Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is a 2014 sci-fi action movie directed by Johnathan Liebesman, and produced by Michael Bay’s Platinum Dunes production company. This movie is a reboot of the previous TMNT movie series and features a revamped origin story for the Turtles and their world.
April O’Neil (played by Megan Fox) is investigating a series of crimes orchestrated by a paramilitary organization known as the Foot Clan. She discovers that a Vigilante has been disrupting Foot Clan robberies. Said vigilante turns out to be four mutated turtles with ninja skills training. The discovery of their existence puts in motion a plan to unleash poison chemicals on New York. Only the Turtles can stop The Shredder and industrialist Eric Sachs from killing millions.
This movie makes alterations to the source material in an attempt to try and tie the loose bits of the mythology together. The Turtles and their rat mentor Splinter are now lab experiments with Project Renaissance. They are all now April’s former childhood pets, as her father was a key researcher on the project. Once they are free of the lab, Splinter and the Turtles live in the sewers and learn Ninjitsu from a book. That and their mutations make them really large and freakishly strong (they even become partially bulletproof). Besides the alterations made, this movie is somewhat forgettable.
Don’t get me wrong, the action set pieces are great and each of the actors involved give good performances. However, Shredder is an ultimately forgettable villain just by being a guy in a suit of armor. He looks intimidating, but he just doesn’t do anything beyond that. Eric Sachs has more of a presence than Shredder does, and Shredder is Sachs master. Megan Fox and Will Arnett (as April’s cameraman Vernon Fenwick) are decent as the two leads, but they sort of become the central focus of the story. It’s like what Michael Bay did with Transformers. The human characters are the main focus, while the Transformers are just part of their story. The Turtles should be the stars and the main focus of the movie, not the other way around.
This is an ultimately forgettable action movie with the focus on the wrong characters, puzzling changes to the mythology, and a forgettable villain. The only plus is that there are some great action scenes and great character moments.
I give Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 6.50 heroes in a half shell out of 10.
Clifford T. Hofferd is a movie critic living in Prince George, British Columbia, Canada. Follow Clifford’s blog at thengpblog.blogspot.ca