The Watchers Issue #26 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)

I remember this movie as one of the worst theater experiences I've had but it had nothing to do with the movie which I remember enjoying what I did see of it at the time. Seeing for the first time since that day well, maybe the awful theater attendees did me a favor.

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The Story

This is an origin story in the sense that yes the Turtles origins are explained but its nowhere near the classic Turtles story. While Shredder and his crime organization The Foot are the villains of this story its mainly Evil scientist Eric Sacks looking to execute a mass chemical attack in New York City. April O'Neil's father had been working with Sacks on project Renaissance which included 4 turtles and a rat as test subjects when the lab was destroyed April rescued them releasing them into the sewers and the experiments effects began to take hold. Once Sacks discovers the Turtles are still living he and shredder set out to capture the Turtles to extract the project Renaissance mutagen from their blood, as the mutagen was created as an antidote for the chemical attack they plan on unleashing.

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The Cast

If the weird changes to the Turtles origins and the plot didn't hurt this movie enough the weird casting definitely does. I don't want to blame Noel Fisher for his portrayal Michelangelo but the whole movie he comes off as less of the fun loving goof ball and more of an unlikable jackass. Having Johnny Knoxville as the voice of Leonardo is such a strange choice because his voice is so recognizable it pulls you out of the movie. Jeremy Howard and Alan Ritchson do fine jobs as Donatello and Raphael. I honestly didn't notice Tony Shalhoub was the voice of Splinter but the voicing of the character was good. As for the live actors Megan Fox does an okay job as this version of April who has the weird past connections with the Turtles. Will Arnett is entertaining as always. William Fichtner potrays the cliche villain Sacks and as cookie cutter as the character is he does to a good job and its obvious from when we first see him that hes got something else going on. 

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The Pizza

I really wanted to do Tombstone Hulapeno for one of these movies as it is my favorite frozen pizza unfortunately its become quite hard to find to I went with another go to pizza. I'm not a fan of pizzas with a lot of crust but this one I don't mind and it has a good blend of topping that make it pretty unique among the frozen selection. Probably my favorite offering from Jack's.

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Closing Thoughts

Everyone knew when this movie happened that it was done to spawn another film franchise unlike the 1990 version this one definitely isn't going down as a classic first entry. The Turtles just look weird and not in the same way they devolved in the original trilogy they just look more like monsters which was a big criticism when the film first released. Also, their size is just ridiculous they should have been kept closer to human size. I assume the size change was all for the special effects galore of having them fight Shredder who instead of just having armor is some Mecha Shredder that is almost a clone of the version of Silver Samurai from The Wolverine. As weird as the Turtles looks Splinter may look even weirder, he seriously has some nightmare inducing eyes. One thing this film is definitely lacking as a great fight scene at night and the showdown with Shredder would have been much cooler if it was on a stormy night. The character interactions and comedy simply don't match up to the previous films and even the repeated classic spots feel lesser in this film. With all the other movies in the genre being released around the same time as this the movie is still an average modern day super hero film but what hurts it the most is definitely its straying away from the classic stuff everyone knows and associates with the Turtles. The only real pizza scene in the movie is nothing more than a Pizza Hut ad placement.

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Final Score 4/10

Definitely the worst of the Turtles movies so far but there is one more left can they fix the issues and create a sequel that surpasses the flimsy first attempt check the next issue for the Turtles anthology finale.

Steven McGeorge