Sunday, March 25, 2007


Review by Michael Jaffe

I am not afraid to admit that I was raised with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles running through my veins. As a youngster, I couldn’t fall asleep at night without my dad reading me one of the Turtle comic books, of which I had a complete set. When I saw the first, live action movie as a kid I remember being so sucked into it at the doctor’s office I threw a tantrum as they tried to get me to leave the doctors office. To this day, I still watch the original two movies and love them as much as I did that first day at the doctors. This newest installment of the turtles series is CGI, not live action, and completely devoid of Shredder. The bad guys in this installment are the foot clan who are being controlled by businessman Max Winters. Mr. Winters calls in some stone generals from south America and then some foolishness goes on with some big monsters but the heart of the movie is the turtles.
The story takes place a few years after the previous three movies and Leo has been sent away by Splinter to learn how to be a better leader. April O’Neil goes and finds him and asks him to come back. The turtles back home have become weak without their leader, with Don working as tech support, Mikey being entertainment for kids birthday parties and Raph becoming even more surly and angrier than he ever was before. April and Casey are now living together in a safe, at home life, but Casey longs to get back out there and fight crime again. The movie is fun and fast and there are hardly any dull moments and the animation, while extremely cartoony is smooth, sleek and really easy to watch. The voice work by Patrick Stewart as Max Winters is very villainous and his deep baritone makes the character seem quite intimidating. Sarah Michelle Gellar is fine as April, but doesn’t really bring anything special to the role. Chris Evans as Casey Jones is as perfect a voice for the role as you could get without getting Elias Koteas circa 1990. The voices of the turtles are all done by relatively unknown voice actors and all are really quite good, with barely any noticeable difference from the distinct voices that were developed during the original cartoon TV show.
The movie is surprisingly funny with the jokes and one liners and the action scenes look great. The movie is not without fault however. The dialogue, while mostly good, can fall into fairly lame territory on occasion and the non-realistic animation could hamper some people’s enjoyment of the movie about talking turtles. And the movie is fairly childish, but any true fan of the turtles won’t care because the turtles were never the most challenging stories intellectually. The story was really without much connection to the TV show and hopefully the next film will have Shredder and Krang back, completing the turtles’ complete return to glory. 8/10

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