The Turtles! I’ve talked about the three live action-movies and some miscalleneous thoughts I had about them a while back and I gotta say that, after browsing through some of the reactions I got from it, I can’t push the continuation of the segment any longer. So without fuzz and dillydally.. here it is, the TMNT Film-franchise, part 4.
After the incorrectly dubbed “Turtles In Time” from 1993, it took the suits in Hollywood about 14 years to give us another Turtles-movie. Sure, we got some other branchings of the franchise, like the “Coming Out of Their Shells Tour” and various videogame-renditions, but the one that stood out the most was the remake of the series from 2003, also called TMNT 2k3. But when the year 2007 came around, we were finally treated with a new full-lenght feature about our beloved group of ninja teens.
This time the Turtles come in a slightly different shade of green. They are animated, more mature, and, according to the people I’ve listened to about it, more badass! Ofcourse there are some elements that bothered me about it, but the positives surpasses the negatives so after I saw it, I left the theatre with my mind at ease and a huge smile on my face.
The story is as always about the four Turtles and their friends fighting evil, but just as in the third movie from -93, there’s no Shredder involved. Instead, we are given a pretty recognizable storyline about a great warrior seeking even more power, and during these ventures, unleashing a bunch of monsters unto to the world and 3000 years later, the Turtles has to fight these monsters in order to save the world… AGAIN!
With April O’Neil (Sarah Michelle Gellar) now working as an archeologist and being a Nin Jitsu expert and in a relationship with Casey Jones (Chris Evans), being the cook he is in the later series instead of the mentally unhealthy vigilante he is in the original series, they leave us with little to no ties at all to the series and/or earlier movies, so it’s not been quite clear on wich timeline this movie follows, or if it creates an entirely new timeline of its own. Personally I think it’s somewhere around a 75% continuation of the 2003-series and 25% bits and pieces of everything else, thus creating its own Turtles-universe. Instead of the Shredder as the main antagonist, we have mr. Winters (Patrick Stewart) and the leader of the foot is now Karai (Ziyi Zhang), the Shredders protegé in the 2003-series.
I think that most of you have already seen this movie (and if you haven’t.. do it!), so I’m not gonna talk any more about the movie itself but I’m gonna drop some of my thoughts on the four main characters for you before I go.
We can start of with Leonardo (James Arnold Taylor). Having left New York City to go on a training mission to become a better leader, Leo felt that he wasn’t ready to return yet and stayed in Central America, where he acts as a bringer of justice to the locals (this is where we see him in the beginning of the movie), where he’s given the sobriquet “The ghost of the jungle”. Eventually, after April tracks him down and explains how the situation back home has unraveled without him, he decides to return, bringing his newfound wisdom with him. Nothing specific to say about him more than that he actually takes it upon himself to lead the Turtles here, instead of denouncing it like in the other movies. And just like in the 2003-series, he is a standout Badass with his swords. So far, the best Leonardo ever, movie-wise.
On to Raphael (Nolan North). With Leonardo gone on his training-mission, Raph feels betrayed and left out, leaving him with no other choice than to rebel. He dresses up in a medieval knight-looking armor and goes out at night fighting crime, calling himself the Nightwatcher. He’s the only one that acts upon the philosophy that “Crime doesn’t take a breake”, wich later in the movie stirs up a little bit of turmoil between Leo and himself. He is angry, rude, and an overall jackass to pretty much everyone around him. It get’s to be a little much after a point, but he eventually redeems himself and shows us his true colours. Badass and brutal but not the best Raph so far.
And Donatello (Mitchell Whitfield). As always he is the loveable geek with a big heart, and here we actually get to see him do geeky stuff again. In form of Tech-support? Yeah ok, it’s not the best way of showing us what he is but it’s the most time-apropriate, and still a lot better than the way we got to see him geek up in the “Secret of the Ooze”. Plus, we get to see his badass asskicking side aswell, so it’s a win for me.
And finally, we have Michaelangelo (Mikey Kelley). We see him skate, he cracks wise, he’s an allround goofball, just the way we like him. Loveable, crazy and hysterical. And he’s “dressing up” as a turtle for kids birthday parties. It’s frikkin’ hilarious to watch!! So far, he’s my favourite Mikey of all time!!
I thought about writing something about this ones Splinter aswell, but the only thing I actually want to say about him is, that Mako was THE WRONG choice for this character… no discussion, End of story!!
So there you have it.. the fourth installment. Now, I’m gonna go watch a a movie or five! But until next time… Peace out hombrés!