Since the news that a new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was in production, fans of the franchise have been skeptical about the movie and its marked differences. This is likely because the movie is being produced by both Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, known for their adult content and rated-R movies. Once the first trailer was released, reactions from some fans have been mixed about the style of animation for this movie being similar to “Spider-Man: Into the Spider Verse,” blending a 2D and 3D animation. In the newest version, the turtles are portrayed younger and the cast has a more diverse feel.
Once the movie was released to theaters on August 2nd, the movie began receiving many positive reviews, with a rotten tomato score of 97% and an audience IMDb score of 7.5/10. Both movie reviewers and audiences alike, seemed to thoroughly enjoy the movie which is apparent by their ratings.
The synopsis of the movie is about four mutant teenagers, Leonardo (Nicolas Cantu), Michelangelo (Shamon Brown Jr), Donatello (Micah Abbey), and Raphael (Brady Noon), who want to live normal lives with the humans, but with their circumstances, they have to hide in the sewers with their mutant rat father, Splinter (Jackie Chan). When they encounter a human girl their age, April O’Neil (Ayo Edebiri), they discover a plan to stop the main villain of the movie, Superfly (Ice Cube), from his mysterious crimes and become heroes so the humans will finally accept them.
The movie was an enjoyable watch. The animation was unique and had great and vibrant colors. The teenage casting of the voices for the characters helped to elevate the movie and add to its overall action and comedic-like feel. I also enjoyed the villain Superfly; he was a threatening villain with a great personality, and the actor Ice Cube helped to make that happen. However, there are decisions that hinder it from being my favorite Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie.
I was hoping for an intricate background on how the turtles became ninjas, but when I saw they learned their ninja skills from the media, I was disappointed. I believe the movie relied too much on the humor, especially in serious scenes. I hoped the movie would rely on the mutant villains, but they just ended up having a very irrelevant part.
Well-known actors such as Giancarlo Esposito, Hannibal Buress, Rose Byrne, barely had any lines, which made the cameos somewhat of a waste. Most actors were just casted to be well known names in the movie for marketing. I felt the movie focused too much on side characters rather than putting the attention on the main characters. I also think focusing more on the turtles and Superfly’s contrasting beliefs on humans would have been more interesting, but they only touched upon it towards the end of the movie.
Overall, I believe the movie had a more unique take on the turtles. The story had a lot of potential, but the script only made it decent. There were some solid jokes, but there were also some misses with the humor. Though the movie is meant to be fast paced, I would have prefered some slow scenes to help let the audience breathe and get to know the characters.
In the 1990s, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the audience experienced the characters interacting with each other, got to see more character development, and a great build up for the impactful climax. If the new movie had more scenes like this, then I believe the movie would have been better than good. However, for what it is, it’s still a mildly enjoyable movie that the new generation will enjoy.
Photo by GR Stocks on Unsplash