Quick Movie Review: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)

As a huge fan of the original 1990 film, I expected the newest installment to be less than impressive. Although not nearly as entertaining, I would change the phrase “less than impressive” to simply “not as good.” But let’s be honest, with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comes a certain kind of cheesiness (pun totally intended) and a certain lack of maturity. 

I never thought I would see a movie where Megan Fox would give one of the best performances on the screen. But I think that might say worse for the movie than better. The acting was below average, but Will Arnett was my favorite part.

The script was below average and leaves us with a lot of questions. Is Sacks actually dead? We never see him die. Also, we never got a follow up with April’s coworkers that doubted her beliefs. The origin was interesting in how it connected with April, but the whole science experiment aspect seemed a tad bit derivative, à la Spiderman. The dialogue is a bit bland, but my favorite aspect of the story is that the turtles weren’t all-powerful creatures. They really couldn’t beat Shredder. They got lucky and happened to defeat him by chance, which relayed Splinters sentient that they really weren’t ready for the real world and had a lot more to learn. And although some of the humor is a bit juvenile, it still echoes the goofiness and uniqueness that made the original so popular. Also, I’m glad that the runtime was kept short so we didn’t have to sit through a script stretched way too thin in order to accommodate a 130 minute film.

One thing I was actually quite impressed with were the action sequences. It wasn’t just a giant hodgepodge of shaky cam and indistinguishable characters fighting, but cleverly choreographed pieces. 

When I heard that Michael Bay was involved in this project I expected it to be terrible, but honestly I think it’s better than everyone is expecting. It’s not as eye rolling as you think it will be. The action is some of the best that I’ve seen in awhile and the visuals of the turtles really help to drive the film towards a better rating. While the acting isn’t great, the script isn’t as uninspired as one would expect. Like I said, it’s in the nature of the Ninja Turtles to be a tad bit juvenile, I just think most of us have forgotten that–especially in a day and age where we take our action movies seriously. I personally was entertained.

Twizard Rating: 77

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