13 September 2015

Movie Review: "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" (2014)

Rated: PG-13 for sci-fi action violence
Starring: Megan Fox, Whoopi Goldberg, and William Fichtner
Released: August 8, 2014
Synopsis: An evil group known only as the Foot Clan is stealing valuable chemicals, and no one seems to be able to stop them…until a masked vigilante makes them run for their lives! NYC reporter April O’Neil (Megan Fox) can’t believe what she sees, and, when she tries to run a news story about it, her boss (Whoopi Goldberg) fires her.  Sure that she saw exactly what she thought she saw, she investigates on her own…and finds out that the vigilante is none other than one of four mutant turtles living in the sewers! The Foot Clan’s nefarious leader, Shredder, has a dastardly plan that would put all of New York in danger…and only the Turtles can stop it! Will they be able to save everyone, or will Shredder succeed in wreaking serious havoc?

The Good: What a rush! Like many first films in a series, this movie takes a little time to heat up, but when it does…man, is it intense! Though the old TMNT cartoons from the ’80’s and ’90’s may have been cutesy and light-hearted, the original comics were quite dark, and so was the very first live-action movie.  While this one has its dark moments, the Turtles still offer plenty of wisecracks and smart remarks that had me laughing.  Better yet, the violence was bloodless and goreless, and profanity was kept to a minimum, a rarity for a “PG-13” these days.  Megan Fox was an awesome leading lady, and, as April O’Neil, definitely wasn’t a damsel in distress.

The Bad: As great as this was, I could have done without the sexual innuendos, especially the one at the end where the Turtles use a Victoria’s Secret billboard to hide.  Also, product placement was a bit heavy; who wants to see advertising in the middle of a big fight?

Content Concerns:
  • Sex: Three or four innuendos, as mentioned above. 3/5
  • Nudity: April shows cleavage and midriff occasionally; a billboard features a scantily clad model. 4/5
  • Language: One a-word, one h-word, one s-word, one misuse of God’s name, and slight name-calling, i.e., “ding-dong”. 3/5
  • Violence: As you’d expect from a movie like this, plenty of action violence is present.  The Turtles, April, other allies, the various villains, and even innocent bystanders get hit, kicked, thrown, stabbed, shot at, and otherwise pummeled countless times.  One character almost dies; another one actually does, as does a nameless Foot soldier.  An elongated vehicular chase is also present. 2/5
  • Drugs: A man is poisoned; the dastardly plan involves all of New York City being poisoned. 4/5
  • Frightening/Intense Scenes: Along with the violence, Shredder and the Foot Clan can be rather scary. 1/5
  • Other: A flatulence joke; excessive product placement. 4/5
Conclusion: For quite a while, I have been watching the old-school original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoons on DVD, and the movies here and there.  I think I prefer the cartoons, but, of the films, this is definitely right up there with the old-school flicks, minus the first one, which suffered from too much profanity and dark content.  The storyline may have been changed a bit, but, it’s not like it’s the Bible; seriously, fans of the Turtles should check this one out.

Score: 4/5

No comments:

Post a Comment