By Joe “Yeti” Collier
First things first, I grew up watching all the old Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle cartoons and movies. My brother and I had most of the action figures and I even watched the new cartoon. I’m a Ninja Turtle at heart!
I went into the new movie thinking: “Michael Bay produced it and Jonathan Liebesman directed it and we all know what he did to Wrath of the Titans! I’m going to hate it, I know I am.”
But I didn’t.
There are a few things I didn’t like, but I didn’t hate it. Then I remembered: “This is our kids’ Turtles, these aren’t our Turtles anymore.” I get that and I’m okay with it. I’m okay with giving my childhood memories to another kid to create their own. This is something for (if I have any) my kids to enjoy one day. We will still have our Turtles and our animatronic Ninja Turtles that Jim Henson’s Creature Shop gave us. We can share our memories with our kids through those movies, but also let our kids create their own Ninja Turtle memories like we did.
[Editor’s Note: Spoilers ahead. Read at your own risk.]
There where only a couple things that I didn’t like, because my version of the Turtles got in the way.
First: Shredder’s new suit was over the top. I’m fine with the old school suit, it was pretty intimidating seeing a master of Ninjutsu coming at you with blades on his hands. Now thanks to CGI we get a more futuristic body suit that gives him katanas. He can throw/shoot the blades and enable a magnet on the back of his suit to bring them back. When we first see the suit, we are told that Eric Sacks, a scientist in the employ of Shredder, has made a few changes to bring it into this century.
Second: Guns. I know it’s Hollywood and there are guns all over the place in movies, but I don’t ever remember the Foot Clan using them. They were a group of ninjas who trained under Shredder. I thought it was a little sad that we didn’t see the Ninjutsu clan use Ninjutsu. And this should have been a movie where Jonathan Liebesman and Michael Bay could have said “We don’t need gun violence in this kid movie. Let’s keep it gun free.”
Side note, you will read that the Turtles are bullet proof, their shells are bullet proof and they discover this protecting April. I have no issue with this, because they are six foot tall turtles that have mutated, so I’m sure their shells are super hard and thick.
Third: The origin story. This isn’t your typical ooze drips in a sewer and we get Splinter and the boys. In this one, they were April’s pets that her dad and a colleague did an experiment on, with what they called The Cure. When April’s father’s lab was burned, she saved the turtles and Splinter and took them to the storm drain. She realizes that these are her turtles when she hears their names when she meets them.
However, we do get a cute back story on why they love pizza: it was April’s treat she would give them as child.
Lastly, April. Meagan Fox did a good job at playing her. I have no issue there. My only problem is she isn’t a red head.
There where small things, like Splinter learning Ninjutsu from a book and not his master that got changed due to the origin story being changed, but I do have to say, I like the Turtles. They where funny and entertaining. Mikey was funny and flirty with April,and Leonardo was the leader like he needed to be. They geeked out Donny, but it was okay, and Ralph was the same hard headed turtle we are used too.
I loved the fact we got to see how bad Splinter was. His fight scene was really well done.
If you are going to see the movie let me repeat myself, THESE ARE NOT OUR TURTLES! But don’t worry, cause it works. Go enjoy it. If you have kids of your own, nieces, or nephews I recommend taking them, make memories with them and make new ones for yourself. Hold our Turtles close, but make room for the new ones because they are likable to a new generation of kids. It’s fun, funny and entertaining.