TMNT 2014 review: Thug turtles
I finally saw the new turtles flick the other night. It was a special occasion, so we saw that and Lucy, which I’ll review later. For right now, though, I’ll dig into TMNT, and the gripes I had with it. Please keep in mind that this post will contain MASSIVE SPOILERS!!!! So if you don’t want it ruined, then stop reading now.
MASSIVE SPOILERS STILL COMING!!! YOU’VE BEEN WARNED!!!
OK, so first and foremost, I’ll go with the differences with the turtles themselves. They looked too….human. Their undershell, the part that would visually consist of their chest and abdomen, are formed to look like a jacked up human with large muscles. This is not what they were supposed to look like. They also weren’t supposed to be 8 feet tall. Apparently, source material doesn’t mean shit anymore. Their faces are also different, and it just doesn’t look right. In a vague sense, their personalities are close to the original, with one HUGE exception. Raphael. In the cartoon, he was a sarcastic ass, and I loved that about him. In this, he’s this gangsta thug with a serious attitude problem, and is thus a complete dickhead through most of the movie. He was constantly bucking Leo’s leadership and talking about going out on his own, totally different from the cartoon. It didn’t make it cool, it just made one turtle “the asshole”. Oh, and what the fuck is up with Donatello wearing a Ray Stantz outfit?! Seriously, the goggle thing, the backpack, gimme a fucking break here! We know, he’s the tech guy, you don’t have to make him look like a cyborg to get that across.
Another big change was, of course, the origin story. In this, April O’Neil’s father and another dude used alien DNA to genetically alter the turtles and splinter, but they didn’t grow until they got dumped in the sewer. Splinter learns martial arts from a book he finds, then teaches the turtles. Not sure why they’d go with that instead of using the ooze from dimension X, and including Krang and shit from the first one. I think it would’ve paid off better. The shredder’s outfit was a suit of power armor, and he had no personal relationship with Splinter, which again is totally outside of canon. Also, in this movie, the foot clan was a generic militant crime syndicate, and not a clan of ninjas. They were just run of the mill jack-booted thugs with no real significance whatsoever.
So now you’re probably asking “but, was it good or not?! Stop nitpicking canon you ginger bastard!!”. I’ll say, for the most part, that it was an entertaining flick. The action was good, although the overuse of CGI was personally annoying. The acting was fair, except for Megan Fox who was ‘meh’ at best. I have to say, though, that the change in the personalities of the turtles was painful. They were pizza obsessed surfer dude types, and now they’re more like gangsta types, which was really annoying. Mostly it was Raph, but still, it changed the whole dynamic. Mikey was awesome though, total goofy like always. At least they got that right. All in all, I’d recommend seeing it if you’re a TMNT fan, even despite the issues. It’s entertaining, and I almost always love when a cartoon is made live action. If you’re not a TMNT fan already, I’d still see it, though some of the subtle references will be lost.