August 10, 2014

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Movie Review

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles can only be described as a gawd awful mess that should be erased from the minds of the world and the creators should be arrested and tried for crimes against humanity.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT) should be shown in film schools as the perfect example on how to make a heartless, sleekly nauseating film with a plot so disastrous and characters so flat that the director uses them as his personal foot mat. The creators build a world so sleazy and unaware of itself you'd wonder how anyone involved in this film ever got a job in Hollywood. Like the MPAA, there should be a board who decides if films can be played in cinemas, released straight to DVD, or never shown to the world.  

TMNT follows, not the turtles, but April O'Neill (Megan Fox) whose looking to drop her light-hearted filler stories and become a big time news reporter. O'Neill believes that if she finds these turtles she will finally have the news that will change the trajectory of her career. Fox's opening scene involves her running up to a shipping container manager and writing random words down while trying to get information out of the manager. A monkey could do this scene with ease. However, Fox seems so exhausted and callous to handle these simple tasks that her performance comes off lazy. This continues throughout the film to where you just stop caring about anything Fox does onscreen. By then, the film is already a jumbled mess of randomly placed action and scenes with so much exposition the sewers of New York wouldn't be able to keep down. As for the turtles? A combination of poor CGI and tawdry one-liners develop the characters just enough for the average child to barely care about them. 

The film tries to please too many demographics. The story is flat, because children don't care. They came to hear the jokes and watch the action (what little of it there is, and what little of it is appropriate for children). The violence is that of an R-rated action film, without the blood. I guess that makes it okay for children. The creators try to appease the hardcore or nostalgic fans, but any reference to pizza, "Cowabunga" or any other TMNT catchphrase is shoehorned into the film without consideration for the characters or story. Shredder is a disposable random baddie, seeking some type of tyrannical domination with a suit very similar to The Wolverine's Silver Samurai and Transformer's Megatron. Then, there's the classic Michael Bay mixture of fart jokes, racism, sexism, and over-the-top action. 

Producer, Michael Bay is a noticeable influence in this film, making director Jonathan Liebesman nonexistent. The action sequences are shot sporadically and, in many instances, in slow motion. The cinematography is the sleek, clean look that Bay films are made up of. Even the New York sewers are in pristine condition. Under Michael Bay's law, the film falls apart in every direction. At this point, I can't even bash the script, written by Josh Appelbaum, André Nemec, and Evan Daugherty. Bay and his team of lackey co-producers whitewash the Ninja Turtles and grind out a project so passionless you have to wonder if these are really human beings or robots created just for the pursuit of money and human suffering. 
Good Qualities: One scene that involves the turtles in an elevator.
Bad Qualities: I'd be here all day if I had to name every single horrible thing about this film.

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