Much like many reading this right now, I was a huge Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fan. For me, it started with the animated series. I didn't discover the comic book until I entered high school. I had all the toys, I saw all the movies, I watched all the cartoons. I was a geek for the turtles. I'd spend time in class drawing the turtles, and to this day, I can still draw them the exact same way I did back in fifth grade...which is to say, not very well. I enjoyed the films, and the Turtles will always hold a place in my heart. I was skeptical, to say the least, for this new version of my favorite heroes in the half shell. It didn't help matters when I discovered Michael Bay was involved. I haven't enjoyed the Transformers films, but they at least looked exciting. However, I attempted to remain optimistic as I sat in my seat to watch this new rebooted Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film.
The story is a bit different from the Turtles story we're used to. Four turtles and a rat were experimented on by Eric Sachs and April O'Neil's father in order to find a cure all to heal the world with a project called "The Renaissance Project." The turtles and the rat were "pets" of April's and she fed them pizza when they were just very little box turtles. There was a fire in the lab, O'Neil's father dies in the fire and the test subjects were presumed dead as well. It should be noted that the mutagen that changed the turtles and Splinter, was from TCRI (or is it TGRI?)...Turtles fans should recognize that. Anyways, instead of having died in the fire, April saved the turtles and Splinter and then released them into the sewer.
Fast forward to present day and The Foot Clan is running rampant over NYC. Eric Sachs is working diligently with the police in order to stop them, while there's a vigilante presence that's attempting to stop them. O'Neil witnesses one such fight and well....eventually she recognizes their names and puts it all together...to her boss played by Whoopi Goldberg. She's then fired and rushes to Sachs, who she still saw as a friend of her deceased father. She tells him about the turtles and he gives her his card which has a tracker in it. Splinter sends the Turtles to get April because she's in danger and well that's where the action takes off. I'm not gonna give away too much more other than to say that the villain's plot in this film is a bit wacky. The plan is to have Shredder release a very deadly toxin to the city, wiping out the population. Meanwhile Sachs will sell the antidote to the government, making the Foot and Sachs extremely powerful and wealthy. That's it.
The design of the Turtles in this film was a bit off-putting at first, though I did get used it and actually sort of liked how they looked. Shredder, however, looked ridiculous. He was huge with an extremely shiny suit of armor that had blades EVERYWHERE. He had two wrist bands that looked like gigantic Swiss Army knives that could fire the blades out and he can retrieve them back into the wristbands as well.
My overall opinion of the film...it wasn't bad. My memories of this franchise taking over my childhood were not ruined after seeing this new version. It wasn't great, however, the story leaving a lot to be desired. Still, its worth seeing for any Turtles fan and it sets up for sequels with the director saying he wants to bring in Casey Jones, Bebop, and Rocksteady which I'm all for! So, if you loved the Turtles as a child, its worth seeing this version and take it for what its worth. A Michael Bay produced film starring the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. And hey, at least he didn't make them aliens, as was originally rumored when production started (they do make a joke about them being aliens and a joke about them originally wanting to test on rabbits.)
Oh....and at the end of the film, hardcore Turtles fans will enjoy seeing the Turtle van in all its glory. If you saw the movie, let us know what you thought in the comments below! Who was your favorite Turtle? Which was your favorite film? Which cartoon series did you grow up with? Did you read the comics?
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles stars Alan Ritchson as Raphael, Noel Fisher as Michelangelo, Pete Ploszek as Leonardo, Johnny Knoxville as the voice of Leonardo, Jeremy Howard as Donatello, Danny Woodburn as Splinter, Tony Shalhoub as the voice of Splinter, Megan Fox as April O'Neil, Will Arnett as Vernon Fenwick, William Fichtner as Eric Sachs, and Tohoru Masamune as Shredder.