Movie review – Ninja Turtles: Nunchucks and pizza

2014-10-12 15:01

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Film: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (UIP)

Director: Jonathan Liebesman

Starring: Megan Fox, Will Arnett, William Fichtner


Any kid born in the 80s and growing up in the 90s will remember the TV series Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, those heroes in a half-shell with their Zen master/rat dad called Splinter.

The film industry has known for a long time that nostalgia sells?–?and 80s and 90s nostalgia is what’s hot now. The good old days of watching Clarissa Explains it All, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Care Bears might seem to be in the recent past, but they actually screened almost 25 years ago, so it’s time for reinvention. At least that’s what the media industry thinks.

Iggy Azalea recently echoed 90s cult hit Clueless in her Fancy video and even obscure cartoons like Rocko’s Modern Life are now emblazoned on the hottest teenage couture. I wouldn’t be surprised if I saw a Captain Planet movie in the works soon.

But first on this film bandwagon is the live-action 3-D film based on the Ninja Turtles.

I was hesitant to watch this. I loved the Ninja Turtles, especially Michelangelo, and I didn’t want this movie ruining my childhood memories. However, it wasn’t half bad and it was directed by South African film director and writer Jonathan Liebesman.

Critics have absolutely lambasted this flick?–?picking at the easy targets. They hate Liebesman, they hate Megan Fox, they hate that the Turtles’ back story has been altered.

Noted movie critic Bob Chipman from The Escapist even goes so far as to say: “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is not only far and away the worst film I’ve seen this year, it’s by far the worst version of this particular [franchise] ever produced.” Ouch!

But that’s all a little rough. The Ninja Turtles movie is hilarious, action-packed, sweet and fun. It’s a perfect summer movie for kids?–?who, let’s not forget, are the target audience.

There is grounded leader Leonardo in blue; gym jock, tough guy Raphael in red; nerd Donatello in purple; and the goofy, surfer/stoner Michelangelo in orange.

The turtles skateboard, beatbox, eat pizza and love girls?–?they’re teenagers after all. They also save New York City.

I’d like to dedicate this paragraph to Fox, who is the most attractive human being on this planet. No really, there’s something infuriating about how ridiculously good-looking this woman is. But apart from that, she is actually a likable character in this movie and even has actual lines of dialogue. Good for her.

With this franchise, which is sure to spawn sequels, we might just have a whole new generation shouting “cowabunga, dude” and “radical” while they fight each other with merchandised nunchucks and sticks. Now, wouldn’t that be something?

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