The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles finally get a reboot in an updated all-out actioner peppered with throwback moments from the original 90s hit.
Since Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird created the cult comic book Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the franchise has undertaken numerous tweaks. In its original form, TMNT was a comic with a bit of a serious tone but under Archie Comics, the fearless foursome came across as a comedy action series. New Line Cinema undertook the latter’s direction and produced a hit TMNT movie in the early 90s.
Over the years though, the TMNT franchise waivered and eventually after notching up three films, a cartoon series and a full length animated feature in 2007, Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello and Michelangelo eventually were resigned to relative obscurity bar a couple of kid-focused cartoons on Nickelodeon. That, however all changed when Michael Bay decided to produce an updated reboot to the franchise, which is now in cinemas with director Jonathan Liebesman at the helm and Megan Fox as the headliner.
The Story: New York is under siege by a mysterious group of criminals called the Foot Clan. As the Big Apple gets hit by an unprecedented onslaught of crime, reporter April O’Neill uses this as an opportunity to springboard her career. However she discovers the existence of a group of reptilian vigilantes known as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. But the discovery of the turtles eventually reveals a deeper plot at play, one that involves the Shredder who wants to use the mutagen found in the turtles blood to initiate a city-wide pandemic.
What Worked: The redesign of the turtles who look more warrior-like and the throwback character traits of the 90s. These are the Ninja Turtles of old, but upgraded and redefined for a modern and new audience.
What Didn’t: The plot and the storyline of the film which quite honestly hasn’t changed all that much throughout the creation of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – turtles, ooze, karate, Shredder, repeat.
Minus Points: Will Arnett and William Fichtner who are merely reduced to pointless supporting roles in the film. A lost opportunity really for two fine actors.
Conclusion: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is as formulaic as you’ve come to expect. It doesn’t steer far away from the origins of the franchise, which is totally understandable, but making April O’Neill one of the main focus points of the film certainly doesn’t add any flavour to the story, in fact it does quite the opposite. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is a straightforward reboot that takes the shortest route for its intended results, but thankfully it is watchable enough.