Monday, November 19, 2012

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Steve Barron, 1990) Review

Did you know that there was a reboot of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on Nickelodeon that started this year...and it's AWESOME! I'm a huge fan of the new series and I feel that it surpasses the original but how's the live action movie hold up? Well, I guess it's time to go back the sewers to revisit the pizza-eating ninja legends (for someone who has never heard of the Ninja Turtles, this must sound insane...and that's because it is).

Underneath the city of New York, a strange substance simply known to as Ooze gets into the sewers and genetically mutates four baby turtles being looked after by an old man who is also mutated. The turtles become human sized anthropomorphised turtles while the old man is turned into a human sized anthropomorphised rat. The rat, know going by the name Splinter (Kevin Clash), takes in the turtles and names them after the renaissance artists, Raphael (Josh Pais), Leonardo (Brian Tochi), Donatello (Corey Feldman) and Michaelangelo (Robbie Rist), and trains them in the art of ninjutsu. A villain, named Shredder (James Saito) begins to try and take over the world and the Ninja Turtles have to stop Shredder in his tracks.

Let's face it, the Ninja Turtles were HUUUGE in the 80s and 90s so it only made sense that a film be made of it...not quite sure why it was live action but I guess it just makes it more epic (it's based on the comic more than the series). First things first, the costumes (yes, costumes) used actually work quite well and look okay...they haven't aged that well to be honest but I guess it's understandable. Sure they are cool (they're the freaking turtles!) and still look cool. At least there is a bit of variety other than just colour swaps. From now on, make all your Ninja Turtle movies CGI.

Shredder looks surprisingly awesome in this film. His transition into live action actually worked. He's actually evil in this film and not...whiny like he was in the series (but the new series trumps all of them in terms of evil). April O'Neil (Judith Hoag) did not transfer as well. It looks like she's wearing a rain coat instead of a jumpsuit...kind of a big deal. It's not all bad, the action is pretty damn...'radical' (that word died in the with it). It's a ninja film so it's obvious that ninjutsu will be used alot. It screams "THIS IS THE 90s!" but I guess that's the novelty of it.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles does it's job of making a adaptation of the show/comic. It was a dark film (they say "damn" a lot and it was surprisingly violent) but the biggest problem is that it REALLY hasn't aged well. This film is for the nostalgic fans only. I would probably watch this if I'm in the mood for some cheesy 90s...stuff (I don't even...)

A good attempt at adapting the classic series but it just hasn't aged well. There are some good things though, it's not all bad.

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