“Do not say a word about this to anyone. If you do, we will find you.”
A much more fitting title for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles would be April O’Neil considering she is the main character in this film and is on screen for almost its entire running time. Megan Fox was believable as this reporter who was looking for an important story so I didn’t have a problem with her performance. My main issue with this film is how poorly developed the characters were. Its as if they forgot to give these characters personalities and only centered on the action. There were some ok action scenes, but I never felt engaged with the characters which rendered those sequences kind of pointless because I was never interested with what was going on. As a kid I grew up watching the cartoons and the movies in the early 90’s so I thought I would be invested in these characters and that the nostalgia factor would play a key role in my enjoyment of this film, but I was wrong because I felt completely disengaged with the turtles. I don’t think I would’ve even remembered the names of the turtles if I hadn’t already been familiar with the characters. Sure, I know that Leonardo is the leader of the four, Donatello is the brains, Raphael the rebel, and Michelangelo the dude, but other than those basic characteristics we don’t get anything else from these characters while they are running around and fighting off Shredder and the foot clan. After having seen Guardians of the Galaxy last week and being invested in those characters, I was really disappointed with how little they tried to give these turtles some personality. And don’t even get me started with the rat, Splinter, which looked completely fake and was perhaps the weakest thing about this entire film. I know it’s hard to pull off a film like this with a talking rat and four talking turtles, but Guardians of the Galaxy proved it could be done with a talking raccoon and tree. This film has nothing going for it, not even the comedy nor the wisecracking attempts at humor from Michelangelo. The characters seemed like they were taken from the Alvin and the Chipmunks franchise, it was really bad.
Considering Michael Bay was the producer of this film a lot of comparisons can be made to the Transformers franchise where you have big action scenes and very little character development, but in my opinion this was even worse. Director, Jonathan Liebesman, who still hasn’t made a film I actually enjoyed, gives us a pointless action film which follows pretty much the same standard formula of basic action movies. You have one of the scientist betraying the other (formula we’ve seen in the Spiderman films) and not being able to finish the experiment without the other, then you have the vigilantes trying to save the city, and finally the climactic scene in a skyscraper while a time clock is running down to zero as the evil villain is trying to wipe out an entire city. It doesn’t get more formulaic than that, so it wouldn’t surprise me that in a few days memory of this film would be entirely wiped out because there isn’t one original or note worthy moment during its 100 minute run time. It has no life to it whatsoever and I expect fans of the franchise to be disappointed while newcomers will be in disbelief as to why this was made in the first place. I hope some day these Turtles actually get a chance of getting a decent reboot because I grew up watching the cartoons and playing the awesome video games.