Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Movie Review: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)

As a child of the 1980's, I grew up on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.   I'm one of the few people who thought that the last movie, "TMNT", was actually good.    Much like the new versions of G.I. Joe, you don't have to think about this holding true to the original content as much as just an interpretation of the source material.    The characters themselves, as Ninja Turtles, have been revamped so much that the originals wouldn't even recognize them anymore.     So going into this movie I knew it wasn't going to be the dark and gritty Turtles that were originally conceived or the cheesy ones I grew up with and I was fine with that.  

This movie had action and just about everything you'd expect from those involved.    The plot involved Shredder and The Foot Clan as a backdrop to releasing something bad into the world only to also be able to cure it and, you know, I've been thinking this about so many mega-companies in my life that it's not even funny.  (Big Tobacco for one)

So the Turtles themselves look different, but they still look pretty cool to me.   I'm actually much more comfortable with the way that the Turtles look than with the casting choices for April O'Neil and Splinter.   (Seriously, no, Mr. Monk should not be the voice of Splinter and Megan Fox should not be cast in anything I want to see ever again, thanks)

Through the course of the film the Ninja Turtles do what is their intended purpose when this movie was first imagined by someone out there somewhere: they captivate.   They open themselves up to show you what they are made of and this is done so as to expose an entirely new generation to these characters but also it is being done to sort of re-establish these characters in the eyes of others, such as myself.

As strange as it is to think that some of the children seeing this movie have only been familiarized with these characters via their most recent Nickelodeon series, it's even stranger to think that even though a sequel has been announced, my son is only three right now and so by the time he's really into TMNT enough to appreciate these movies it's most likely going to have hit the restart button all over again.

I'm not going to sit down and make a list of the best movies of 2014 though it would be easy because the number of movies I actually cared about watching in 2014 was such a low number, but if I did I would have to put this at the third spot.    Arguably, it was anticipated by me from the time I saw it as "in production" or whatever on iMDB and for the most part it did not disappoint.   If anything, I was actually pleasantly surprised by how good this turned out to be, considering what could have gone into it and what it could have become in retrospect.

(For the record, my top three movies of 2014 would be "Guardians of the Galaxy", "The Lego Movie" and this one.   Other movies I've seen, mostly relating to comic books, would have to fight it out and be decided only based upon my memory of having seen them because sometimes I forget what did and did not come out this past year)

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