run time: 101 mins
considered: Action, Adventure, Comedy
director: Jonathan Liebesman
starring: Megan Fox, Will Arnett, William Fichtner, Alan Ritchson, Noel Fisher, Pete Ploszek, Johnny Knoxville, Jeremy Howard, Tony Shaihoub, Tohoru Masamune, Whoppi Goldberg, Minae Noji, Abby Elliott, Madison Mason,
movie summary: April O’Neil (Megan Fox) is by far the most beautiful news reporter not on the nightly six o’clock news. She’s just a beat reporter who is always chasing the next big story to turn her career into something more meaningful. Across the streets of New York City the Foot Clan has been terrorizing civilians and looting thousands of dollars from stores. The city government has tried everything in its power to take the Foot Clan down before teaming up with Eric Sacks (William Fletcher) to create new weapons technologies to make the city a safer place to live. One night when April is following up a story on the Foot Clan by the docks she stumbles across a group of masked vigilantes that take out a group of Foot Clan and foil a crime.
These four giant-sized creatures each wear different colour headband. April tries to capture their movements on film but they catch her instead and delete everything on her phone. The four creatures are actually turtles that were once a lab experience that was thought to have been a failure only to turn into a huge success. The leader of the turtles is Leonardo, he fights crime with his nerdy tech savvy brother Donatello, his tough as nails brother Raphael, and wanna be rapper pizza lover Michelangelo. The four of them were raised in the sewers by a mutant rat named Splinter. After years of watching his baby turtles do nothing in the murky waters of the big city he stumbled across a sacred ninja training manual and began training his boys to become fighters. These five mutant animals hid in the shadows while the Foot Clan and their leader Shredder (Tohoru Masamune) quickly took over the streets of the Big Apple. Splinter has praised patience while the turtles waited anxiously for their moment to shine.
When April takes her one fuzzy picture to her boss at Channel 6 she laughs at April before firing her for creating such a crazy story. With no one else to turn to April has to beg her camera man Vernon (Will Arnett) to give her a ride to Eric Sake’s place to tell him all about her discovery. After reviewing April’s documents which were thought to be destroyed by the lab fire, Eric can’t believe his eyes that these turtles survived and turned into something more than he could have ever dreamed of. He tells April if she needs any help to contact him and they will work out a way to save the city and the turtles. Splinter tells Michelangelo to go find April because she is in danger and they can protect her in their place down in the sewers. When April makes the journey down to see Splinter he begins to tell her the story of their survival from the major lab fire and the impact she’s had on their lives. While the group share a special bonding moment, a tracking device planted in April’s phone leads the Foot Clan to their home in the sewers.
The turtles do their best to defend their home turf, protect April, and save their master Splinter. The battle takes a turn for the worse when Shredder shows up and uses his brute strength to put the turtles down one by one before leaving Splinter gasping for air. Shredder has discovered that the mutant blood in the turtles will act as an antibiotic to the poisonous gas he plans to spray over the city. He teams up with a human ally to kill the turtles and take their blood so the ally can create the antidote and become extremely rich when he “saves” the city. April, Vernon, and Raphael learn of this evil plan and must travel to the mountains in upstate New York to rescue their trapped comrades before returning to the city to save it from the impending catastrophe.
my thoughts: Oh my, where do I begin to describe how bad this movie was. First these turtles look absolutely stupid. I understand it’s 2014 and everyone is interested in being fit and strong but these guys look like they are on steroids and make Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson look like a twig. It’s extremely hard not to compare these turtles with the 1990s turtles but these guys do not look friendly, approachable, or even happy. They are scary giant creatures that no one in their right mind would want to work with. Splinter looks so fake, his long nose and body do nothing to convince me he’s a real rat that mutated into their walking-talking ninja instructor. The only character that looks normal is Shredder. It’s not really that hard to make a special suit that has shoulder pads with spikes and boomerang style knives that come in handy during fight scenes.
The turtles try to be funny and with the exception of a few one-liners are nowhere near as awesome as the original ones. The writers and procedures decided to turn up the intelligence of Donatello, he wears a solar panel pack that powers his head-gear that has a computer mounted to it to help him make decisions and calculations. I actually hated his character because there was no need for it to be the way it was, I still don’t understand why he underwent such a drastic transformation. My only guess is because it’s 2014 and everyone can relate to a tech-savvy person on the screen!! (Maybe they will explain more in TMNT 2 because I guarantee there will be another one.) Hopefully Michelangelo can undergo another transformation because his wanna be rapper/lover personality didn’t really cut it for me. He stills loves pizza more than everyone else but he focuses all his energy on flirting with April which in the end gets him no where. When he isn’t flirting or eating he spends the rest of his time writing rap songs and acting like a gangster. Why his character was taken in this direction I will never understand.
Megan Fox returns to the big screen in a leading role where she is not put on a pedestal because of her gorgeous looks. She is presented as a struggling journalist who just wants to do the right thing with her career and report the big stories that matter. Will Arnett provides some side-kick comedy relief even though the majority of the funny stuff actually comes from the turtles. William Fichtner is always the guy who looks like you can trust but will never actually know what team he is playing for until all the chips are laid out on the table. The human actors/actresses do a fantastic job interacting with the turtles but these creatures are not as awesome as the Apes in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.
The best part of this movie is the mountain side truck chase, it is very unrealistic which had me laughing out loud at how stupid it was. The whole sequence was impossible but highly entertaining,
my final thoughts: If you love the TMNT from the early 1990s do not go see this movie, stay home, save your money, and remember how awesome they used to be. Should you feel obligated to go see this horrible movie go see it on a cheap day because it’s not worth the full price of admission even with a few laughs and entertaining moments.
my star rating: 3 out 10
rottentomatoes.com: 20% out 100%
rogerebert.com: 1.5 out 4