Studio: Paramount Pictures
Reviewed by: Tony Velocity & Jordan C.
I know what you really want to know is, did Bay/Liebesman fuck this shit up. And as far as we’re concerned, no, they didn’t ruin this specific part of our childhood. The filmmakers stayed true to the key comic and cartoon elements of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as created by Eastman and Laird. Many would argue they strayed a little too far with the look of the Turtles, but certain iterations of TMNT in the comics have definitely had them rocking more individualistic styles. That doesn’t account for the weird faces though. They did a flashback sequence where Splinter tells his and the Turtles story, and we absolutely loved the design of the younger Turtles. So much so, we think they should have stuck with that age and style for the whole movie! For the first time ever, Splinter actually came off ratty and greasy looking rather than just fuzzy and quasi-cute. Shredder’s design seemed to borrow more from Grimlock in Transformers 4, than it did from classic samurai armour, but it did look bad-ass. He wasn't as clunky as he initially looked in the trailers, and they kept his heritage Japanese, which was a good bait and switch since the initial casting revealed the very Caucasian William Fichtner would play the villain.
The Turtles have always had skate and Hip-Hop influence, and this movie is no different. Mikey talks a couple times about how him and Raph are a rap group; taunting Raph that he’s the hypeman. Thankfully, they don’t actually rap. They do beatbox, and even though it easily could have come off horrible, it was one of our favorite moments in the film!
Will Arnett pretty much just played Gob Bluth (Arrested Development) again, even right down to the mustard and parmessan cheese sandwich. Megan Fox wasn’t terrible but April O’Neil really could have been played by anyone. The best actors in the movie were actually the Turtles themselves. Alan Ritchson’s portrayal of Raphael and Noel Fisher’s rather humourous Mikey were the highlights. Johnny Knoxville seemed miscast as the voice of Leo. Maybe they should have just left it to Pete Ploszek, who physically played the character.
This has probably been the most family-friendly action flick we’ve seen this year. There wasn’t much more “explicit language” than "ass", as well as a fart joke (which I'm sure was part of the production deal on Bay's end). And at the end of the night we walked out not hating this movie. It wasn't the best the Turtles have been, but we don’t think it was the train wreck people were expecting. We give it 3 Turtles out of 4.