

Synopsis: With the help of plucky journalist April O’Neil (Megan Fox), four mutated Ninja Turtles, Leonardo (Pete Ploszek), Raphael (Alan Ritchson), Michelangelo (Noel Fisher) and Donatello (Jeremy Howard) must unite and take on The Shredder (Tohoru Masamune), leader of the evil Foot Clan organisation before he can unleash a deadly toxin on New York.

Raphael, Splinter, Donatello, Leonardo, Michelangelo, and Megan Fox as April.
Raphael, Splinter, Donatello, Leonardo, Michelangelo, and Megan Fox as April.

You’ve most certainly seen this story before, and better. It’s clichéd, predictable stuff, though that’s perhaps to be expected for a franchise that’s undergone so many iterations. That being said, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles themselves are on solid form and as you’ll likely remember them. They’re brash, excitable, and they kick ass. Purely for a nostalgia trip their chemistry and journey is fun enough, even if their origins have been altered.

As for the design of the heroes in a half shell, they’re actually pretty decent in CGI form, if a touch over-stylised. They have weight, feel physical, and look good in the action sequences. Less believable is Megan Fox’s April O’Neil. Her colleagues aren’t convinced by her journalistic skills and nor am I. Even staring the blatantly telegraphed villainy of William Fichtner’s Eric Sacks in the face she not only can’t tell that he’s got bad intentions, but she also leads him straight to the Turtles. She’s not the most observant reporter the world has ever known.

The big bad however is Shredder, keeping up the franchise tradition. His on screen presence is excellent; behemoth sized, armoured and weaponised, although his character is massively underdeveloped. Still, it’s a Turtles movie. We’re here for the action, and as a counterpoint to the film’s heroes he works well. As the lyrics from the classic Turtles cartoon series go, “When the evil Shredder attacks, these Turtle boys don’t cut him no slack!”…and cut him slack they most certainly do not.

Rating (out of 5):

2.5 Stars

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