I was a little apprehensive about this one but overall, I thought it worked with a few exceptions here and there. There have been a number of Turtle movies made in the past including another live action version from 1990 that was a horrible train wreck. The animated version of the series entitled TMNT I thought was great and have reviewed it for a past blog. This version goes back to live action with the turtles designed in 3D animations rather than actors in bad rubber suits. Luckily, the tech has improved since the last live action version…
The film is basically another reboot (surprise, surprise Hollywood, do you have any original ideas anymore?) starting with some backstory and then bringing us present day with the turtles already into their teenage years. Shredder and the Foot Clan are up to their usual mischief in terms of world domination and it’s up to the turtles to save the day. Enter April the news reporter who is trying to expose what’s really going on once she discovers the truth of the turtles, the clan and the clashes that are taking place between the two. Little does April know that she’s part of the story herself which adds some new twists to where everything is going.
The writing is pretty average and although it tries to add some left turns, you can still seem them coming easily. But that’s ok, this film isn’t going to be the most challenging thing conceptually and doesn’t really need to be. What it lacks in originality, it makes up for with fun and action which is what you’re really looking for when it comes to crime fighting mutant ninja turtles anyway.
The acting is average for most of the actors with no standouts for me. The weakest link in my opinion was Megan Fox who just looks confused most of the time when she’s not trying to be scared. If you watch her face, I swear it looks like she’s not really sure what film she’s in or what these turtles are all about. Overall, she’s a terrible actress with little to no-range. I’m not sure why anyone really uses her in films to be honest. She’s nice to look at but there are many more attractive actresses that can actually act out there and I don’t think her name is all that big a deal these days so I don’t really get why she was cast here as she doesn’t bring anything to the film that’s interesting, unique or even beneficial. The cast includes Will Arett, William Fichtner, Whoopi Goldberg and voice work from Johnny Knoxville and Tony Shaloub.
The production is very well done. Michael Bay is a producer on this one (luckily he didn’t direct so no overuse of low angle crotch shots) and the effects are top notch. They did a great job of seamlessly blending in the 3D characters of the turtles with the live action in a way that felt convincing.
If you can tolerate Megan Fox and are fan of the series, you’ll probably dig this film, I did.
reviewed by Sean McKnight