The New Ninja Turtles

*Caution: There are spoilers.

So this weekend my husband and I went to the new ninja turtles movie. Now, as a long time fan I couldn’t wait, but my overall opinion of the movie is that it was cute. There were a few gem moments sprinkled throughout, but generally it lacked in plot and depth.

photo courtesy of: comicbookmovie.com
photo from: comicbookmovie.com

For starters, they got rid of the origin’s story–where Splinter is the pet of Hamato Yoshi (who never existed in the movie) who is killed by Oroku Saki. In doing this, they got rid of a great source of underlying tension that could have been used between Splinter and Shredder. Instead, it was just that Shredder wanted the turtle’s blood for a devious plan he had going with some guy named Sacks.

Also, it made the whole “ninja” aspect of the turtles very flat. Splinter taught himself to fight via reading a “how to be a ninja” manual, then taught the turtles. ??? WTF. If being a ninja was that easy, anyone could do it. *The only thing they did right in this is that Shredder was a far superior ninja warrior. The turtles really had nothing on him and used some silly childhood game to eventually beat him.

Since Splinter didn’t come from Japan, with a deep understanding of Japanese culture, his usage of Japanese vernacular just seemed a bit forced and fake. I’d have believed it more if he taught the turtles how to eat cheese and run a maze.

I realize all this is backstory, but hey, if they’re going to screw with it, they at least ought to make it better.

On the upside, I really enjoyed the turtle’s looks. I think they did something new and creative there. I especially liked Donnie’s appearance with all the gadgets adhered to his shell. Raph’s full coverage dew-rag was also a nice touch. I felt the turtles had real weight and texture. They seemed so real to me that for the first time I was thinking, “man … I bet these guys really smell bad”. Their skin glistened and their clothes/loin cloths seemed grimy with New York sewer. So kudos for that.

photo from: digitaltrends.com
photo from: digitaltrends.com

Megan Fox didn’t bother me. I think she did a fine job.

Shredder’s ability to throw knives and then suck them back up by the use of some massive magnet was pretty cool, too.

photo courtesy of: zimbio
photo from: zimbio

They kept true to the turtles’ personalities, but missed on the opportunity of giving them more depth. I think anyone would agree that Raph is the most complex of the turtles, but giving the others traits besides: geek (Donnie), jokester (Mikey) and noble leader (Leo) would have been nice.

In general, after the first twenty/thirty minutes the action just took off and didn’t really stop. Since the movie was only around one-and-a-half hours, they could have squeezed in another half hour of plot development without making the movie exceedingly long.

All and all, I’m glad I saw it. The fan in me couldn’t wait till it came to video. Now, all I really want to see is behind the scenes!

 

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