Movie Review: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Jean-Paul’s Rating: 2/5 stars

Bottom line: Some good action.  Close to zero character development.  Close to zero laughs.

How do you make Will Arnett not funny?  Star him in “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”.  Seriously, Michael Bay, how do you make Will Arnett not funny?  Joining Will Arnett in not being funny was everyone else in the cast.  The saddest thing was you could tell how very hard they were trying to make things funny, but there was no material to work with.  All the comedy was shoehorned in there along with a bunch of poorly executed nudge-nudge-wink-wink references to the old TMNT series.  Please tell me you made a lot of money on this movie, Will.

And then there’s the character development.  Or lack thereof.  You have April O’Neil (Megan Fox) whose entire schtick is telling people how she wants to be a serious reporter over and over again.  Then there’s Vernon Fenwick (Will Arnett) whose entire purpose is to drive April everywhere and pine for her.  There were also four turtles who we get to know by them repeating their names.  I’m Leonardo and I’m the leader!  I’m Michelangelo and I’m the goofball.  I’m Donatello and I’m the smart one, see, I have glasses!  I’m Raphael and I’m the broody one.

There are a few kind of cool action scenes.  The best is the one where they inexplicably choose a semi-truck with trailer as an escape vehicle and go sliding down an inexplicably snow covered mountain with other vehicles in pursuit.  The final battle against the Shredder was also decent enough before being ruined by some unbelievable silliness.

There’s not much to say about the plot.  The origin story is different than the TMNT of old, but it’s not so bad.  The Foot Clan is reduced to machine gunning mercenaries with a few ninjas thrown in for good measure.  Of course, Splinter almost dies and the Turtles need to save his life while simultaneously saving the world.  How they are able to save Splinter’s life is beyond idiotic.  They basically give him an infusion of their own blood because it has magical healing powers.  But, um, wouldn’t Splinter’s blood also have that healing power?  The answer is yes, yes it would.

“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” is decidedly in the do not go to see category.  Save your nostalgia for a rainy day at home where you can loudly lament Michael Bay killing another childhood memory.