Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)

teenage mutant ninja turtles poster 2014 movie
3.0 Overall Score
Story: 2/10
Acting: 3/10
Visuals: 3/10

Not much

Bad Turtle design, boring story

Movie Info

Movie Name: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Studio: Paramount Pictures

Genre(s): Comic Book/Action/Adventures/Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Release Date(s):  August 3, 2014 (Premiere)/August 8, 2014 (US)

MPAA Rating: PG-13

teenage mutant ninja turtles 2014 april oneil megan fox splinter donatello raphael michelangelo tmnt

Once upon a time, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was cool and fun…

New York City is being menaced by a strange, secretive criminal gang called the Foot.  Reporter April O’Neill (Megan Fox) hopes to get her big break by investigating the Foot, but she and her photographer Vern Fenwick (Will Arnett) find themselves assigned to the mundane stories.  When April witnesses the Foot taken out by a strange group of vigilantes, April thinks she has the story she’s seeking.  April is about to meet Leonardo, Raphael, Michelangelo, and Donatello…but April is about to learn that the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have a longer history with her than she could ever believe.

Directed by Jonathan Liebesman, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is a live-action reboot of the comic book series.  The movie was met with largely negative reviews, but a strong box office return.  The film won a Razzie for Worst Supporting Actress (Fox) with nominations for Worst Picture, Worst Director, Worst Screenplay, and Worst Remake, Rip-Off or Sequel.

teenage mutant ninja turtles 2014 splinter vs shredder tmnt

Remember when Shredder was turned into a karate Decepticon?

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (or at least the series) came on the cusp of childhood for me.  I enjoyed it, and I enjoyed the comic book.  I liked the first movie for what it was and even saw the second film in the theater…then I was kind of finished with the Turtles.  There have been multiple attempts to relaunch them to various success (I liked the 2003 series the best)…this film is one of the worst.

The story does feel like typical TMNT fodder.  They meet April and they battle Shedder who has a diabolical plan.  The movie added that April was kind of the “founder” of the Turtles, but the film origin of the Turtles falls more in line with the TV series than the comic book.  It just feels like it doesn’t have much spirit…it is just there.

Like the Transformer films, the movie seems to focus more on April than the Turtles.  Megan Fox is the “hot” April who can’t get a break as a reporter and Will Arnett plays the Vern Fenwick character from the cartoon.  Whoopi Goldberg plays April’s editor Bernadette Thompson (a variation of the cartoon’s Berne Thompson).  William Fichtner plays a heavy (shocking) while Tohoru is rather ineffective as Shredder due to his costume.

teenage mutant ninja turtles elevator rap

Is this the new “Ninja Rap”?

The visuals of the film hurt the movie.  You have big clucky computer animated turtles that never really develop their personalities and you have Shredder that looks like a giant Transformer.  I like the Shredder’s fighting style, but I would have liked it better if the character was just a slick fighter loaded with sword weaponry instead of heavily armored.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is a rather lifeless action film.  It is a weird blend of cartoon aspects of the comic book with more serious comic book action films, but it seems to miss its mark on all parts.  It is a hard balance to nail, but this plodding “action” film doesn’t do it.  Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was followed by Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles:  Out of the Shadows in 2016.

Related Links:

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990)

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II:  Secret of the Ooze (1991)

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III:  Turtles in Time (1993)

TMNT (2007)

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles:  Out of the Shadows (2016)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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