A and A's Movie A Day

Watching movies until we run out.

Movie 99 – TMNT (2007)

TMNT (2007) – June 7th, 2010

This is not the original. We don’t own any of the 1990s movies. This is the 2007 computer animated movie. And right from the outset I’m not sure what to think about it. Maybe it’s that I loved the original movie in all its bizarre glory. Maybe it’s that I’m waxing nostalgic for one of the few things my brother and I both enjoyed thoroughly. I’m not sure. We owned the original movie (a professional copy, no less!) and watched it all the time, and later we owned the second one (though I never got into the third one). So yeah, there’s a fondness there and I find myself missing the live action costumes. But the story’s okay and when the characters are these characters it’s pretty easy to keep them in character, you know? The only real departure that I noted is that while the end of the movie makes it clear it’s in the same continuity line as the previous movies, April’s now apparently an archaeologist specializing in South and Central American artifacts. But then from what I can tell, she’s had more than a few professions over the course of the comics, television series and movies, so fine. Good for her!

Anyhow, this movie starts out with a basic rundown of who the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are. They’re four turtles, brothers, who were mutated by toxic ooze and trained by a similarly mutated rat to be martial arts experts and who eventually did battle with their arch enemy, Shredder. Duh. While the original movies are very much the origin story for the Turtles, this one’s assuming you know the characters and the basic story and picks up some time after the originals with Leonardo somewhere in Central America playing Robin Hood in the jungle while Donatello does tech support, Michelangelo does the Ghostbusters gig and entertains at birthday parties in a weird meta-TMNT costume, and Raphael has turned into a cross between Iron Man and Ghostrider, with a dash of Batman for flavor. Dude, you have your own movie and comic books, stop stealing from everyone else. We get to hear all this courtesy of April while she tries to convince Leo to come back to the city with her.

Meanwhile, a rich tycoon named Winters (dude, Patrick Stewart! how do we keep doing this? and does he really like comic books or something?) has been gathering statues of ancient generals whom we know from the opening monologue are really petrified generals who were present when a warlord opened a portal to another dimension and unleashed some bad magic that resulted in thirteen hideous beasts. And the warrior king dude was cursed to live forever alone, unable to die, knowing what he’d unleashed. Soooo, three guesses as to who Winters really is and the first two don’t count. Winters hires the remains of the Foot clan to help out in capturing the monsters after bringing his generals back to life so he can undo what he did three thousand years ago. April knows who Winters is, since she was hired by him to find the statues, and Casey’s around too since he’s been doing the vigilante thing too, recently teaming up with Raphael, and they help out in the way they normally do, being backup and research help and comic relief for the turtles.

The Foot and the generals are all out in the city capturing the thirteen monsters, and obviously the turtles and Casey and April get involved and the movie laps itself by reiterating the myth of the warlord. At least it doesn’t linger. Leo and Raph are butting heads, because they’re Leo and Raph and that’s what they do. Splinter wants them all to work together and there’s plenty of family-based stuff that works into the plot of the movie better than many an action movie I’ve seen. Fitting the character building into the action plot can be clunky and this was surprisingly smooth. Huh. It’s a little bit of a sledgehammer to the head near the end, but it’s still done well enough.

I actually ended up being pleasantly amused by the movie. The animation is well done and the writing is good enough that I didn’t cringe once! As a matter of fact, much as they’re intended to, more than a couple of Michelangelo’s quips made me snicker. Aside from the repeat of the warlord myth the story runs at a good pace and the action scenes are fun. I do have to wonder if cities like Gotham and Metropolis and all have superhero insurance, cause every superhero action movie ends up with a lot of property damage. Sure, the movie’s not anything serious, but hello, it’s a movie about mutated martial artist turtles named after Renaissance artists. Who wants serious?

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June 7, 2010 - Posted by | daily reviews | , , ,

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