Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

The heroes in a half-shell are back in a brand new, reboot origins story. Jonathan Liebesman does a competent job in giving us a relatively fun romp re-introducing the turtles to a new generation. At least he understood that the storyline cannot support too long a show time, and during the snappy 101 minutes focused mainly on Megan Fox and action - unlike producer Michael Bay. The turtles are slightly different from their cartoon counterparts but broadly retained their basic characteristics. Surprisingly, Raphael got the lead here.

Liebesman gave us a fairly straightforward origin story but other than a very good action set towards the end of the Second Act, the rest of the movie was fairly simple with no real big twists or unexpected results. Although the origin story itself was a departure from the story that we grew up knowing.

Cinematography was also rather flat throughout which did not help to make the movie more visually appearing. Likewise, frequent comic/super-hero music collaborator Brian Tyler was also, as usual, generic and un-inspiring. Someone need to come up with a new iconic Superhero score like John Williams' Superman Theme or Zimmer/Howard's Batman score.

It seems like the du jour thing now to litter superhero/comic-book movies with pop culture references. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't; and sometimes there can be too much (see: Guardians of the Galaxy). In TNMT, it only worked when the references came from Michaelangelo - because at least here we have an established character who is likely to spew such gems and not seemed to come out as smart-alecky or self-referential.

Not much acting going on here. None of the actors hired to be the turtles are Andy Serkis. Megan Fox looked better after child-birth but definitely less sexploited here than in Bay's Transformers. Will Arnett was genuinely funny.

Ultimately, a fairly entertaining romp that did not take itself too seriously and the short run time was to its favour.


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