Michael Bay Goes Big From Costumes to Special Effects
By Matthew McKenna
When a classic 1980’s cartoon reintroduces itself to a new generation in live action, people would think that a great idea. However, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is an example of the opposite.
Even though Jonathan Liebesman is the director of TMNT, Michael Bay, director of the Transformers franchise, had partial control on how the film came out. The cast of the movie consists of Megan Fox as April O’Neil, Will Arnett as her cameraman, and William Fichtner. The motion captured turtles are played by Alan Ritchson, Noel Fisher, Pete Ploszek, and Jeremy Howard.
April O’Neil works as a news reporter who is waiting to catch her big break and in doing so discovers the dangerous Foot Clan who has been causing chaos around NYC. When she is caught by the gang along with other civilians, four large vigilantes come to her aid. She then investigates her heroes only to find that they are large mutant ninja turtles, Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael, and Michelangelo. Together they fight against the Foot Clan and their leader Shredder in the hopes of saving everyone in New York City from a deadly virus.
The downside of this movie is Michael Bay’s contributions and Megan Fox’s wooden performance. The villain’s plan to conquer New York was rather ridiculous due to bad writing, however children wouldn’t notice.
Having the turtles be animated was a good choice for the film makers, but the animation of the turtles’ faces were so different from the originals that it’s not true to the characters. The turtles trained more than the master ninjas people knew and loved, however their amount of strength was impeccable. Their origin story is also ludicrous along with how they learned the art of Ninjutsu compared to the original. Marketing campaigns are easily spotted in this movie to an excess with labels such as Pizza Hut, and the soda Crush.
Even though this movie is overall disappointing, it has its upsides. What makes this movie enjoyable is how each turtle had their own personality that characterized them even though normally you would characterize them by weapons, and bandannas.
The chemistry between the turtles was engaging, especially with Michelangelo as the comic relief. The snowy fight scene from the trailer is especially notable in the film with its exciting special effects. Lastly, the turtle’s arch enemy, Shredder, showed off not only his martial arts skills, but an impressive robot suit of armor with special abilities.
Sometimes better costumes and animatronics are better than special effects. In this film’s case, the 1990’s live action movie was better than this reboot. Overall, this movie might be worth the watch but not on the big screen, more likely at home. This movie was given 20% on rotten tomatoes by its critics. I would give it 5 stars out of 10.
A sequel for this movie is lined up, so hopefully the cinematic choices are different the next time around.