Today's movie isn't a recent one, but it's one that I've wanted to see for a while: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. In case you've been living under a rock for the past 20+ years (hands up who used to watch the cartoon version? Me too!), TMNT is the story of four genetically mutated turtles who live underneath New York. They've been raised in secrecy, but when a kingpin threatens to unleash a virus across NYC, they're forced to come out into the light, and be the heroes their city needs them to be.
This film is a typical adult/kid crossover film - there's a whole lot of action for the adults, and a load jokes for the kids. Despite my utter love for everything TMNT and it's entertainment factor, this film did fall a little bit short for me.
Firstly, it did take a while for me to get used to seeing the turtles in 3D, rather than 2D. I was born and raised on the cartoon version, so it did take me a while to get used to it. But the graphics were good, although I did feel like they'd blown up each turtle's personality out of proportion. I already knew that Michaelangelo was the joker, Donatello was the tech guy, Leonardo was the leader and Raphael was the cool dude; but they just made it so completely obvious in the film that I found it wearing. Also, there's a part were Raphael makes a giant, heartfelt speech while they're falling from a skyscraper and all I could think was really? You're about to die, and instead of screaming, you're making a speech?? I know, I know, it's a kids film, but even so (in all fairness, they were falling for A REALLY LONG time).
Michaelango's jokes also started to grated on me after a while. I'm all for a funny character, but I personally don't like characters that have to make a joke every time they open their mouths. But I guess a kid would probably enjoy the jokes more than me anyway.
In terms of plot, I actually quite enjoyed this film. It followed a very similar vein to the more recent Spiderman films with the whole 'company trying to create a potentially deadly new form of technology and it's a race against time to shut it down' vibe. I actually thought the plot was quite sophisticated for a kid's film and despite the ridiculous jokes/action sequences, I did want to keep watching to find out what happened in the end.
Megan Fox played April O'Neil, and although I'm not huge Megan Fox fan, I thought she did okay. It would've been nice to explore her character a little bit more, as well as delve a little deeper into the bond between the turtles, but I guess they did have a lot to fit in in an hour and forty minutes. But the one thing I think let this film down was the villain: the great and irreplaceable Shredder.
I LOVED Shredder as a kid. In fact, I probably had a tiny bit of a crush on him if I'm honest (what can I say? I love my villains!) But in the film? He's a bit of a joke. He barely makes an appearance, and when he does, he's dressed in such a ridiculous outfit that I couldn't concentrate on what he was saying because I was too busy wondering how many knives one man really needed:
Personally, I think he's a tad underdressed...
I feel like they really wasted an opportunity to delve into Shredder's character, but maybe I just need to stop thinking about this film in adult terms. As a kid, I probably would've loved Shredder. Oh, but guess what the name of Shredder's terrifying 'clan' is? The Foot Clan. I could not stop laughing. There must be more menacing names for a clan than 'foot' surely?
Anyway, overall, TMNT was an entertaining film. If you've got kids, this'll definitely keep them entertained for one afternoon during summer; and if you're from the original TMNT era like me, I think this is probably worth a watch just for old time's sake.
Have you seen TMNT? What did you think? Did you used to watch the cartoons? Who was your favourite turtle?? Mine used to be Leonardo, but I have to confess that I do have a soft spot for Raphael's bad boy vibe now...