18 August 2014 | billygoat1071
Hinting The Real Joy
No matter how the name Michael Bay is attached to a fantasy adaptation, people will complain anything about the project. But as a producer, does it affect much to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? Surprisingly yes. As the same as the public response about the Transformers franchise, people turned out to be ranting at the wrong stuff. At the post-viewing, maybe we can accept the heavy reliance to cartoony CGI, or the large amount of explosions, or the really poor plot. The real sin of these movies is its lack of interest to its main heroes and instead focuses on the human characters. Which is a shame, because it somewhat gets it right with the turtles, their stories are more interesting than the one we ended up seeing. The film does have some rewarding moments, but it just keeps hindering us to the less interesting parts which makes it disappointing.
It is clear that if follows the same screen writing rules of the last Bay franchise. Instead of being about the Ninja Turtles, it rather centers on April O'Neil. Instead of fearing the Foot Clan, the threat would rather focus in some evil corporal manager. Any larger-than-life characters from the source material have only left out as the secondary need of the journey: the turtles are now plot devices and the Shredder is, for some reason, a henchman. I bet the fact that Casey Jones wears a mask is the reason why we can't have him in this film. For the story of April, it might only work as a subplot. There isn't enough theme or intrigue to accomplish unlike the one from its actual heroes. There is some talk about Raphael mistreating his brothers, which is a theme that was already done better in the past TMNT movies, and Master Splinter's backstory as the turtles' father, which is only presented for expository need. They don't get the development they deserve, which makes the drama in the end feels so forced and less than effective.
April's arc would have been tolerable if it gives her more moments to actually connect with the turtles, but the only information it could provide is that they're her childhood pets, she's only using those beloved characters to her job, teasing us the much interesting world beneath the sewers. The palpable respect we may give to this film is the humor. It may not be fantastic and all, but it's not bad either, at least it defines one of its personalities. The action is obviously large and destructive, well at least we get to see more ninja action. The acting is predictable: Megan Fox's humanless expressions make her April O'Neil difficult to root for. The voice and motion-capture actors worked better for having a sense of fun in their enthusiasm.
The single greatest scene of the film is when the turtles are making a tune out of an elevator sound. That is one of the reasons why we love these characters anyway. Newcomers will still convince the fans to give up nostalgia and move on to the changes, but that doesn't mean it has to diminish it as a generic/bland action blockbuster. The film just won at the box office, so definitely there will be a sequel. The only advice we could wholeheartedly give is to have more love to the heroes. We did saw that occasionally, but we hope to have more of their sewer life with their pop cultural obsession and mass consumption of pizza, plus have interesting villains, some real and not forced familial themes, and at least a solid plot since these Ninja Turtles movies hardly ever had one. The fights were the only parts that weren't tamed from them, because apparently that is what the filmmakers are mostly interested at. It just isn't enough, and as a fan, they should have focused on rebuilding its already richer world than this.