Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – Cowabungle? – Review

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Photo Courtesy Paramount

I have to admit Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles didn’t stink as much as I worried it would. I am even ashamed to admit I kinda laughed here and there.

Set in New York City, the formerly banished to oblivion Megan Fox stars as April O’Neil – an enterprising young TV reporter stuck doing the fluffy stuff when she wants to be the next Diane Sawyer. The ambitious lady starts digging around as a strange criminal gang, The Foot Clan, spreads terror around the city. One night, she stumbles across a Foot Clan robbery of dangerous chemicals and witnesses a vigilante taking them on.

April knows she is on to a great story, but no one believes her (of course, her cell phone doesn’t have enough juice to catch it on video), so she continues to dig and discovers that vigilante is not one person acting on his own, but four massive, teenage mutant ninja turtles who have trained to take on The Foot Clan and desire to foil its master plan.

It is difficult to write a detailed, thoughtful review of a movie that doesn’t strive to be much of either. Don’t get me wrong. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is long on backstory and delivers enough action to keep you from falling asleep, but don’t expect Marvel levels of excellence here.

Director Jonathan Liebesman and the three person writing team give us a very linear movie short on any deep examination of characters, motivations and more to provide a bare bones story with enough explanation of how we got here and why everyone is taking the actions they choose to take. It feels like we are being given enough to establish the premise and set us up for a few sequels.

Then, we are onto the skateboards and product placement, both of which are signs I might not be a huge fan of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. As you know, skateboarding is the most cliché device ever invented to show how EXTREME and COOL and HIP and NONCONFORMING a movie character can be, so it shows up in this movie a few times to add nothing to the action.

However, that is a few times less than a certain pizza chain shows up. Even Victoria’s Secret gets a major plug, and I can’t imagine many women who wear sexy lingerie are voluntarily sitting in this crowd (sure, maybe a couple lonely dudes who get the catalogue, but how much are they buying?).

Don’t expect great comedy as most one-liners and comebacks are more annoying than endearing, but the ninja action is filmed almost perfectly to make Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles passable.

2waffles_smlTeenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is rated PG-13 for sci-fi action violence.

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