8 August 2014 | theLuauKing
One-Dimensional Hollywood Fluff with Lousy Writing and Over-the-top Action...(spoilers)
I'm not even quite sure where to begin with this movie. I mean, I had decent hopes for it. Leading up to it, so many people seemed to be taking it way to seriously. I mean, come on. Its about giant talking turtles who fight crime. Its not supposed to be that serious. Hoo, boy.
I guess I'll just start by saying this (spoilers ahead), the changes they made to the origin story don't make any goddamn sense, both in terms of simple logic and quality narrative structure. They completely removed any connection between Splinter and the Shredder, so say goodbye to any emotional connection or tension that that would have brought. And this version Splinter wasn't the ninja master, Hamato Yoshi or even a pet/student of Yoshi. In fact, Yoshi seems to have been omitted completely. So, how does Splinter become a ninja master himself? He reads a book. I'm not even joking. After both he and the turtles mutate he finds a book and teaches himself. And it wasn't even at the very beginning. I mean when Splinter begin teaching himself, the turtles are already walking and talking. He not only learned all of ninjitsu but also somehow mastered it, without any instruction or sparring, in less than ten years? AND he taught it to the turtles? BULLSHIT.
The turtles themselves are one of the few not-terrible parts of the movie. All of there individual personalities are right where they should be but we are also kind of short-changed on the amount of interaction they have with each other. A bunch of brothers together, getting up to shenanigans? What a great, natural way to have conflict! But no, the movie follows April way too much.
All of that is indicative of a larger problem with the writing. Both of the villains are BORING. The pacing is uneven and a lot of the dialogue is forced and ham-handed, Michelangelo was the worse in that respect. And believe me, I get it. Mikey is the loud mouth, party turtle. But is is possible (kind of necessary) that if a main character is annoying, to also be likable. Yes, it possible. Severus Snape. Perry Cox. Deadpool. These are all characters that are bad or annoying people but still likable as characters. After a few minutes of listening to Michelangelo, I just wanted him to shut the hell up.
It doesn't get any better with the villains. I don't remember the last time I watched a movie with such boring villains. Instead of just sticking with one main villain, the Shredder, we now have two...for some reason. WE have Eric Sachs, who is a rich scientist/industrialist and the Shredder, an evil ninja master with no personality. Eric Sachs is working for the Shredder for money? But isn't he already like a billionaire with a castle on a mountain and his own skyscraper?Doe he need more money? What the hell for? Shredder is the most shallow and one-dimensional out of this whole damn movie. We're not really told anything of his back story or shown any of his motivation for anything. The foot clan is also no longer a group of ninja warriors, they're...guys with guns. Completely useless guys with guns (that'll be relevant later).
They also unnecessarily tie April, Sachs and April's dad into the turtles' back story...for some reason. We don't even really meet April's father. And April is the one who saved them from the lab fire that killed her father...or wait, was it Eric who killed her father? The movie seems to confused on that point. And instead of keeping the baby turtles (like any little girl who likes animals would do) she...dumps them in the sewer? What the hell? The who thing is convoluted and doesn't make any damn sense.
April O'Neil is uninteresting and stupid. Seriously, I mean she is unintelligent. She is supposedly an educated journalist but spends so much time trying to convince he boss of a "story" of talking, crime- fighting turtles without one single goddamn lick of evidence. Vernon Fenway is apparently supposed to be the comic relief but none of his jokes are funny and his sole role in the film seems to be driving April around. And why the hell is Whoopi Goldberg in this? She had like six lines. Why is she here?
The camera-work was clichéd and chaotic. There were times when the camera was moving around too much for you to easily follow the action. There is also a serious lack of cool martial arts fights for a NINJA Turtles movie, which is not surprising when you turn their main antagonists from ninja into guys with guns. I also couldn't even begin to take the Shredder serious in the action scenes. Are those giant swiss army knives on his hands? What the hell?
Finally, the one thing, in my opinion, that sort of breaks the movie the most is that they made the turtles too damn powerful. Yes, the turtles are kind of superheroes. But wasn't being a bunch of kick-ass ninjas enough? No? You gotta give them super strength too? AND MAKE THEM BULLET PROOF!? Remember the previously said bit about the foot being a bunch of guys with guns? Yeah...you might see where I am going with this. It was bad enough to see the turtles throwing cars around and shattering concrete with punches. On some level, the audience needs to believe on some sort of fundamental level that the heroes are danger, that the threats that they face have meaning. Without that, there is no tension, no real conflict and with that...no excitement. No story.
This movie nuked the fridge.