The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

Turtle Power

After a 14-year hiatus from the big screen, everyone’s favorite heroes in a half shell are back with a new digital form in “TMNT.”

Three-thousand years ago, a great warrior king led a group of other super warriors across the world, dominating various lands. The warrior king opens up a portal when all the planets align, making himself immortal. However, it also turns his fellow warriors into stone and releases 13 monsters onto the earth.

Jumping back into present day, the Ninja Turtles are found in a distraught state. Leonardo has been training in Central America, Donatello has been running a tech support hotline, and Michelangelo has embraced his turtle-being and become Cowabunga Carl (just think of the Ghostbusters in “Ghostbusters II,” performing at birthday parties …only Mikey gets beat up). Raphael, on the other hand, has been going out at night as the vigilante Nightwatcher. April O’Neil (voiced by Sarah Michelle Gellar) has been living with a washed-up Casey Jones (Chris Evans), and is a hired “Indiana Jones” for tech-industry big shot Max Winters.

Winters happens to be the aforementioned immortal warrior, and hires the Foot Clan (now led by Karai) to help collect the 13 monsters running rampant. Splinter (Mako Iwamatsu) tries to bring the team together to fight the evil forces that will take over the world, as the Turtles themselves struggle to remain a unified family.

The story is a little more complex than that, but therein lies the main problem of the film: too much, yet too little. The story is very involving but very lacking in depth at the same time. Director Kevin Munroe clearly tried to cram as much into the film as he possibly could. However, there is simply not enough room in the 90-minute film. Also, because it is so far off from the “realism” the other films presented, it does not translate well into film. It seems more suitable for – you guessed it – a cartoon show.

The cartoon aspect also presents problems for the film. Since the Turtles have recently been revived on television, there is a huge gap between the generations that have grown to enjoy them. Mixing together what these different generations deserved to get seemed too daunting a task for Munroe. There are some elements that will provide laughs for all fans, but it is heavily bogged down by needing to stay PG. There is simply not enough middle ground.

Too many things happen throughout the film without any substance or reason. For example, how in the world have these 13 monsters been running around for 3,000 years without anyone noticing? Also, how are ALL of them in New York City?

There is hardly any build up leading to the main battle; it just happens, and viewers are thrown right into the middle of it.
As for the Turtles themselves, there is too big a focus on Raph and Leo’s feuding. Granted, it does provide great emotion in the film and an amazing rooftop fight (the best part), but their other two brothers get shorted overall. Mikey is given some great lines and humor, but Donny… poor, poor Donny. If ever a Turtle was truly shafted, it was Donny.

Adding insult to all the Turtles, they are not really shown using their weapons. They fought with their weapons in the previous movies and cartoon shows, so what gives, Munroe? Why such a lack of pizza too? They were raised on pizza. They also never say “cowabunga” outside of attaching it to Carl, so that creates a whole other issue on its own.

By the end of the movie, you will feel satisfied enough if you are a big “TMNT” fan. The visuals are great and it is really enjoyable to see the Turtles back on the big screen. However, there is just not enough to warrant this movie being hailed as more than just “pretty cool.”

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

We love comments and feedback, but we ask that you please be respectful in your responses.
All The Torch Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *