Ahh… the reboot. Nowadays, they’re almost a genre in themselves. There are different ways to reboot a film series. You can do an exact remake with modern changes to fit the time period. You can do a reinterpretation grounded with more realistic and darker elements. Or you can do what producer (not director by the way) Michael Bay did with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which is to fill it with big bloated CGI and action sequences. Whatever floats your boat I guess.
If you don’t know the Ninja Turtles by now, you should. Three feature length films, three animated series’, an animated film, and one forgettable live action TV show were all inspired by the original comics by Peter Laird and Kevin Eastman. There are elements from all of those platforms that never change; mainly the characters. There’s Leonardo, the noble, by the book leader… Donatello, the brainy nerd… Raphael, the short-tempered a-hole… and Michelangelo, the goof ball. They are four mutated turtles trained in the art of ninjitsu by a mutated rat named Splinter.
If anything I just explained in that last paragraph is new information, then stop reading now. Because this movie isn’t for you. Not in the slightest. You probably won’t enjoy a single ounce of it. BUT… if you happen to be the parents of young children, then they’ll probably get a kick out of it just like I did when I was younger. For those 80’s babies who, like me, grew up on Ninja Turtles, all is pretty much the same. Splinter is a little more of a drill sergeant than a teacher, the Foot Clan uses guns instead of ninjitsu, and Shredder looks like something out of Transformers… but April O’Neil (Megan Fox) is still a reporter and the turtles still live in the sewers, love pizza, and spit Californian slang. To you, it’ll feel nostalgic. The fight scenes aren’t bad either. One between Splinter and Shredder is actually pretty awesome.
But make no mistake, this isn’t really a good movie. It features several of the problems of a bad action movie, like the villains having a plan that doesn’t make much sense. Or the fact that they manage to capture most of the heroes, but lazily fail to make sure the others are dead even though they have them on the ropes. No, this movie is not for anyone who means to take it seriously. It wasn’t really made for adults. But neither were the ones made in the early 90’s. This movie was made to captivate young children. And, after observing some children who finished watching the movie, their smiles looked no different than mine did when I was little and I popped Ninja Turtles into my VHS player and started dancing to Vanilla Ice.
FINAL GRADE: F for non fans. B- for fans. And a solid A+ for all those bright eyed youngsters.