2nd Run Theater: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)

First of all… it’s a Michael Bay flick.  That should say it all.  However I don’t say that in the snarky, dismissive way the bandwagon crowd likes to reference his movies, but it in the bombastic, action-packed, lots of humor, a feminist’s nightmare, and franchise-making sort of way.

This revisioning of the story of turtles in a half shell, Splinter, Shedder, April O’Neal, etc. is actually not all that bad.  Again, it’s Michael Bay, so you’re not getting The Grapes of Wrath, but it’s as fun, entertaining and silly as any of his prior franchises, most notably the Transformers series.  Is it bloated?  Sure… but I don’t consider that a bad thing.  In fact, for a movie with not much in the way of depth, a little bloatedness is sort of needed and appropriate.

If you read the original Eastman and Laird comic series in the mid-80’s, these turtles more remind me of the turtles I fell in love with more than ANY of the animated series and actually captures their essence more than the TMNT (2007) animated movie (which I like a lot) did – and that was a pretty authentic representation.  However, this franchise was made to sell toys and relaunch a franchise with the young and young at heart.

Michael Bay’s version of Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello and Raphael may not be what kids born in the late 80’s and later may know and remember, but it is a version that I would be surprised (even if you have some distaste for Michael Bay) a kid born in the 70’s or earlier can’t find a real resemblance of the Ninja Turtles that captured our imagination and launched a franchise going strong for 30 years.

So put on your dunce cap and just sit back and enjoy the ruckus… and Michael Bay’s gratutitous booty shots – and the female heroine never once getting an ounce of dirt or grime on her traveling through miles of sewers, in about 100 explosions, in the midst of an avalanche, car wrecks, etc.… uhm… yeah.   Michael Bay never fails.

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