Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)

The Dynamic Duo, Michael Bay and Megan Fox are back at it again but this time they told Shia LaBouef to stay home so he doesn’t ruin the movie by saying “NO NO NO NO!” and screaming like a girl for comedic value constantly. Replace one 90s cartoon with another, some robots with some Turtles and a rat, keep one transformer in for good measure but add a little Robocop for spice and what do we have? The new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie.

Michael Bay has decided to ride this rebooting 90s nostalgia train again and bring back a beloved part of an entire generation’s childhood with the same elements of what made the original trilogy shine, but with a new spin. (Mild Spoilers)

The movie mainly follows, and kind of pisses off most fans, April O’Neil, played by Megan Fox (horribly I add), a low level reporter looking for her big story. She’s currently obsessed with this street gang of urban terrorist called The Foot Clan, anonymously lead by The Shredder, and wants to expose the truth behind them. One night she decides to put herself in danger and peep in on a Foot Clan operation and is a witness to a “vigilante” silently taking down multiple members and eventually foregoing that and somehow moves an entire steal shipyard box, rendering many of them unconscious. And somehow not only does April see the vigilante’s shadow but is able to capture a fancy blurry picture with her camera phone (we determined it was a windows phone because it took too long). So now she has proof right? She’s got the story and will be the top report!…No because sassy head editor Whoopi Goldberg thinks she’s nuts. So instead of giving up after her near death experience she decides to put herself in harm’s way again and try to sneak in on another Foot Clan takeover, this time in a subway station. Well while hiding behind a beam because she believes that she’s that skinny, April gets captured. And because at that point she’s no quitter she tries to take a picture of Karai, top member of the Foot Clan and possible daughter of Shredder. Well April must have forgotten to put her phone on vibrate because Karai hears her and puts a gun to April’s head (smart move). Almost instantly here comes the Turtles as soon as the lights shut down. In a wave of shaky camera and quick cuts the Turtles take down all of the Foot Clan and escapes up a maintenance tunnel, to which April follows and takes a quick snap of the Turtles celebrating on the roof. Forgetting to turn off her flash as well, functioning phones is not her forte, they realize she’s there and grab her. This is where we first meet the Turtles and their vastly different personalities: the overly aggressive and obviously over compensating Raphael, the extremely nerdy and basically half robot Donatello, the always hilarious but this time very much in a stoner type of way because I guess kids get that type of humor now Michelangelo, and the definition of a Libra and always trying to keep order and peace amongst his brothers which vastly differs from his voice actor, Johnny Knoxville, Leonardo. They delete the pictures and threaten her life as they used to do in the cartoon, wait what? Yes it’s true these Turtles are more aggressive, more violent, and more destructive of their environment than the cute one’s we knew.

This bothers Splinter due to a plot twist that I will not get into as it will spoil the whole basis of the movie. So they Turtles kidnap, yes KIDNAP, April and bring her to their lair, also known as the sewers which she figures out fairly quickly due to the smell. Splinter explains the Shredder is a bad dude and she also shouldn’t trust her father’s friend Eric Sacks as he is not what he seems. The Foot eventually figure out where the Turtles live and attack everyone which brings about one of the best fight scenes of the movies as you are able to see each turtle’s personality come with their fighting style and even Splinter actually fight. This moment gave the audience the same feeling as when we all saw Yoda walk in to fight Count Dooku at the end of Episode 2: Attack of the Clones (If you have yet to see that movie or scene I suggest you crawl back under the rock where you lived because you can’t handle the world at this point). Raphael is buried under rocks after an explosion and Michelangelo, Donatello, and Leonardo are captured after watching the Shredder massacre Splinter (this is not a spoiler as a specific trailer already gives this away). Good ole Raph gets out gets out of his coma and finds Splinter, along with April oddly since the Foot and Shredder basically level their home. Raph and April go to Shredder’s hideout break the other Turtles out and defeat the Shredder in which there is a cool snowy mountain scene, same one in the trailer, which may I add this snowy hillside is supposed to be located roughly 40 minutes outside of New York City, which has literally no snow whatsoever. I am going to say this is just a fantasy land where New York City is not located in actual New York. But I digress, the Turtles beat Shedder in a cute yet lame way and save New York from an evil plan you think would come from the Cobra Commander and not Ultra-Mecha-Robo-Shedder-Atron (You’ll get that once you see him).

Overall the movie gets an 8 out 10 in my book. Great action, paid various homages to the original movie and original idea, Michael Bay even poked fun at himself a few times for the “alien” idea, and last but most importantly, Michelangelo was hilarious. As long as you ignore the shaky camera, few plot holes, and Megan Fox as a whole, you will thoroughly enjoy the movie.

So the question remains: Why do people hate the idea of this movie without seeing it claiming he will “destroy their childhood”? Because everyone seems to hate Michael Bay after Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. Yes the movie was poorly written and ,for whatever reason that Michael Bay thought this would be a good idea, had the racist twins in the movie but still every director has their flops, so why think after Transformers 2 every Michael Bay movie will be terrible? I didn’t hear many complaints after the 1st Transformers, I didn’t read anything negative after either of the Bad Boys movies or the Island. Let’s be honest.; anyone who says this movie is stupid or terrible is one of two people: 1) Someone who heard/read about the aliens idea then completely closed themselves’ off to anything to do with this movie sticking to that thought as if it will never change or 2) Someone who expects this to be the same as the original trilogy. If you are number 2, get your mind out the past because as amazing as those movies are, this is a reboot, a reboot takes the story and changes it. So it will not look the same, be the same people, nor will have the same plot. Honestly who wants the same thing over again, who wants a new paint job on the 1985 Car? It’s still the same so what’s the point?

Give Ninja Turtles a chance these Turtles are more brutal and true to the comics than the original movies. I have faith in this new film series.

 -Mo Haskins


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