REVIEW – TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES

When I was young I remember visiting family, sitting in our play room and watching Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoons, developing our own story lines as the TMNT and playing the video games. It was fun, it was creative, our imaginations went into overdrive trying to match things up and create twists and plots that resonated with what we saw on TV. Fast forward to present day and a group of people have done just that, if not more, with the latest TMNT film. I’m usually very hesitant when it comes to reboots or adaptations, you know, based on something that was successful. So when I initially heard they were making a TMNT movie, I was trying to figure out if indeed it would be as good as the series we watched years ago. 

Open with April O’Neil (Megan Fox) a journalist who wants to be taken seriously rather than the go to person for her stations fluff pieces. She’s investigating the evil Shredder and the havoc he and his Foot Clan are unleashing. When her investigation puts her slam dunk in the middle of trouble she is quick to put things together. Realising there is a bigger story than just the Foot Clan causing trouble over the past few weeks, she starts to look for a vigilante who she witnessed try and stop the Foot Clan. Taking this story to her editor Bernadette Thompson (Whoopi Goldberg) she is laughed at and ridiculed by co-workers. That doesn’t stop her though, with the help of her cameraman Vern Fenwick (Will Arnett) she investigates further and when she is confronted with the truth, not just the evil truth, but the truth about her past and the influence she had on shaping it’s future we can’t help but feel like everything clicks into place perfectly. 

The characters who steal the show have to be the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles themselves. The writers have stayed true to the characters, but embraced a more modern approach when it comes to individualising each one and making them current for todays audiences. Understandable and interesting to see how each character has evolved for times sake. Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello and Michelangelo, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles look amazing. The way these characters are introduced; at first an air of mystery. Then when we, through Megan, come face to face with the turtles we are taken in, astonished to see just how detailed and colossal they are. Each of their personalities shine through, it took me back to the days where we (as children) would argue over who would pretend to be who. Who was most like Leonardo, who was most like Donatello and so on. Each character played off the other and there was a great flow to the dialogue and storyline. We learn more and more about the background of the Turtles, not just how they became the fighting ninjas they are today, but how they came into existence. This comes to light as Splinter, who also adds a certain charm to the plot line (promoting the family bond ideal to fight and survive for your loved ones) explains their history.  A really intricate web of events and layers that create a rock solid shell, encompassing the overall story.

I loved the way the film was edited, not just how each scene flowed, or how each part linked to the next, but the way it was shot. I absolutely loved the fight sequences, the techniques used to shoot these parts were sensational. Almost a fly on the wall type of feel when it came to perspective. I even felt like there were hints of Transformers grandeur when it came to these scenes, and for some reason Power Rangers, more for the long shots during the fight scenes. Let me just say the 3D effects were incredible. Breathtaking. Literally there were two moments I found myself taken aback at just how marvellous the effects were in this film. I usually don’t like 3D, I’ve only ever recommended someone watch 3D when it came to one particular film, so, this is the second time I am recommending audiences take advantage of the 3D aspect. I think this is what helped immerse us into the film, to really feel like we were along for the ride. The storyline for the most part moved quickly, I feel like we received a lot in a short amount of time, which I really loved. 

Overall it’s totally worth seeing, not just for the effects, not just because it’s a childs dream come true, not just because it’s absolutely hilarious (thank you Michelangelo) but because it’s been a while since I saw something reworked, taken from our pasts and made into something that again, adults and children can enjoy. Already I’ve had friends see the film in advanced screenings and all have loved the film. I concur and I know I’m saying it again, I will definitely go see this film a second time. Cowabunga!

Rating: 4/5
 ☆☆☆☆

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