RANT O MANIA! TMNT Movie Edition

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rant-o-maniaThis is the first edition of RANT O MANIA and I had, just had to take a stab at the Ninja Turtles movie for 2014.

Since I previously tried my best to take an objective look at the new movie in the post here I wanted to take an alternative look at it, a look with filters off. I am a lifelong fan of the TMNT franchise (contain your shock) being born in 1984 just as the turtles were born themselves. I got hooked on the toys and the cartoon and it just expanded from there. The first movie I ever saw in a theater was the original TMNT live action movie and it was as incredible then as it is now. I live and breathe turtle power.

With that said I went into the new movie with an open mind. Okay so we have Michael Bay attached to it (shut up about the producer BS people) and Jonathan Liebesman directing. Oh wait and Megan Fox is April O Neil, okay then fine i’ll give her a chance. I shouldn’t have. Deep down I knew I was right, this was going to be bad.

Summer blockbuster popcorn movie with explosive butter.

Frequently summer movies tend to cater to a certain audience. This audience is not looking for in-depth character development, intelligent plot, or really much else besides things that go boom and some dick/fart jokes. Ninja Turtles is no exception to that rule.

Warning: SPOILERS

Turtlez

They all look weird we know that. Remember how we used to think the turtles were sort of this cute, non-aggressive heroes in a half shell? Well this aint those turtles. These are jacked up, muscle bound, accessory wearing, bro-turtles from the worst part of Dimension X.

For a property aimed at kids these turtles are scary as hell. They literally look like roughed up Hulks shoved into battle damaged turtle shells. Their Shrek faces make no attempt at appealing to anyone which may or may not be caused by the absurd amount of growth hormone (mutagen) running through them.

Mikey: Trying way too hard to be funny. Uncomfortably horny.

Donny: Cliche geek. Oddly frog like. Needs glasses because turtles have nearsightedness.

Leo: Bland. Absolutely devoid of character. Has swords!!

Raph: Roid rage mixed with bouts of crying. Can throw shipping containers.

These versions of the turtles are like bad caricatures of what the turtles should be. They strip them down to the most simple form then add a bunch of garbage to them for appeal. Oh look Raph has some sick Ray Bans! You can’t just have them yell “Cowabunga” in the end for a cheap pop. Try harder.

Those Other Characters

This movie is thin on supporting cast, real thin. We have April who is a shitty reporter (she gets fired for being shitty at her job) who basically rides around on a bike and plays with her phone for half the movie. Eric Sachs (warning: evil rich guy who pretends to be good cliche) who is in cahoots with the Shredder…oh yeah the Shredder. Good lord what an absolute failure! Talk about wasting your main villain. There is so little back story or meaning to this character you could have just thrown in some robot to fight the turtles. He has a ridiculous suit of armor with snikting blades ala Wolverine and of course a deep growling voice, but that is it.  He is not Oroku Saki. He is not connected to the turtles or Splinter. He is not much of anything other than a bad guy for the turtles to fight. What an absolute waste.

Then there is Splinter who actually I don’t have as much of a problem with. Sure his tail is ridiculously strong and he learned Ninjutsu from 1 book and taught the turtles. Sure they peeled away all of his backstory and he is just a rat but at this point were you hoping for better?

Story?

Heh, story. The “plot” revolves around Eric Sachs poisoning the city of New York with gas then selling the antidote derived from mutagen to the government for big cash money dollars. They guy is already freaking rich enough to have a castle and an army, what else does he want? Bloomberg money? Get out of here.

The turtles end up being the best way of harvesting mutagen so they must be captured and bled dry. Good thing Hulkael is still loose though and can save his bros! Enter big boss fight with knives… err Shredder. You know how this all plays out.

Biggest WTF Moments

  • Vernon is one of the best characters in the movie
  • Shredder is a master of martial arts but relies on throwing blades 90% of the time
  • Mikey likes April a little too much for comfort
  • Leo could be left out of the movie and no one would notice
  • The turtles literally hold up a giant tower with their own strength
  • The whole learning Ninjutsu from a book thing
  • Karai shows up but just gets slapped around
  • Eric Sachs is supposedly a trained martial artist but relies on a gun and can’t kill a reporter and cameraman
  • The mountain battle scene must take place on Everest judging from the amount of falling involved
  • The last 10 minutes of the movie are a huge waste of time

I could go on. Oh I could go on! In the end I feel like this movie is without much a soul. There was little connection to the characters and the story was so cookie cutter it hurt. The original movie had heart and was subtle in some aspects, this movie is just a giant punch in the face.

  • ThreeOranges

    I was actually pretty happy with the characterization of Donny and Raph. They cranked the nerdiness up to 11 on Donny, sure, but it added a bit of diversity to the group that they’ve never really had before. Donny’s laugh during the interminable mountain slide was a nice character moment.

    • Raph wasn’t so bad, he worked and had the most character development. Donnie was a bit much for me. What did you think of Leo? I thought he was really absent in this movie character-wise, like he could have never been there and no one would have noticed.

      • ThreeOranges

        Leo definitely got shafted. He just wasn’t there.

        I can’t see why some would think that intensifying Donny’s nerdiness went too far, but I thought it was a fun way to mix it up.

        If only Mikey’s lines had been funny. they would’ve done well by 3/4 of the team, in my book.

        The less said about Splinter, the better.