Teenage Ninja Mutant Turtles (2014) Review – It’s on One of my Top Ten Lists … Guess Which One

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Jonathan Liebesman, who has previously directed Wrath of The Titans (2012) and Battle Los Angeles (2011).  There are three writing credits attached to Josh Appelbaum, Andre Nemec and Evan Daugherty.  Appelbaum and Nemec worked on Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (2011) while Daugherty worked on the screenplay for Divergent (2014).  I don’t normally mention producers but some bloke called Michael Bay was involved in the background.

It’s not clear what happened with Megan Fox and the Transformers franchise but everyone seems to have kissed and made up as she has returned in a Michael Bay production as intrepid reporter April O’Neil.  In this onscreen adaptation of the comic book she is covering fun stories for Channel 6 News but is determined to to make it as a serious news reporter.  Her chance comes when she accidentally comes across a Foot Clan raid on a shipping yard.  Unfortunately her story of mutant turtles gets Miss O’Neil fired by her editor played by Whoopi Goldberg.  Despite this setback she is determined to follow through on the story and ends up in a world of trouble.

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The first half of the film is OK, its not earth shattering but when the Turtles are onscreen their banter is diverting enough and I had no desire to self harm.  However, (this is in the trailer) when Raphael is forced to rescue his brothers all hell breaks loose and the film goes into free-fall.  I am convinced that Mr Liebesman was sacked at this point and Michael Bay stepped in to take over as director.  It’s appalling.  It’s an A-Z of Bayisms – from rank dialogue to slow motion action shots where the Turtles could have been replaced by Transformers and you wouldn’t have noticed the difference.

It makes me so angry.  There is even a shot where Miss O’Neil is leaning out of a van window and the director (whoever it is at this stage) decides to focus on her bottom.  We also get the inappropriate suggestive talk and, get ready product placement fans, Victoria’s Secret makes an appearance in an extra little bit early in the end credits.  Our thanks also go to Pizza Hut and Toshiba.  Bud Light anyone?  Sorry to disappoint but no cooling drinks to be found in this film.  You’ll have to buy them yourselves from the concessionary stand.

The performances from the human stars are universally terrible and Megan Fox manages to surpass anything she achieved in the Transformers franchise.  One crumb of comfort for her is that she isn’t the worst thing in this film – that award goes to Will Arnett as Miss O’Neil’s camera man.  He plays a stupid middle aged wannabe Romeo trying to woo his co-star in an increasingly hopeless manner that really starts to grate and his attempts at humour fall as flat as a drunk on the pavement.

This film has made $353m at the worldwide box office and I think it’s done enough to earn to a sequel although I stand ready to be corrected on that score.  By the end of its run it will probably have made three times its budget of $125m so it has made Paramount money.  I believe that the Victoria’s Secret extra, with the two turtles giving each other the thumbs up as they try and blend in on top of the model’s (it’s a poster for the record) ample bosom, is Bay et al giving the finger to film critics.  Aaaaaarghhhh!  Enough already.

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