Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Movie Review
Cast: Megan Fox, Will Arnett, William Fichtner, Whoopi Goldberg
Director: Jonathan Liebesman
In this Michael Bay produced blockbuster popcorn piece, it's the aeons old fashioned tale of good versus evil. In New York, the evil gang The Foot Clans, headed by Shredder (voiced by Tony Shaloub) is trying to take over the city - but when Megan Fox's reporter April O'Neill discovers a connection between the gangs and a well to do businessman, she inadvertently puts herself in harm's way.
However, thankfully there are four hidden friends on hand to save the day - Donatello, Raphael, Leonardo and Michaelangelo....
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles isn't made by Michael Bay per se, but it has his trademark elements of Bay-hem and product placement throughout (a Pizza Hutt placement being the absolute worst). As parts of the city are taken out by the paramilitary Foot Clan and the robot Samurai Shredder, the destruction is on a Transformers level of chaos (complete with obligatory lens flare).
But, despite those paw marks, Liebesman has actually put together a fairly decent (if occasionally violent) kids' flick with one-dimensional baddies and some fairly low level dialogue that all hangs together coherently.
Wise-cracking Arnett sticks to his trademark schtick as O'Neil's cameraman, and even Fox starts off well as the frustrated reporter before sliding into simple damsel in distress. The baddies hit that one note level well with Shredder being little more than a dramatic cypher, and Fichtner lacking all but a moustache to twirl as his machinations come to the fore.
And while the Turtles don't initially have their personalities shine out (despite a very cool graphic novel style intro extolling their back-story), there are scenes which showcase their dynamic; an elevator scene that sees them beat-boxing reminds us they're just kids, a set piece de resistance atop a snowy mountain taps their bond very well in between all the whirling FX wizardry) all serve to remind you why you fell in love with these half-shells years ago.