Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Rated: PG-13

          As a child of the 80’s it’s pretty much a given that I was way into the Turtles. My friends and I would pretend to be them and run around the house (or neighborhood depending on the weather) fighting crime and saving April from Shredder. I was Michelangelo, my middle sister was Donatello, my youngest sister was Raphael, and my friend Gabe was Leonardo, while my other friend Miranda was April and her older brother Marty was Shredder (we didn’t have enough people to have a wise Splinter among us). When the movies came out in 1990 and 1991 we were even more hooked. We’d watch them again and again, supplemented with a healthy dose of the video game, which while frustrating was essential. Therefore a few years ago when I heard that my niece had started to watch TMNT on Nickelodeon I had to check it out. I was disappointed to see that it was totally done in CGI and didn’t really give it much other thought. To me it was just another case of “everything old is new again” and although in my mind they’d destroyed it, I thought it was kind of cool that my niece was enjoying it now.
        And then came the announcement last winter (early 2014) from a DJ on the radio (of about my age) that come summer there was to be a movie. The DJ went on and on about how odd the Turtles looked and that this seemed nothing like the franchise we grew up with. At his urging through the speakers of my truck, when I got home I raced to the computer to see for myself what they’d done to my beloved Turtles. There aren’t words to describe the shock and sadness I felt when I saw what the DJ had been describing. I made a pact with myself at that point to never see this movie.
         I broke the pact with myself in August when I agreed to take my niece to the drive-in to see it. I had no idea what I was really in for. The original movies of the 90’s have a cartoonish quality to them, are more lighthearted and are suitable for (almost) all ages. The most recent TMNT incarnation portrays the Turtles as muscle-bound freaks who are needlessly violent, are mean to each other and who throw in random bad language for good measure. Not to mention that the Turtle’s origin story given in this version makes even less sense than the one given in the past.
        As you’re well aware I am a sentimental person at heart, and at first that was my motivation against this movie. Not that I’d call the 90’s versions of TMNT classics per say, but I thought “why not leave well enough alone?” After seeing the new TMNT though my overall feeling is one of outrage. I mean, they didn’t just remake this, they hacked it to bits! I can almost hear director Johnathan Liebesman and Josh Appelbaum as well as the other writers saying “But this is TMNT 2.0! We’ve got to bring them into
this century!” and I agree…to a point, but they didn’t need to do it in such a way as to give the Turtles the look of steroid users with an “I don’t give an F” attitude.
        There are a few unfortunate things about all of this. 1: No matter how many people of my generation hate what these filmmakers have done, they’re still making money hand over fist and so our disgust doesn’t matter. 2:  Despite the fact that this movie was horrible, a second is already in the works, due out in 2016. And 3: A whole generation of kids is going to grow up never knowing the real TMNT. Well, not my niece and nephew! I got them copies of the two older TMNT movies for Christmas and together we’ll watch them over and over again!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is rated PG 13, was directed by Johnathan Liebesman and stars Megan Fox and Will Arnet. It’s available now on Blu Ray, DVD and digital download, although I advise against seeing this one…find the older movies instead!