Year Released: 2007
MPAA Rating: PG
Running Time: 87 minutes
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Cowabunga, the turtles are back! This time, instead of guys in rubber suits, you have a CGI-film that is looking to cater to both fans of the old and new. Unfortunately, many of the older crowd will remember the heroes in half-shell and their mentor Splinter moreso than today’s younger crowd, and sadly this is a movie that said old fans will not be happy with.
Leonardo (James Arnold Taylor) is living in South America and training to become a better leader after the death of arch-enemy Shredder. April O’ Neil (Sarah Michelle Gellar), news reporter, is now a treasure hunter and she tracks down Leo to re-unite the turtles, who have split-up. Meanwhile, Max Winters (Patrick Stewart) is a 3,000-year-old Immortal who plans to open up a portal to another world that could bring about evil monsters onto this world. So now the turtles must ban together once again with their master Splinter (voiced amazingly by the late-great Mako) in order to stop Winters from bringing the end of the world.
To be completely honest, I was ready to love this film before it even started since I was a huge fan of the turtles as a kid. I was ready to bask in nostalgia and rejoice that the turtles have come back. Now after seeing it, I can only say that I have been completely let down by this CGI cash-in.
At Comic-Con last year, director Kevin Munroe showed off some impressive footage and told fans how he was really making this film for them. At that time, I was pumped to see this movie. Now, besides the Raphael and Leo fight, which was pretty awesome (who doesn’t want to see the two bad asses on the team duke it out on a rooftop in the rain), the film is an action-dud. I was looking forward to seeing some action-packed type of return for the Turtles, and all I got was 87 minutes worth of bad voice-overs (note Zhang Ziyi as head Foot Soldier Karai as the worst) and terrible looking supporting characters.
Now that I have said that, I will say that every time Splinter was on screen I was happy. Splinter was by far the best looking character in the film and it was great to hear Mako spout Splinter’s pearls of wisdom. Beyond that, the environments looked great, but the little action that happens in them feels stale and superficial.
One very odd choice in the film is that it opens with Laurence Fishburne narrating, and then the same narration is repeated by Raphael in the end scene. The problem? Laurence Fishburne was never set-up before, nor explained later and it basically made no sense to have the film narrated by two different characters. I mean, sure, Larry Fishburne rocks and all, but just to use his voice because you can, randomly? Weak.
I know it seems like I am being way too hard on this CGI-film, but to be honest, I expected much more from this film. I expected to see the triumphant return of my childhood favorites, yet I feel like this wasn’t the answer.
It is not like this movie was a complete waste of time. I liked a few moments in the movie (Splinter-related), but there are just not enough moments to fill the void that is the 87 minutes of this movie. This is definitely a departure from the live-action Turtle films, yes, no Vanilla Ice in this one, but, and I never thought I would say this, I miss him and Corey Feldman and the rest of the cheese pizza-in-cheekery that made the old Turtles movies so darn wacky. I know this movie would like to cater to the old fans and young kids alike, but it just takes a bad wipe out all over the screen.
Posted on March 26, 2007 in Reviews by Zack Haddad
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