Out of a combination of interest and “why the hell not?” I decided to watch the 2014 version on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. And yes to my regular readers….both of you. I know this isn’t a newly released film, and the sequel is already out on DVD, “so why are you reviewing it then?” Firstly, don’t tell me how to run my blog, and the second reason is that if I can think of something worth typing, I’d do it; and boy is this worth talking about I assure you. Now for starters, I’m only a causal fan of the Ninja Turtles. I’ve watched and enjoyed the 2003 cartoon, I adore the 2012 series, and I’ve seen and liked the films, well the first two live action films I like, and the 2007 animated film is still pretty damn good. The third live action film; OH MY GOD, KILL AND BURN IT! And this film can go join the bomb fire.
So where to start, the plot? Ha! For a Ninja Turtles film, this film’s script is on creative auto pilot. It’s basically the four Turtles fighting the Foot Clan as they stop Shredder’s big plan, with some dashes of the Turtles established backstory, and the third act of The Amazing Spider-man. Oh and April O’Neil is in it. OK to the film’s credit we do learn said back story through her, and we do learn about William Fichtner’s character, or as I like to call him: not Shredder given the back lash to the film’s original casting. So April isn’t the most unless character in the film; that title goes to Will Arentt’s character. That said she is as forced into the script’s situation, the same way a brick is forced into a light socket. The actual plot itself has less depth than a pen cap, and it’s structurally linear as the pen itself. The back story almost gets the source material right, but in order to have Splinter and the Turtles know martial arts, the writers end up reaching so far; their arms must be the length of their entire body.
Moving onto the performances And what’s not helping Megan Fox is that her performance has the range of a shot from an asthmatic pea shooter. As for Shredder, his just a big brute for shake of having the chrome tar beaten out him by the end of the film. With the CGI Silver Samuri suit having more personality than the actor himself. Which again, isn’t helped by Fitchner’s recast; with him being the only villain with some sort of personality, even if his motivation comes down to: we wouldn’t have a movie if he didn’t. The only some what interesting characters in this, are the Turtles themselves. And even then Raphael is the only one with a character growth, Michelangelo is just there for comedic relief, which is neither comedic nor a relief or any kind; especially when he can’t seem to keep it in his pants, when around April. I’m serious; his behaviour is so odd, you’d feel guilty for leaving him alone with a vacuum cleaner, let alone a human woman. As for Leo, he’s just the leader to get every one of their asses, while Donatello is just the exposition guy. But I will say that the voice actors were well picked, and do work decently with each other. Even if it’s just standard by comparison against the other media with their green faces on it.
Speaking of the Turtles’ green faces, the CGI is good, when it comes to the movements. While some cases they do look decent, other times they fail to blend with the live action sets; and the faces some how look worst than the puppet heads that used in the live action films. And given little of a crap the studio gave at film three, that’s saying a lot. Speaking of the looks, yet again it’s the action is the only saving grace that Micheal Bay decided to create for this franchise, wait he wasn’t the director? Well the action is the only saving grace that Micheal Bay let someone else decided to create for this franchise. With the chase down the snowy mountains being the highlight, as it was fast paced, and the only interesting set piece that isn’t just: just people fighting in the dark. The combat itself is basically any martial arts film, but not as fun or inventive. The ending fight is done well, but it’s mostly just ripping of The Amazing Spider-man, to the point were it’s the heroes vs the big bad guy, on the top of skyscraper, trying to prevent a toxic fart cloud from being unleashed onto the nearby city, and infecting/ killing the people below.
And now for the lighting round of complaints. The costume designs are basic. The pacing is sperattic with some scenes being the duration of a melting candle, to then switch into quick dashes, like The Flash on buretto Thursday. No seriously, there is a point where characters make it back to the sewers of New York, from some snowy mountains, with the span of a couple of hours. And while we’re bashing the plot. It’s revealed that Splinter learned his skills in martial arts, from a Japanese book about martial arts. Let me repeat that. A mutated rat, that has gained Intelligence and human speech, despite living in the sewers throughout the later half of his life. Becomes a master in ninjitsu, by reading a Japanese bloom about the subject. I’ll gladly give all of the money in my bank account to the animal scientist who can explain, how the hell that works?!
In closing the film kind of unfocused and kinda dull. Mainly due to flat characters, dialogue so forced you see the scene crack around it. Overall while the action is fun in an over the top way, and the four leads do well; this isn’t really worth the attention if I’m too honest.
And as for the sequal…i’ll get back to you on that.
Thank you for your time.