Some things are best left in the past, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is one of them. Whilst I have a fondness for the concept and original films (especially the third one), the idea of a modern day outing for the half-shelled heroes is one that’s never appealed to me. Now I know why.
The story here fundamentally remains the same; four mutated turtles raised in the sewers by a talking rat who teaches them martial arts so that they can battle those who terrorise the above New York City. An ingenious idea that is given a shiny makeover and brought up to date by producer Michael Bay. People in costumes are replaced by off-putting computer generated animation and the Turtles’ arch-nemesis, Shredder, essentially becomes a robot because Samurais (plural??) are obviously not cool enough these days).
Whilst the original spirit of the Turtles remains in tact, and I was particularly pleased to see a focus on my personal favourite Raphael (he’s a bad-ass but has a heart of gold), the overall look and feel of the film is that of Bay’s Transformers franchise. It’s not quite as bad in terms of its perverse sexism (although Megan Fox’s April O’ Neil is terribly under-written), and the length is almost half of most recent Transformers film. However, the mass destruction on a grand scale and loud robotic whirrings we’ve come to expect from a Michael Bay film are all still present throughout.
This isn’t a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles that’s interested in nostalgia, but more in appealing to a whole new generation all together. It succeeds in that respect and the children that were in my screening absolutely loved it; I however found it to be an irritating and frankly boring experience that made me miss the days of Jim Henson’s costumes and Vanilla Ice.
An empty shell of a film, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is previewing this weekend and released officially Friday 17th October.
Image credit to http://www.imdb.com