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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - Film Review

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by Lyn Spiteri (subscribe)
Hi-ho, I'm Lyn! --- Aussie. Teacher. Musician. Twin. Fan of film, TV, literature & musical theatre. Love fab friends & family, Star Wars & overall groovyness of life. -- Check out my blog at
Published October 2nd 2014
Michael Bay, please stay away from my childhood
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

A great number of our childhood faves are being re-imagined and re-booted lately, some more successfully than others. Director Michael Bay tried his hand at bringing Transformers to the big screen and has now turned his eye to another seminal animated series with the release of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Set in New York City, the film sees reporter April O'Neil (Megan Fox) and her cameraman Vern Fenwick (Will Arnett) join forces with the Turtles; Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello and Michaelangelo to battle Shredder and his evil Foot Clan. The film opens with a really clever animated sequence, a obvious nod to the previous incarnations of the characters. April is the audience surrogate as we follow her investigation into the strange vigilantes who are protecting the city and their mysterious adversary. The Turtles (along with their Master Splinter) are created using CGI but are voiced with character and individuality. The duplicitous Eric Sacks is portrayed with relish (pity there wasn't a longer period before the reveal) by William Fichtner. Whoopi Goldberg has a small role as April's boss Bernadette.

On an introductory front the film delivers, as it manages to give enough back-story for those unfamiliar with the franchise without completely boring the viewer who is well versed in the Turtle universe. I also particularly enjoyed the more significant thread that links April to the the Turtles; facilitating a more familial connection that helps to underpin their interactions. Arnett brings humour and sarcasm, as do the Turtles, but overall the film was disappointing. Fox does okay as the viewers way in and certainly the camera loves her but I found the choice of casting quite jarring. Despite her cute mustard jacket (a more fashionable equivalent to her animated counterpart's penchant for yellow jumpsuits), she just doesn't really fit as April. There are the usual quota of Bay explosions and exhilarating action sequences but Shredder is underwhelming and the story is lacking.

If, like me, you're a fan of the animated series of the eighties and the live-action movies from the nineties then you won't be missing much if you skip this incarnation and grab a pizza instead.

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