Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014) Review

Turtle Crap

What a world of difference a filmmaker can have a project. You can have some imaginative minds like Joss Whedon and James Gunn work together and crank out something new and interesting, like Guardians of the Galaxy. Then you have a boring ass director like…you know what, who gives a shit? No one is even going to remember his name nor his mediocre Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Normally, I write a quick summary for my second paragraph in my reviews, but given the fact that the three alleged “writers” of this movie kept creating plot holes, contradictions, and failed to write anything remotely funny or clever to say, I’m just going to give one sentence. Megan Fox’s four pet turtles got mutated and were taught ninjutsu by their ugly rat father to fight a gang called the Foot Clan led by the Shredder.

I’m not going call Megan Fox as her character, April O’Neil; she is NOT April O’Neil, she’s Megan Fox like she is every freaking movie she’s ever been in. You know, I’m sure she’s a very nice lady, but. She. Can’t. Freaking. Act. She has two modes going on here: deadpan delivering and shrieking. Neither is interesting, and she looks comparatively out of her league when she has to act against William Fichtner (who I’ve been rooting for years to get a cool role) and Will Arnett.

The Turtles themselves get screwed royal in this mishmash. Leonardo (my favorite turtle) is given no character at all, and is just a bland, boring taskmaster played by a sleepwalking Johnny Knoxville (seriously who the fuck thought casting Knoxville was a GOOD idea?). Ralph is just grunting in a grizzled macho whisper the whole time with nothing going on. Mikey is geek who strapped a billion computers to his shell for no apparent reason other than to indicate “he does machines.” And Donnie, oh for God’s sake, Donnie is just horny for April the whole time. Not in a cute flirtatious way (like Han Solo or Star Lord), but in a creepy, frat boy sort of way.

And then there are the busy, ugly designs they had for the turtles. Look, it’s not very freaking hard to have good animated character design. The simpler, the better; check Rocket Raccoon, Caesar from Planet of the Apes, or Gollum from Lord of the Rings for a crash course in good computer generated design. These turtles have stapled all sorts of knick knacks, computers, and crappy designs to themselves to set each other apart. When the color of their masks and weapons make that pretty, freaking easy (you have no idea how hard it is for my not to drop f-bombs right now). And Splinter is just hideously ugly as a diseased looking rat. The Jim Henson puppet from the original movies looked less repulsive than what these filmmakers came up with.

Then there’s Shredder. Like I mentioned before, dude looks like the Iron Throne came to life. When he takes his impractical suit off, his face is obscured in shadow…for no apparent reason. There’s no reveal to how he looks like or even if it’s important. Which brings me to the other bad guy of the movie, William Fichtner. Originally, it looked like he was set up to be the Shredder rather than a side kick to the main villain. But after people justifiably pointed out the stupidity in casting a white actor for someone who is supposed to be freaking Japanese, it looks the filmmakers re-shot some scenes to correct their dumbass mistake they shouldn’t have made in the first damn place.

Of course in doing so, the film jumps into stupid plot holes and self-contradictions. At one point, it’s revealed that Megan Fox’s father burned the lab that led to the mutation of the Turtles and Splinter and died in the flames. But then at the end of the movie, Fichtner’s character reveals that he SHOT Megan Fox’s father…wait huh? Care to write a second draft, Mr. Screenwriter? And that’s another thing that bugged me, that is the new backstory for the Turtles is that they were Megan Fox’s pets that her father was experimenting on.

This sort of hackneyed storytelling is just lazy; rather than set the meeting of April O’Neil and the Turtles as some random encounter that leads to all sorts of adventures, it’s retold as if it were DESTINY. But really, destiny in filmmaking makes the world that the characters inhabit a lot smaller. It’s the fatal flaw that has all but killed my interests in the Amazing Spider-man franchise.

Actually…now that I think about it, this whole freaking movie RIPS OFF the Amazing Spider-man movies! They copy the “magic blood” that can cure all sorts of diseases in which the villain is willing to do anything to get. They copy the creation of the heroes to a corporation that spits out bad guys for the heroes to fight. They even copy the repressed memory shtick of the character with daddy issues!

Alright, enough ragging on this movie. Surprisingly I did not hate the movie entirely, though I wish it had so I can dismiss it outright. But it does pack a few great fight scenes that are well animated and choreographed. It even has a cool chase sequence down a snowy mountain that was kinda cool, and ended it off with a falling antenna in New York City that was about to release a deadly chemic…oh for f%$k’s sake, that’s exactly how Amazing Spider-man 1 ended!

You know what? I was expecting this movie to be a complete and utter garbage, but I can’t hate it enough. It’s got a few moments of something cool in there, but it’s definitely not enough for me to recommend a trip to theaters. Actually, it’s not enough for a trip to Redbox. If you catch on Netflix streaming or cable, you can at least wait for the end that actually has something to it. But aside from that, avoid. It’s a low…


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