Ninja Turtles 2014 Movie Review

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TMNT-2014-Desktop-Wallpaper-HD1First off I need to state that I am leaving the prior TMNT movies at the door. I won’t be making comparisons for the sake of looking at this movie objectively. With that being known and for the sake of people with short attention spans let me say this:

Casual fans will love this movie, hardcore fans will hate it.

There you have it. Still interested in hearing more? Then read on!

*Warning, minor spoilers

The Ninja Turtles movie is quintessential popcorn cinema at its best. Much like the Transformers movies this is a roller coaster of action scenes with little bits of plot filler sprinkled in between. You won’t get a deep plot, you won’t get great character development. What you do get is silly jokes, loud noises, and as much action that can be fit into 90 minutes. Leave your expectations at the door.

The Turtles

The turtles themselves at their core are what you expect (for the most part). Leonardo is the hardened leader of the pack, Michelangelo is witty and wisecracking, Donatello is the tech-savvy nerd, and Raphael is the Hulk. Wait, the Hulk you ask? Yes in this movie he closely identifies with the incredible Hulk but with more dialog. He is huge, muscle-bound, and angry with a penchant for destruction.

The unfortunate part is that the turtles are very simplistic. You won’t see their characters develop very much through the course of the movie. The most in-depth character of the whole movie actually seems to be Raphael, who goes through a range of emotions.

Supporting Cast

So we have April who is a reporter. Vernon who is her cameraman, Splinter who is the turtles Rat master/father, Shredder, and Eric Sacks the good/evil rich guy. That about sums up the supporting cast of the entire movie. Sure there are some random foot soldiers, Karai, Bernadette at channel 6, and April’s roommate but that literally is it. Check out IMDB for the movie if you doubt me.

Story (in a nutshell)

Bad guys want to destroy NYC by lethal gas but need mutagen to sell back to city to cure population. Bad guys find out turtles have mutagen in their blood and try to drain them dry. Fighting and explosions.

RaphThe Good

  • Action! Lots of it.
  • Turtles kicking butt!
  • Jokes and subtle nods to the past.

The Bad

  • Shallow plot
  • Lack of character development
  • Megan Fox

The Ugly

  • The turtles designs (literally)
  • Shredder
  • Ending of the movie

TMNT-ShredderI need to touch on something here that bothered me the entire time while watching the movie. The Shredder. This character is literally just a walking Ginsu knife magnet whose sole purpose is to fight the turtles. The biggest villain in the TMNT history is basically watered down to a base level villain we have seen hundreds of times. He has a giant suit of armor that defies logic (how does he support the weight of that thing?) and may or may not lead the Foot clan. Also Karai is there.

Conclusion

Go into this movie without thinking too much. Actually you know what get drunk beforehand and go see it, that is how this is supposed to be viewed.

  • newtongimmick

    Shredder is terrible. He has no motivation, he has no back story. We learn he trained Sachs, but he must not have taught him much since Sachs does no ninja fighting. He wants to kill people cause that’ll make the foot strong, somehow. Sachs wants to become the richest man in New York. What is he currently? The second?

    To me this movie blew because not only are all the TMNT elements either completely removed or dumbed down, but the stuff that’s supposed to make up for it, witty dialogue, action and adventure, etc, are sadly lacking. The Turtles don’t say much and what they do say is never clever, except for an occasional laugh from Mike. The action sucks and frankly it feels a bit like they’re all the Hulk.

    • Shredder was a huge let down, huge. Everything seemed so generic, nothing special.

  • Joseph Miller

    I assume since the armor used cutting edge technology that the armor does the heavy lifting itself.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Powered_exoskeleton

    I hope that mutagen-enhanced Super Shredder in the sequel is more organic and less machine. I think the fights would be better without the constant projectiles.

    Ultimately I was very happy with the movie. They included enough allusions to past incarnations that it was clear they respected the history, but they have to create their own style and conventions for this incarnation of the turtles and they weren’t afraid to do that despite the fanboy shellacking they knew they would receive.

    The backstory between Splinter, Sachs, Shredder, April’s dad and the Foot is pretty disconnected as it stands. Maybe the sequels will put that story together more. Why did the Shredder leave Japan, why is Sachs so connected to the Shredder, how did April’s dad find out about their evil plans? Did that secret ninjutsu manual just fall into the sewer by chance? The backstory was convoluted. At least seeing the turtles as babies and kids was fun.

    • The armor would have to be mechanized in some way, there would easily be a half ton of metal to be lifted on there.

      Like you mentioned the back story was full of holes and Shredder was for the most part glazed over. I too enjoyed the turtle kids part!

  • Yeah, so many things that bugged me about the movie. I hate that all of the characters (ALL of them) are so simplified or stripped down that they are only a shell (both in terms of their roots and just in this movie’s environment.) April went from an intelligent daring reporter (or lab assistant depending on your original story of choice) to a zero talent hack that manages to get no decent reporting done, gets fired from her job (for good reason) and doesn’t redeem herself. She’s only connected to the story by retconning her into the TMNT’s origin. Splinter? No longer Japanese, or Hamato Yoshi, or related to Hamato Yoshi. Just a big rat in yellow-face. Mikey? Annoying, creepy, and base. Leo? Hollow. Donnie? Reduced to wearing taped-up nerd glasses and ghostbusters gear. Raph? Reduced to a scared child whose anger stems from the idea that he feels inferior to his brothers. How did Vern become one of the bright spots in a TMNT movie?!?

    The plot? Ug. Like NewtonGimmick said, he is like the richest dude in NY. He lives in a castle, owns priceless artifacts and has a private army. Why exactly does he need money from the government? So, they poison the city, and then cure all the people getting paid by the Govt to do so. How exactly does this give Shredder “control” over the city? Why were they stealing a bunch of DNA manipulation junk from shipping containers if they’d given up on the project based on the loss (or apparent loss) of any mutagen to cure the city? Why were they going to kill a bunch of civilians in the subway if their plan was to poison the city? When did mutagen become a catchall antidote to both poison and Splinter getting the shit kicked out of him? Why did Splinter need mutagen to heal when his blood is already pumped full of it?

    Ug. I hate this flick.

    • Shawm I agree the plot holes in this movie are like a piece of swiss cheese.

      At its core the movie is dumbed down and simplified to make room for action scenes just like Transformers. People rant and rave that it “isn’t a Michael Bay movie” but come on if you have seen the movie the proof is there.

      Keep a look out I think I will be writing a “rant” version of the review today.

  • Congrats on being brave enough to watch it. I haven’t gotten up the nerve yet. Instead, I saw Guardians of the Galaxy a 2nd time and also checked out Boyhood (which was amazing).

    • I need to see Guardians.

      • I have my gripes with Guardians, but it’s like Stanley Kubrick in comparison to the new TMNT flick 😉

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  • thekillerkobra .

    I just couldn’t get past Splinter and Shredder in this movie. No Hamato Yoshi storyline at all and no ties to Shredder just made this movie make sense to me. Learning ninjutsu from a book was just plain old lame. And I actually was hoping Splinter died when the lair was “destroyed”

    Shredder almost seamed like a hired thug for Eric Sacks which hurt his character big time. Why why why did they make him a Transformer??? Big clunky movements. No back story and no depth. And poor Karai, another awesome character thrown in the gutter.

    Basically I didn’t get a “ninja” vibe from this movie at all.

    I don’t see how a sequel can possible correct these major flaws.

    Bottom line is that I still (sadly) loved this movie. Lol

    • There were huge issues with the movie, glad you dug it regardless.

      The use of Karai and Shredder really killed it for me (or lack of use I should say). They were treated as simple generic “bad guys” which weakened the story for me.