Admittedly more fun than the 2014 original, this effort from producer Michael Bay and director Dave Green taps into all the elements that fans want to see from the ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ cartoon series and starts in a promising way, but it soon loses its fizz and becomes a uneventful offering.
Our lead CGI heroes-in-a-half-shell are more fun, more likeable and more engaging this time, all brought to life authentically to replicate their cartoon counterparts. With truckloads of CGI characters and action on offer to create a dizzying spectacle, you have to remember this is a teen movie, presented by Nickelodeon Movies and aimed at the younger market who probably don’t even care about the original TV show.
We have the turtles. We have all the human leads. We have General Krang. RockSteady and Bebop. Baxter Stockman. The Technodrome. Splinter. The Garbage Truck. The Ooze. Casey Jones. Shredder. We even have a superbly fun closing credits with the classic theme tune that should have been used to open the film. However not all these elements are given the care they deserve and, even though it’s fun to see, doesn’t overly satisfy.
Shredder and Krang are the most useless and pointless villains ever. Krang, a huge CGI pink blob in a huge CGI robot body pops up half-way during the film and then at the end for a less-than-exciting confrontation with a strange Technodrome. He’s wasted. Shredder spends most of the film talking and plotting and acting scary with his blades, and also un-masked. When he DOES finally get the mask on and want to be a villain, it’s minutes later and he’s taken out of the film. He comes across as a very inept and boring and pointless– in fact, the main villains in this film are CGI RockSteady and Bebop who are loud, noisy and at least fun to watch who give the turtles something to do and fight against.
Megan Fox reminds us this is a teen movie minutes into her appearance by turning from undercover reporter in a disguise to undercover reporter in a school-girl outfit with short skirt and high heels and a cropped top. I mean, that’s great if you’re 18 and under and still think Megan Fox is relevant, but for April O’Neil, she doesn’t have anything new to offer during this. The supporting crew are adequate and do their best, and Stephen Amell at least gives us a decent Casey Jones.
The meat of this film is chases; on foot in the air and even water. Chase after chase and dizzying fight after fight in CGI settings with CGI characters. But, this is a cartoon adaptation and it does work for the most part, it’s all good fun with harmless humour and likeable leads, and when elements come together from the classic show, it’s hard not to smile. But don't expect anything TOO amazing, especially towards the end when it all becomes a little underwhelming and boring with lacklustre villains and lots of quick cuts, fast action and lots of noise.
With a few characters now setup for the 3rd film, it will be interesting to see what happens because right now, Krang and Shredder fail to embody the legacy their cartoon characters created and come over as useless. If they are to return, they seriously need a reboot and kick in the pants to be something better.