Movie Review: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

directed by: Jonathan Liebesman

3 Stars

2014’s live-action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, directed by Jonathan Liebesman, follows April O'Neil's father, who was a scientist, and among other pertinent experiments in his lab were a rat and 4 baby turtles into which he injected a powerful mutagen. On the night of the fire that killed him, young April managed to save the tiny test subjects, releasing them into the night. Awaiting the inevitable attack of the Shredder and his Foot Clan, Splinter and the turtles make a home in the underground, the sewers of New York city—mutating and preparing. April, now an unestablished news reporter eager to have the deets about the Foot Clan’s rising presence in the city, finds herself on a unique path to learning the truth about her father’s death and prior experiments. Meanwhile, she is trying to save the city alongside four 6-foot talking teenage turtles with thorough knowledge of Jujitsu, the names of early Renaissance painters, contrasting personalities, and overwhelming love of pizza. 

The movie tells of brotherhood and teamwork. As for that central team, there’s Leonardo, the leader, Raphael, the muscle, nerd Donatello, and Michelangelo, the jester. The duly movie keeps their traits true to being young, inexperienced, and sometimes rebellious teenagers. On the other hand, as the main character, April was a bit bland in terms of personality. Otherwise, there’s never a dull moment between defining juvenile humour and compelling action. With these, it pairs an effective score, heroic and riveting, that also features a hype Atlantic Records track, “Shell Shock”, to denote the teenage turtle aspect. 

Of course, at first glance, the concept is a bit extravagant—it was adapted from a kids’ comic books series. The bottom line is it couldn’t have managed a better ratio of real and kiddish entertainment. I recommend the movie to ages 12+. 

Reviewed by Chaya J.

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