Cowabunga Dude

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Those who grew up singing “turtle power” may find themselves disappointed watching this year’s reboot of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. As for me, I was simply (and strangely) emotional at the thought of seeing some of my favorite characters come to life again after all these years. Still, I will admit, it didn’t quite live up to the worldwide hype.

Anything with Michael Bay’s name behind it is usually a promise of total awesomeness. Bay’s style was certainly evident throughout the film, but not in a positive way; unfortunately, TMNT seemed like just another Transformers film. The story is definitely fast-paced, the special effects were intense and wonderful, but the action scenes were pretty hard to follow; much of it exaggerated and lacking any detail.  With Shredder’s updated, high-tech, robotic armor, I felt as if I were watching a villainous Optimus Prime inexplicably fighting a giant rat (Splinter).

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Most importantly, this movie was definitely made for children, but unlike the 90s film, this reboot is easily distinguished by it’s sophomoric jokes and corniness (Michelangelo twerking, seriously?). While this certainly guarantees that the film will make money because of the new generations falling in love with the ninjas, it may lose the affections of its original fans. Fans who were looking for classic elements might not appreciate the nuances of this reboot. Their obsession with pizza takes a backseat, as does the family feel between the turtles and their adopted father. All of the characters lacked depth—I didn’t feel like I truly knew them. Also, the adolescent turtles looked quite creepy, even by giant reptile standards.

Despite all of it’s flaws, I will admit this: the film was enjoyable. If I were looking at TMNT as a singular entity, I would definitely appreciate all of the action, humor and creativity behind oversized talking turtles with martial arts skills—which I guess is the ultimate goal. Unfortunately, as a die-hard fan of the original “heroes in a half shell,” this was no “cowabunga dude.”

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