Thursday, 8 January 2015

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)

Well after much development and lots and lots of internet rumours flying around about this and that, we finally got the rebooted vision of our beloved Turtles. A movie that most dreaded for understandable reasons...reasons that mainly surrounded the turtles themselves and the plot. Most of these fears are unfortunately realised within reality pretty quickly I'm afraid to say. Within the first ten minutes we see a fight hidden in the shadows and where a turtle manages to hurl one of those gigantic metal shipping containers at the bad guys. Within the same first ten minutes we also see Shredders face unmasked and within the first twenty minutes or so April O'Neil get fired from her job as a reporter. The films just started and already we have two key Turtle elements out the window and apparently the turtles are mutants with super-duper strength.

So naturally the plot has been somewhat tinkered with when compared to previous incarnations of the Turtles and the original comicbook material. So naturally this means things don't make a lick of sense here in this movie. Here we discover that Splinter was not the pet of a Japanese man (nor was he a Japanese man mutated into a rat), instead he was rescued with the four turtles by a very young O'Neil from a medical research lab and released into the sewer. So this does tend to beg the question...why is Splinter Japanese? where did he get his Japanese attire from? why does he have his fur in a Japanese style and why does he speak like a wise old Japanese man? Are you telling me he got all this from the conveniently lost book of ninjutsu he found in the sewer? I could ask where on earth they get all their other stuff from such as their weapons but I guess you could throw that at the previous movies too.

'We're ninjas', 'we're mutants', 'technically we're turtles'...'and we're teenagers!'...Oh geez! got that covered then. Why would Mikey even say we're teenagers?

There are various plot issues throughout but frankly I can't be bothered to go through them all and also you can forgive to a degree because the Turtles have gone through many changes over various incarnations. But there are some things I must pick at like an annoying spot on your face. The turtles...geez where to begin! Well firstly their look...they look awful, like giant toxic avengers or Goomba's. They actually look quite unnerving, scary and creepy truth be told, and lets not forget this is suppose to be for the kids. The next major thing you notice is how fucking massive they are, have they been living on pizza topped with steroids?! did you notice how huge Raph is here!! its utterly ridiculous, they're so big I dunno how they all fit into their turtle van at the end.

Their size makes things very uneven in the film, they are so big that fighting Foot clan soldiers is like a walk in the park. They are throwing these bad guys around like rag dolls, tossing them all over the place which is probably resulting in their deaths (kids film?). At one point a Foot soldier gets thrown through a moving subway trains window as it passes through the station! film anyone? What's more these Foot soldiers all carry automatic weapons! so technically they should be able to mow the turtles down easily...oh no wait, the turtles are bulletproof in this incarnation, silly me. Yep these turtles are pretty much invincible in this movie, bullets bounce off their shells, they can knock bullets and projectiles out of the air with their hand weapons, they are giants with superhero muscles, they are able to withstand heavy impacts into large vehicles like Hummers whilst actually destroying that vehicle in the process, in fact any major fall or impact does nothing to them and basically they look like space monsters and talk like eerie stalker type weirdos. 'Do NOT say a word about this to anyone. If you do, we will find you, April O'Neil'...errr K!

As for old Splinter well I've already asked a few questions about him, but my next problem was how he looked...he looked ugly!! When I say ugly I mean horrible! scary, creepy, like something not made for kids. What the hell with his eyes man! I realise they're trying for a realistic approach but my God he looked evil with those eyes. The other thing was his whip-like tail, where did that come from?? since when could a rats tail do that?? OK I realise how that sounds but come on...Splinter doesn't do that, he doesn't take baddies down with a tentacle-like tail.

This leads me to the final main character in Shredder, they just don't learn to they. The general appearance of Shredder is fine, he wears the samurai armour, his helmet is pretty near the mark, his voice is deep and gravelly and from a distance he actually looks cool. Its only on closer inspection (and in the light) we see how far they have taken it and how badly they have fucked it up. Firstly he looks like The Silver Samurai and is errmm...too silver and shiny, secondly his armour is way way too thick, bulky and elaborate and lastly (and most obviously) there are way way too many blades going on here. This is a case of the Predator wrist blades from 'AvP' but then add on about...I dunno...six or more all sticking out all over the place. His arms look like a flippin' penknife, all that's missing is the corkscrew. But to add salt into the wound Shredder now fires lots of smaller blades from his wrists too, a seemingly endless supply of them, oh and they all appear to be homing knives too because he can summon them back to his wrists, handy.

'I want you to drain every ounce of their blood, even if it kills them'...Errr wut? of course that will kill them.

In all honesty when the movie is set at night and in and around the sewers its not too bad, squint hard enough and you could almost make out a Turtles movie in here. Alas it doesn't last long before it goes absolutely berserk again. I mean of course the idiotic mountain sequence complete with a huge arctic, hummers, turtles tobogganing down the snowy mountain, bouncing between the crashing vehicles fighting Foot soldiers whilst being completely impervious too injury and all rendered in glorious CGI with greenscreens for your viewing pleasure. Seriously no injuries whatsoever after that turn of events, seriously. What's really dumb is how big is that flippin' mountain?!  The sequence is about I dunno...six minutes, and its all sliding down this infinite mountain slope, plus there's a whopping big cliff at the end of it! Where was this mountain??!!

I won't have a go at everything here, believe it or not some of it was OK...errmm...well the CGI was nice of course, the turtles did look realistic can't deny that. The fights were well created and looked fast and furious which was cool, nice to see Splinter actually kick some ass for once. The turtles sewer home was also nicely crafted and looked recognisable to previous versions but with some decent touch ups in pop culture and technology. Typically though the bad outweighs the good tenfold, I'm not even completely sure who this movie is aimed at because I don't think Liebesman and co could make their minds up. Can someone please explain to me how the four turtles and O'Neil survive that last fall from the top of that skyscraper.