Film Review: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is an action adventure that should appeal to children, although older viewers may desire more from the narrative.

Reporter April O’Neill is determined to get meatier stories. With the rise of the Foot Clan criminal gang, April is lead to four mysterious crime fighters who live in the sewers beneath New York…

Based on the 1980s cartoon series and 1990s spin-off films, this version of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is for a new generation. Whilst there are nods to earlier incarnations, it seems as if director Jonathan Liebesman and his team of screenwriters are intending to create a new realm for a young audience.

The narrative of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles offers nothing particularly original. The film is a by-the-numbers action adventure, with an origins story which unfolds as the film progresses. The twist in the film is predictable, and in fact there is little that occurs that viewers will not expect.

Characterisation in the film is stark to differentiate between the four turtles. A consequence of this is that they are rendered caricatures by this requirement to make them distinct. Elsewhere, Shredder is a one-dimensional villain, and April is earnest but hollow.

Dialogue in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is simply catchphrases and plot exposition. Some of the jokes may provoke a smirk, but there will be few who find the humour consistently funny. The film also feels like it goes on for too long. The chase sequence, for example, feels unnecessary; another set piece to pad out the film in lieu of plot.

Special effects in the film are seamless. Megan Fox does an adequate job as April O’Neill, whilst Will Arnett needed better lines as comic foil Vernon.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles seems squarely aimed at a young audience, rather than aiming to engage fans of the original series. One for younger viewers.