Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles **

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I went in to this strictly on nostalgia and the fact that my young son was stoked to see it. The result is a mixed bag that doesn’t really live up to the Ninja Turtles standards. To be honest I would of much preferred the same film with guys in turtle suits as opposed to characters created by CGI.

The plot is pretty standard for these types of movies. What really surprised me is that the villains basically want money. From the looks of their mansions and expensive life styles I was confused as to why they would need to steal more cash. But anyway the point of these flicks is to see the Turtles in action, which we do almost relentlessly. In fact there is almost too much action. There is never a quiet moment to really get to know the Turtles as characters.

We do however get to know April O’Neil and her camera man played by Megan Fox and Will Arnett. As much as I think these two are good performers I did not once believe they were journalists. Their characters are short changed with some sappy bag stories that some how connect with the lives of the Ninja Turtles. All of this is basically nonsense that takes place between the CGI action.

The visual effects are some times impressive and sometimes awful. I did like the sequence where the Turtles slide down a snowy mountain while chasing a Semi Truck. But then I found all their hand to hand combat sequences to be hard to follow and chaotic. Didn’t help that they were shot in darkness, up close and with frantic camera motions. I was not expecting much different from the director of “Battle L.A.” to be honest.

After the film was over I found myself wishing that they had just left the franchise stay dormant. As much as people didn’t like “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III”, I thought it was a fitting end to the original theatrical series. If you watch those movies now it would be like night and day compared to this update. Those films were at least shot in a manner that let us appreciate the turtles ninja skill as well as giving them the freedom to speak and become real characters.

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