“TMNT” (2007)

TMNT

Is this the same continuity as the live action films? It’s hard to tell. Laurence Fishburne narrates the introduction, giving the backstory of the turtles and doing his best to cram all the necessary exposition into only a few minutes. 3,000 years ago, an immortal king (Patrick Stewart) inadvertently cursed his brother-in-arms to become stone statues and unleashed thirteen monsters from another dimension. Present day, Leonardo resides in Central America, protecting the innocent and thought to be a ghost. April O’Neil (Sarah Michelle Gellar) has given up journalism and now acquires ancient artifacts. Leonardo refuses to return to New York City until his spiritual journey sufficiently prepares him to assume the leadership role amongst his brothers.

Donatello works in technical support while Michelangelo entertains children at birthday parties. Raphael, who still has all those anger management issues, operates in secret as a vigilante known as “The Nightwatcher.” April is still romantically involved with Casey Jones (Chris Evans), who splits his time between assisting April and busting heads with Raphael. The immortal king is now called Winters and has April collecting the statues that were once his loyal comrades. Winters also hires Karai, daughter of The Shredder, and the Foot Clan to round up the monsters, who are all converging on New York City.

The plot seemed overly convoluted to me. Leonardo finally returns and Splinter (Mako) does his best to ease the dissention between Leonardo and Raphael, but without much success. Though they are forbidden to fight by Splinter, the turtles still get drawn into the battles between the Foot Clan and the monsters. These monsters were intended to be the basis for many legends like vampires, Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, and even the Jersey Devil. This was all clarified on the DVD audio commentary. Kevin Smith voices a diner cook who witnesses the Jersey Devil inspired monster running amuck.

As per usual, Michelangelo and Donatello get shortchanged as Leonardo and Raphael bicker constantly. For once, the obligatory Raphael temper tantrum does not result him getting kidnapped. Instead, it is Leonardo who gets taken captive. The rest of the turtles, Splinter, April, and Casey storm Winter’s well protected tower for the climatic rumble with the reanimated stone statues, the monsters, and the Foot Clan. There were just too many antagonists in this movie. After the monsters are banished from our dimension, Winters is finally allowed to die, which he faces with optimism. Before Karai departs, she hints at the return of her father. A setup to a sequel that never actually materialized. Michelangelo is made to look like a fool again, having a sneezing fit after breathing in Winters’ glowing ashes. I guess that was suppose to be funny? The turtles are reunited and Raphael narrates the epilogue, not Laurence Fishburne.

My response to this CGI film was lukewarm. The story was crowded with antagonists, the animation was bleak, and I am personally tired of turtle stories focusing on nothing but Raphael’s anger issues. I felt like I was watching an 87 minute long video game cut scene. The next time the heroes in a half shell will appear on the silver screen, it will be a Michael Bay production, so we die hard turtle fans face the future with trepidation.

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About domcappelloblog

New York based screenwriter.

Posted on September 30, 2013, in TMNT and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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