FW MOVIE PICK: TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES (2014)

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)

In the 2010’s Nickelodeon owned the rights to the “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”, which mean they can make their own animated shows as well as live-action movie that I most looked forward too; however once I heard the name Michael Bay (Producer) was attached to it, I did have some concerns! Spawned from a lab experiment gone awry, teenage terrapins Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello and Raphael live in the sewers beneath New York. Although their rodent sensei, Splinter, advises against showing themselves above ground, the justice-loving, pizza-eating brothers can’t stand idly by while evil Shredder and his minions terrorize the city. With help from intrepid reporter April O’Neil and her cameraman, the Turtles set out to save New York. It features the main characters portrayed by a new cast, and stars Megan Fox, Will Arnett, William Fichtner, Danny Woodburn, Abby Elliott, Noel Fisher, Jeremy Howard, Pete Ploszek, Alan Ritchson and Tohoru Masamune, as well as the voices of Johnny Knoxville and Tony Shalhoub. Leonardo leads, Donatello does machines, Raphael is cool but rude and Michelangelo is a party dude. The large majority of the focus in the movie is on Megan Fox’s April O’ Neil the main character. While her performance isn’t perfect; she at least tries harder than in most of her previous film roles. However since this is a Michael Bay produced film; she’s also used for fan service such as a scene where Vern stares at her butt. Tohoru Masamune makes for an okay The Shredder but his connection to Master Splinter and the Turtles is non-existent, however I did enjoy the incredible fight with Splinter and The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Initially, William Fichtner was intended to portray a Caucasian version of the Shredder, with the anglicized real name of Eric Sacks, instead of Oroku Saki. This idea was abandoned late in production in favor of featuring a Shredder of authentic Japanese ancestry. Which is a shame, because he was the more interesting villain, especially for his cheesy line “I’m going to be rich! Like, stupid rich!” The Foot Clan are no longer considered an international ninja cult, but rather a modern American terrorist organization, which is lame by the way. Minae Noji’s Karai plays only a minor role in the film, which is disappointing. Can you believe at one point Michael Bay wanted the Turtles to be Aliens, which is actually poked fun at in one scene? Overall this Turtles mess is a bit of a letdown, but at least will always have that fun Elevator Freestyle scene!

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