Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)
The movie starts out with a terrible Sin City-esque type of moving comic book pages story telling that really feels out of place at the beginning of the movie as Splinter narrates. This is really my only gripe about this movie, that if you asked me months ago I would have told you I wasn’t even going to give this movie a chance.
Aside from a few canonical changes this movie was absolutely fantastic. It had everything from action to comedy (and a lot of it). The development of the Turtles was a unique twist on their origin being slightly altered from the comics but you will expect that from a major motion picture. The different take on Splinter and Shredder was more in line with the movies from the 1990’s than the comics so that wasn’t anything really new. The Shredder armor was not as terrible as the Toy makes it out to be, quite awesome actually. Vern and April were off and on ultimately serving a purpose.
We are introduced to Vern and April at first and both of the characters seem a bit clumpy but as the movie goes on they both really hit their stride. Vern played by Will Arnett trips over some dialogue at the beginning of the movie when we are first introduced to him, but it works itself out as the movie wears on and he ends up being quite and endearing character.
We are introduced to Karai who has a very shallow character development. In fact we see her throughout the movie as a henchman but never introduced in any other way or mentioned by anyone in particular. I was disappointed in that because I enjoy that character in the comics and cartoon but I understand what this movie was meant to do. There is always room in the sequel.
Eric Sachs played by William Fichnter is introduced as the head of a company similar to TCRI in the comics and cartoon and is the normal character that is portraying a protagonist hiding an antagonist within. Its a little stale but that is kind of how Fichtner plays his characters. There is a nice reveal that the original spoilers and rumors of this movie were false and that was a wonderful surprise. I was however waiting for this movie to Iron Man 3 me, so I was worried most of the movie it would let me down, but it didn’t!
The Shredder Armor was pretty damn cool, and a great take on the armor itself. The Foot Clan’s back story was a great one with ties to ancient Japan. But the current Foot Clan was terribly represented and kind of boring henchmen types. Sachs tells April a story about the origin of the Mutagen and the Shredder in ancient Japan that builds respect for this installment of the mythology; that if you take this movie stand alone and any sequels it is a good story.
Splinter and the Turtles have a pretty good flashback montage where it goes through the development from baby turtles and little splinter to adolescent turtles and then into teenagers. This is reminiscent of the 1990’s TMNT movie where Splinter narrates their origin in that one as well. It is very similar to that in the first movie too. An aspect of how they came to be and their owner was a smidgen off putting but again if you can take this movie and anything after as stand alone then its a good fresh twist.
Each turtle brought a different weight to the movie, and the director didn’t stray from tradition. Donnie was super smart, Mikey was a space cadet, Leo was the leader that Raph always second guessed until the end when he learned a lesson. Pretty much every version of the turtles ever. I didn’t hate what they were wearing, again I think that they were poorly portrayed by the toys that came out prior to the movie and then the online backlash that included myself that chose to judge before seeing the movie. I was wrong and I admit it.
This movie was highly marketed to kids by Nickelodeon and even though there was no sex or foul language there was a lot of violence and there were a lot of kids crying becuase they snuck a jumpy moment into this movie. Over all I will give this movie an 8 out of 10 because there was so much action that was fantastic to watch. There was so much comedy, Mikey stole the show. Meagan Fox wasn’t as terrible as she normally is, and there is an Arrested Development Easter Egg in this movie and that is worth seeing! I highly recommend seeing this movie.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles = 8/10