Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Screen 7 articles

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

2014

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Poster
  • The real problem here isn’t how it references music and TV shows—it’s how Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is deeply informed by the worst tendencies of contemporary blockbuster cinema, looking back at the summer movie season through a funhouse mirror (minus the “fun”) that only reflects its ugliest features.

  • Turtles nostalgists will be disappointed by its lazy subversions of TMNT lore, older audiences will be annoyed by the comedy-goofball characterisations of the turtles themselves, and young audiences will take in the cheap, loud spectacle, and little more. It's now a cliché to do a "dark" screen version of your popular comic book property... It seems a shame that the filmmakers here opted for such a vanilla telling of this beloved tale.

  • Mainly, though, this is as generic as Hollywood gets. Motion-capture technology doesn’t make the turtles any more believable—that is, if you can see them through the murky cinematography—and when you find yourself aching for more scenes with bad-guy William Fichtner, there’s a serious problem.

  • The action is scarce but largely serviceable, the final fight between the turtles and Shredder constituting the film's one thrilling highlight. Elsewhere, Liebesman tepidly uses the same whirling, in-the-moment handicam fight imagery that's become the status quo in mainstream action flicks. Stripped of the more objectionable elements of Bay's oeuvre, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtlesrenders itself totally unremarkable in its busy plainness, devoid of anything resembling character or creativity...

  • Produced by the “Transformers” impresario Michael Bay and directed by the dutiful Jonathan Liebesman, this new adventure is executed so ordinarily, and with such tunnel vision, that it feels homogenized.

  • How bad is TMNT? Grimly, unmemorably bad, albeit not offensively bad. Kids, I suppose, will like it, or at least sit still for it. Some of it is so bad it’s hilarious (like the massive button reading ‘Adrenaline Injection’ on the villains’ computer when April must administer an adrenaline injection) but mostly it’s just numbing and dull, yet another example of the big studios running on empty – though, to be fair, the first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles wasn’t that much better 24 years ago.

  • Portentous when it should be goofy, lumbering when it should be spry... [the movie] is largely indistinguishable from any number of bloated superhero spectacles that have already graced our screens. Your kids may not mind it, but it’s more insistent than it is fun.

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