Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

There has never been a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie which could be called "good." Even filtered through the lens of childhood, the cartoon wasn't good either. It was fun, though, and the films of the 90s were appealingly bad. This version of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is appallingly bad.

I had some hope for the project after a revised trailer backed off, and indeed mocked, the original idea that the Turtles were aliens rather than Terrestrial mutants. Sadly, that was the most clever thing associated with this movie.

The Turtles are done with motion capture and CGI, which can certainly be done well, as Gollum was. In this movie, though, it doesn't really work - the Turtles never really look solid or real, even though they are very well detailed. Worse than that, though, the characters are shallow and uninteresting. Their dialogue tries to be hip and/or retro in reference to the 80s cartoon, and just ends up bad.

The action scenes are terrible. All the martial arts bits are done with close-up shaky-cam, probably in an attempt to hide the awful choreography. Most of the scenes are in the dark, presumably  for the same reason. The snow set-piece is illogical and boring.

Megan Fox, who plays April O'Neil, delivers a lousy performance. Granted, the script she was working with was awful, but she completely fails to be compelling or even interesting. The point of her character is to allow the audience to relate to the Turtles and the fantastic things and events that surround them. She doesn't.

The plot is dictated by the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles origin story, and there might even have been some decent ideas in there, but the execution is dismal. Plus, the whole thing comes across as more than a little racist, since all of the bad guys and only the bad guys are Asian.

So what we have here is a movie without any actual characters, just caricatures, topped off with really bad acting performances. Even Whoopi Goldberg is in full ham-it-up mode for her bit part. The effects are bad, the fight scenes are bad, none of the jokes are funny. The plot is the strongest part of the film, and that's just sad.

If you think you want to see it anyway, just don't. Go watch Guardians of the Galaxy (hopefully again) instead. There is no fun to be had here.

Performance: 1/5
Plot: 1.5/5
Production: 1/5
Overall: 1/5
Bechdel: Fail
Reverse-Bechdel: Pass
Mako Mori: Fail
What are these?

1. Guardians of the Galaxy
2. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
3. X-Men: Days of Future Past
4. Edge of Tomorrow
5. The Fault in Our Stars
6. Lone Survivor
7. The Amazing Spider-Man 2
8. The Wind Rises
9. The Lego Movie
10. Lust For Love
11. The Grand Budapest Hotel
12. Pompeii
13. Hercules
14. Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
15. Maleficent
16. I, Frankenstein
17. Monuments Men
18. Knights of Badassdom
19. Divergent
20. Brick Mansions
21. 300: Rise of an Empire
22. Godzilla
23. RoboCop
24. Winter's Tale
25. Transcendence
26. Noah
27. The Legend of Hercules
28. Need For Speed
29. 3 Days to Kill
30. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

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