New Ninja Turtles flick terribly scripted, fails to summon kickass ninja powers

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

HOW MUCH DID I PAY TO SEE THIS MOVIE? WHAT? I’M IN THIS MOVIE? NO, GODDAMMIT ARE YOU SERIOUS? WHAT HAPPENED TO THOSE KICKASS PUPPET COSTUMES? THEY’RE GONE? DAMN IT! TMNT fails to capture the goofy antics and animated ninja skills of these once loveable turtles, now transformed into a CGI drag by the studios.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Directed by: Kevin Munroe
Starring: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Patrick Stewart, Laurence Fishburne

2 stars

The film might be called Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, but these turtles aren’t anything like those that captivated audiences in the late ’80s and early ’90s.

Writer-director Kevin Munroe provides an inconsistent storyline and turtles grittier than those featured in the comic book or TV series.

The film’s CGI is used to transform the characters into dark, angry creatures with vivid expressions. Although this works initially, the film’s random, childish dialogue throws the film off course.

The story begins with the group of turtle brothers disbanded; Leonardo is in Central America improving his leadership qualities, Donatello and Michelangelo are working-class citizens and Raphael is dressing up in costumes nightly to clean thugs off the streets. The four reunite when an immortal warlord, Maximilian J. Winters, unleashes his henchmen on the city.

The turtles’ former sidekick, reporter April O’Neil, has miraculously become a trained ninja and an archaeologist. With her pencil-thin waist and overly accentuated chest, she looks more like Barbie than a ninja.

Not surprisingly, the film’s CGI enhances the action scenes; these sequences are phenomenal and the slicker-looking turtles are fantastic.

All the film’s technological innovation is tainted by its weak script. However, even viewers who enjoy the film’s video game-like action scenes will be instantly turned off by the script’s dullness.

The dialogue is too plain to please the young adults who grew up watching the cartoon series, while the conversations aren’t simple or captivating enough for children to comprehend.

The plot is pathetically simple and so extravagant one quickly loses interest. While realism obviously isn’t the film’s main goal, there are too many gaps in the plot for it to be entertaining " even for kids.

The turtles’ goofy charm of past films and TV shows is lost to CGI, transforming these once-lovable characters into complete aliens.

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