Film Review: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (12A)

Director – Jonathan Liebesman

Starring – Megan Fox, William Fichtner, Will Arnett

Runtime – 101 minutes

Review by Kerry Robinson

I walked into this film with a mixture of excitement and trepidation. I remember watching the original film way back in 1990 and loving it. Could it be possible to love the reboot?

The film’s plot is simple; four teenage mutant ninja turtle brothers must face the evil Shredder in order to save New York City. With such an uncomplicated story you wouldn’t expect the film to rush by at break neck speed, but the 101 minutes are crammed full of plot devices and action sequences.

The main weakness of this movie is the human cast. Megan Fox is miscast as reporter April O Neil. She plays pretty much the same character as she did in the first two Transformer films; she looks great but there’s not much else. Will Arnett was a pointless addition as cameraman Vernon Fenwick who served little to no purpose. The usually fantastic William Fichtner was underused and his role appeared to be less as a villain and more a narrator. Shredder (Tohuru Masamune) was an imposing bad guy but I would have liked to have seen him given more screen time without the armour.

However there are many positives about the film. The special effects are excellent, especially the downhill chase which has been featured heavily in the trailers.

The turtles themselves, although a far cry from the original costumes, look believable (as believable as six foot, talking turtles can be). The connection between the brothers comes across well and their bond with Splinter (voiced by Tony Shalhoub) is touching.

The heroes do not all get equal screen time, with Michelangelo and Raphael receiving most of the attention, but with good reason as they are by far the most interesting of the four.

Jonathan Liebesman is no stranger to directing effects laden movies (Wrath of the Titans and Battle Los Angeles). This is certainly his best, and probably most successful, effort, with a sequel already slated for a 2016 release.

This is a kids’ movie for adults. There are some references that will go over younger heads but children can still enjoy the physical comedy as well as the silly jokes.

So, did I love it? No, but I didn’t hate it. There are definitely improvements to be made (bring on Casey Jones) but I left the cinema entertained and giggling at the childish humour. It may not be the greatest film but if you only go to see it for the fab four, then you will certainly be satisfied.

Kerry Robinson

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