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Sarah Michelle GellarSarah Michelle Gellar - "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" Movie - Iesb.net Review
Thursday 22 March 2007, by Webmaster
Mean, Green, And Headed Back To The Big Screen! Trying out new CGI turf the turtles are getting some new life breathed into them and a new enemy to stomp. But will the fans yell COWABUNGA!?
ImageIt’s not hard to see why they’d want to re-launch the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, I mean come on, everything that’s old is new again: 80’s Style! Transformers is set for a knock down drag out with Spider-Man this summer, and G.I. JOE is gearing up as well. In years to come we’ll be here to piss, moan and even reminisce about the remake of Coyote Ugly starring Dakota Fanning. It’ll happen...trust me.
The toughest part about bringing the ninja turtles back though is the question of which set of fans you target. The turtles have a unique split of fans between their many incarnations and tones. Quite smartly they try to mix and match things up a bit and give everyone enough to enjoy without worrying that the kids are going to learn something beyond their age; though I’m sure round house kicking incidents for kids between five seven are going to sky rocket to Chuck Norris proportions.
While the film is not a direct sequel to any of the previous films, there are clever nods sprinkled throughout the movie that point to this being something that happens at some point after the third film (keep your eyes and ears open). The movie starts off with the boys having become something of a dysfunctional family. Leonardo has left the nest to train for his role as leader, Raphael has become a vigilante, Michelangelo works as an “entertainer”, and Donatello joined the workforce. None of them really connect anymore and have their own lives. Naturally there’s evil afoot so they have to get their shells together for the good of their family and all of mankind.
With no big old school villains appearing in this re-launch the writers mixed a little of the old in with the new, featuring a new villain who employs members of the Foot Clan. Not a bad choice actually, the new baddie actually has some dimension and the Foot Clan could probably use the paycheck. The evil plot: An ancient warrior discovered a portal three thousand years ago that made him immortal and he’s looking to re-unite his troops and capture thirteen monsters that escaped from the portal. Oddly enough, during the three millennia since this all happened the monsters don’t seem to have been bothering anyone and they all live in the same zip code. Ok, it’s a movie called Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles; I suppose I can suspend disbelief on this point. So as the bad guys collect all the monsters up to further their evil plans the Turtles in a half shell spend much of the time fighting amongst themselves and trying to get back into combat shape.
One complaint you might hear about this movie is that Mikey and Donnie are barely in it and that far too much of it centers on Leo and Raph. In my opinion this is not an issue, many of the stories from the comics and the live action films focus on Leonardo and Raphael, leaving Michelangelo and Donatello in the background or as comic relief. It worked there and it works here. The bigger oddity is April O’Neil and Casey Jones; she’s given up reporting and runs an export art business and Casey has gotten all domesticated. Again: none of this hurts the story and actually gives all of them some real depth.
The look of the film does take a little bit of getting use to; it’s not something ultra ground breaking like you’d see out of some other animation studios, but it works well and you can imagine a serious upgrade for sequels.
Featuring an all new voice cast further separates this from the other incarnations. Not a good or bad thing. With the exception of Patrick Stewart and Sarah Michelle Gellar most are barely recognizable (in a good way) and all of them are quite fitting for the characters. I mean come on! If you want to have a totally hip narrator to bring you up to speed who do you get? You get Laurence Fishburne! I’d also like to think that Mako would be pleased that some of his last voice work was as Master Splinter.
The soundtrack came as quite a surprise, No, sorry, there’s no “Turtle Power” or Vanilla Ice this time out, but we do get some kickin new tracks from Gym Class Hero’s, Cobra Starship, and more. The tunes sound familiar and fitting..like I said: What’s old is new again.
Prognosis: The Turtles are back and you won’t need to take a kid as a cover story to hide your guilty pleasure.