Perhaps is the feeling of nostalgia the movie evoked, or maybe it was the jet lag taking effect on my second day of my US holiday, but I thought the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie was everything it should have been! Looking at Rotten Tomatoes I can’t actually fathom why it’s currently sitting at 20%, were people expecting some sort of high brow film noir with underlying political and social messages? It may not be that clever, and once or twice it is a bit too cheesy, but the new TMNT movie ticked all the boxes bringing the fun light hearted spirit of the original movie back into cinematic culture again, and as it’s opening weekend has shown there’s still a turtle shaped hole in our hearts!
The script is nothing to write home about, it’s your standard action movie affair, even if some of the updates to the origin take a bit of getting used to, I can accept [SPOILER] that the turtles are laboratory creations, even though their connection to Megan Fox’s April O’Neil felt contrived. The only change that still doesn’t sit well with me is “Master” Splinter being a self taught Ninjitsu expert, but the feeling of Splinter being a father to the 4 Turtles was more prevalent than ever before.
Turtles themselves seem more alive than ever with the new additions to their look highlighting the personality of each one. Although Leonardo and Donatello take a more of a backseat role to Michelangelo and Raphael you get a great sense of each of their personalities throughout, and the brotherly bond is there for all to see, and even though it took me a while to dig the look they all appear fantastic on the big screen, really brought to life like never before thanks to some excellent CGI. The same excellent CGI didn’t appear to be applied to Splinter however and his updated backstory wasn’t my only rodent related disappointment as the character also looked bizarrely hair free and more like a wet Siamese cat.
The voice actors for all the turtles do a great job at bringing 7 foot turtles to life, even if it took me a while (okay the whole movie) to get used to Johnny Knoxville as Leonardo, a piece of casting that still has be scratching my head. Will Arnet does well with what he is given and thankfully won’t be proclaiming that he “made a huge mistake” in taking the role. But the biggest surprise is Megan Fox, because she doesn’t completely suck! Yes you read that right, in fact she is actually pretty decent, she’s not going to win an oscar but she shows that she is definitely more than just a pretty face.
Overall this was one of my favourite brainless action movies of recent times and will gladly sit with my blu-ray collection along with The Avengers (sorry folks!) and Quantum of Solace as easy watching action films to pop on while doing household chores. Any time the turtles themselves are interacting with each other is great and it’s a shame we didn’t get even more of that.