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Snoogans's Movie Reviews (3276)

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014) 
More Tolerable than Expected
1.5/4 stars

A re-introduction to the Ninja Turtles - complete with motion-capture CGI, Megan Fox starring, and Michael Bay producing. This looked like another bad 'Transformers' sequel, but I found it to be slightly better... or more tolerable. Most of the annoying characters, unfunny crass humor, and blatant commercialization in those films is surprisingly subdued. There's still some dumb moments, but none of it bugged me in the same way. We get a retelling of the turtles' backstory through April uncovering their mystery during most of the first half of the film. This approach seemed unnecessary given that not much at all about their backstory is changed. A few tiny additions are made for the sake of tying into this new modern day era. The plot is pretty forgettable. We don't spend too much time on the bad guys' scheme, or on them. Once the turtles are fully introduced (maybe 30 min in) their relationship, and that with Master Splinter, is made to be an emotional connection to the characters. However, it felt as if some of the scenes establishing this were missing. This movie is fast paced to the max. Possibly a result of heavy editing. With the original ideas for the film being rejected by fans, I'd say all of this narrative inconsistency is a result of reshoots. The best aspect of the film (and main source of entertainment) is the characterization of the four turtles. They act fairly close to their original incarnations. I was pleased with this. The visual F/X of the turtles were sometimes believable, and other times pretty cartoony. Shredder himself didn't really need to be CG. The action was glossy and synthetic, but competently shot and choreographed. One particular chase down a snowy mountainside became the highlight of the film. It was a genuinely fun and exciting action piece that also utilized the turtles' personalities just right. If the whole movie had been at that level the whole time, I'd have had a blast. But, sadly, it only exists in a five minute stretch of an hour and a half movie. Here's hoping the sequel can improve.


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