I even think that director Jonathan Liebesman knew how boring the script was so he livened up scenes of people talking with dramatic close-ups and swooping pans. The film is shot well and looks nice but boring is boring.
In this latest incarnation of the popular franchise there are some minor changes, luckily none of them involve our favorite heroes in a half shell being from outer space.
Our story begins with fluff piece reporter April O'Neil trying to cover the story of a rampant crime wave by the mysterious Foot Clan. Hot on a lead she gets into trouble only to be saved by some strange looking heroes. Upon further investigation her super-hero like saviors turn out to be 6 foot tall walking, talking, ass kicking turtles. Not only does she become friends with them but things become a reunion of sorts when April finds out they used to be her pets when she was little.
Back when April was a young girl she had a pet rat and 4 turtles in her fathers lab. Her father was a scientist working on a experiment with mutagen and cell regeneration. One day the lab goes up in a gulf of flames killing April's father.
Excited by all of this, April tries to break the news about the cities new saviors. No one at work believes her and she gets fired for such a crazy idea. The only person that believes her is Eric Sacks, her fathers colleague. Unfortunately Mr. Sacks is a servant to Shredder and his Foot Clan. Eric betrays the trust of April and wants to capture the Ninja Turtles and use their mutagen blood as a ransom, for he and Shredder have a plan to unleash a toxin upon NYC. And the mutagen is the only cure.
Man this movie is kinda lame.
Not only is the climax of the film stolen out of the ending to THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN (nothing like grabbing low hanging fruit guys). But your villains motives are stupid and make zero sense. The character Eric Sacks going turncoat is dumb and doesn't gel at all, but that's what you get for such poorly written characters. I wanna focus on how poorly they treated Shredder, the arch nemesis of the Ninja Turtles.
Remember those slight changes I was talking about? Like the Turtles being April's pets when she was younger. That didn't bother me. the change that was odd to me was the fact that Master Splinter and Shredder did not have a past together. Usually how it goes is Splinter was a pet rat to Hamato Yoshi a ninjutsu master. Hamato Yoshi and Oroku Saki (who later becomes Shredder) are bitter rivals. It's TMNT scripture. Here it's only kinda sorta alluded to.
The filmmakers leave it up to the audience/fans to already know the back story. That's bad storytelling, especially if your movie is a reboot or whatever. It's the same problem I had with AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 and the friendship between Peter Parker and Harry Osborn. Do they or do they not know each other? Oh? They are best friends remember, because the comics and previous unconnected films said so. Minor issue I understand, but it's just so sloppy in my opinion.
So back to my issue with the climax of TMNT. At the beginning of the film it's pretty apparent that Shredder knows nothing of the mysterious ninjas kicking Foot Clan ass up and down NYC. So fast forward to the big fight between Splinter and Shredder. I may have missed something? But to my knowledge this is the first encounter with these two. So when Splinter yells “SHREDDER”!!! His proper response should be “Yes...and you are...”? As I write this it does sound like a nitpick and I think I've made my point so I'll move on. But again like I said, poor storytelling.
On the subject of Shredder, you can tell Micheal Bay was a producer on this because Shredder must shop at the same store as Optimus Prime! My gosh where did Shredder get his outfit, freaking Cuisinart? The guy looks like an all purpose kitchen utensil from hell! How can he freaking move in that thing? My suspension of disbelief runs pretty high, but I had to laugh out loud a number of times. It's just too much.
Okay now to the good stuff, the mediocre stuff I should say. I liked how the Ninja Turtles look. The motion capture looked pretty good when the environment was them fighting at night on the roof tops or in a warehouse. What I didn't care for was whenever the action took place in their sewer home. There the action was too much CGI and it felt like I was watching a cut scene from a video game. Other than that it was fine.
Now to address the elephant in the room of TMNT which is none other than the star of the picture herself, Miss Megan Fox. Boy, is she a terrible actress. I remember thinking she did an okay job playing a emotionless demon in JENNIFER'S BODY. Come to find out she's just naturally emotionless. I'll end my criticism on that because what's left to say about her acting that hasn't been said already.
I know it sounds like I hated this movie but I didn't, the issues I have with it just stick out like a sore thumb. The more that I am bored with a movie the more I tend to pick up on laziness.
I give TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES a moderate recommendation. Catch a matinée or wait for Netflix or Amazon Prime.