18 March 2007 | ferguson-6
Welcome Back Green Dudes
Greetings again from the darkness. Reinventing a once popular franchise is always a bit of a gamble since the built-in audience will be very critical to changes and building a new audience can be extremely difficult. The secret usually lies in the ability to recapture the good parts from the original and add modern touches in order to attract new viewers.
Director Kevin Munroe delivers some witty one-liners and a couple of nice fight scenes all wrapped up in a terrific new animation style that lends itself very well to the dark side of sewers and big cities. Additionally, some complicated interaction between Leonardo and Rafael add a dimension not normally seen with the Turtles. All the necessary elements are there: the fight scenes (in keeping with the PG rating) are action packed, but with very little real violence; the bad guys are bent on world domination, even though the familiar Shredder is gone; the Turtle brothers struggle at times, but of course come together as a team when necessary; and the funny one-liners will make all ages giggle.
The downsides are the opening stage-setting scene, which will be a bit boring and hard to follow for the youngsters and the lack of any type of catchy music for the characters. Michaelangelo remains the fun-loving one, but he and Donnatello are pretty minor characters, and a big complaint is the lack of edge to Casey Jones. Instead of a hockey mask, he should probably dress as the Sta-Puff Marshmallow Man. Still, none of that takes away from a fun film with a beautiful look.
Voice acting is pretty well done by the likes of Chris Evans, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Patrick Stewart, Mako, Kevin Smith and Ziyi Zhang. So take the kids and if you were once a Turtle fan, you should treat yourself to the fine new version. Cowabunga!!