'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' movie review: Not in 'toon' with today's audience
For those of you who want to rehash the "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" cartoons of your childhood, this new cinematic version will do that. Pizza eating, "cowabunga" saying -- it's all there. But that's it.
For all intents and purposes, "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" is a 101-minute version of the 22-minute cartoon, but with admittedly stronger visual effects and lots of explosions -- this is, of course, produced by Michael Bay.
The problem is that in the new age of the blockbuster franchise, an extended cartoon just doesn't fly.
The film starts of smartly with a quick animated sequence explaining the Turtles' origin story. From there, it unfolds into an investigation from fluff reporter April O'Neil (Megan Fox, looking good in yellow), who has aspirations of owning the breaking news beat. She's looking into activity of the villainous Foot Clan, which leads her to both the Turtle quartet as well as their shiny adversary Shredder.
There are a few battles, a minor twist or two and we're calling it a day.
It's hard to gauge who the audience is for this movie. It's rated PG-13, so it's not a traditional kids flick (the 1990s movies were rated PG). I refuse to call it a movie for adults, because it resorts to fart jokes and adult action flicks should not have fart jokes.
Could it be for teens? There is certainly a call out to Megan Fox's rump that would appeal to a 15-year-old boy, but, again, the comedy is juvenile in the vein of Jar Jar Binks. A preteen in my screening called a scene "dopey."
I really don't know who this movie is for, but I know that it's not for me.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Directed by Jonathan Liebesman | Starring Megan Fox, Will Arnett, William Fichtner | With the voices of Johnny Knoxville, Tony Shalhoub | Rated PG-13