In case you’re wondering, TMNT stands for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I just caught this on HBO again and was reminded just how cool this movie actually is.
Before you dismiss this film purely as a kids film, don’t, there’s more to it than that. First, this is not a cartoon and not another rendition of the horrible live action film that came out a number of years ago. It’s a very well done 3D animated addition to the franchise that makes up for the last film.
The film picks up with the turtles a bit older and makes the assumption that you’re familiar with the series and the characters. No origination story here, this film pretty much hits the ground running. And while the film is centered around mutant ninja turtles, the story does address some adult themes (such as Leonardo’s coming of age as a true leader and Raphael having to face his issues with anger).
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that the film is supposed to be overly adult or overly intellectual in nature. The storyline does go the usual world-in-danger route with the turtles being the force to have to stop the threat. And it’s fun-fun-fun, just like you’d come to expect from the comic (complete with some closeups and angles that you can tell were inspired by panels from the comic artwork). There’s also the presence of the turtles’ classic nemesis force of the foot clan, but they operate in a different role this time, so there are some twists. There’s also some light hearted humor and fun action segments (especially when Michaelangelo comes home from his hard day of working as a entertainer at kids’ parties).
The action sequences are visually engaging in a way that the 3D really helps to enhance. Watching the fight sequences, you’ll be able to tell that the animators really studied martial arts closely and worked with some experts in the craft to choreograph the fights. There’s a particularly intense confrontation between Leonardo and Raphael that’s not to be missed!
Overall, the film is still kid friendly, but also enjoyable for fans of the comic and adults that just plain enjoy fun action movies.
reviewed by Sean McKnight