Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)
"What more can really be said other than it's a Michael Bay film? The villains are boring, the dialogue is forced, the action scenes the extended a white nose snore. The whole thing reminds of the Smurfs movie shot in the dark under an ugly green lights filter. It's not bad enough to be interesting, and not good enough to be recommendable."— PhantomStrider
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is a 2014 American superhero film based on the fictional superhero team of the same name, and a reboot of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film franchise. It was directed by Jonathan Libesman, written by Josh Appelbaum, Andre Nemec, and Evan Daugherty. The film premiered at the Mexico City on July 29, 2014, and was released on August 8, 2014 in the United States, by Paramount Pictures. A sequel, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, was released in June 3, 2016.
It was a box office success, earning $493 million on a $125-150 million budget and became the highest-grossing movie produced by Nickelodeon Movies.
Spawned from a lab experiment gone awry, teenage terrapins Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello and Raphael live in the sewers beneath New York. Although their rodent sensei, Splinter, advises against showing themselves above ground, the justice-loving, pizza-eating brothers can't stand idly by while evil Shredder and his minions terrorize the city. With help from intrepid reporter April O'Neil and her cameraman, the Turtles set out to save New York.
Why It Sucks
- The main criticism of the film was the new cast, as they didn't really try too hard to look like the original characters in the original films, and don't necessarily fit or match the roles of the characters from the previous and earlier films. This is noticeable especially between the Turtles, April O' Neil and other characters.
- Most of the characters have been completely flanderized and lack of character development:
- The Turtles head designs look like ugly, discounted creatures that look like they had botched head surgery, and their personalities were also flanderized with air-headed noise garbage that happens during the climax. Their personalities were made more obnoxious. All of the turtles have no real personality or distinguishing features, with Raph being a generic "fearless leader".
- April O'Neil's appearance doesn't match her original appearance as her hair lacks the proper look that the original incarnation of the character had.
- Shedder is a pretty generic and lame villain who wants to wipe out all of New York City, with no real motive for doing so, and does not have any connection to Splinter, whereas the original incarnation had a well developed hunger for power, and had a longstanding rivalry with Hamato Yoshi, Spinter's owner (pre-mutated Splinter in some incarnations).
- Sacks is a pretty weak villain with an even more weak plan, In fact, there's more focus on Sacks than Shredder, and that's because Sacks was originally gonna be this film's Shredder, but it was changed later in production. Honestly, Sacks as the Shredder in this version would have made him a more interesting character.
- Splinter became a martial arts master just from reading an old book about Ninjitsu, written in Japanese! This makes no sense, as a rat who likely cannot read, much less read Japanese, would not be able to properly master the moves based on the illustrations alone! In his original incarnation, as well as the original film, Splinter was the pet rat of Hamato Yoshi, a long time martial arts student, and learned by watching Yoshi's moves and mimicking them.
- The foot clan is just a generic American terrorists instead of being Ninjas.
- Badly-done acting, even from actors such as Will Arnett and Megan Fox.
- Cinematography that's very similar to the Transformers movies.
- A tiresome plot and convoluted story-line, which doesn't really seem to follow the franchise at all.
- Speaking of said story, it severely plagiarizes The Amazing Spider-Man and it shows.
- Very unfunny and weak humor, particularly the scene where April O' Neil takes a photo of the turtles.
- The grasp of the original films and television shows is very poor: the Turtles, Shredder, Splinter, April O'Neil and other characters all act nothing like their original counterparts or designs.
- The movie itself only involves the Turtles trying to save New York City, yet most of the film boils down to a lot of filler, with almost nothing going on during the movie.
- Confusing and hard-to-follow climax, especially the fight with Shredder.
- Incredibly unlikeable characters (eg. April O' Neil, Raphael, Donatello, Michelangelo, Leonardo, Splinter, Shredder), who are very bland and only exist as plot devices.
- Wonky camera work. In some scenes where the turtles are fighting, the camera constantly shakes, making the viewer dizzy and resulting in the camera work being very poorly done.
- Loads of product placement (eg. Skype, RWW, Pizza Hut, and Dunkin' Donuts).
- There is language in the film that is incredibly inappropriate for a film aimed at teens.
- Overuses of lot of computer-generated imagery, especially for the Turtles.
- Awful and clichéd writing, especially compared to the earlier and previous films and television series.
- Plot hole: The rich bad guy's plan is to get richer by spreading a deadly virus on New York City and by being the only supplier of the cure. That's already suspicious in itself but the fact he planned to start spraying the gas from the top of the tower means he would be arrested by federal agents right after forensics, camera footage and testimonies would pinpoint the origin of the gas to his property.
- The film had been in development for 5 years, so it's not all that surprising that it turned out the way it did.
- A heavy-handed message about everyone being family, even when they aren't related.
- Despite being called Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the first half of the movie mostly focuses on April O'Neil rather than the turtles themselves.
- Good soundtrack composed by Brian Tyler.
- Some humorous moments here and there, particularly the scene where the Turtles are in the elevator and beat-boxing, compared to the previous films.
- Despite the uncanny head designs, the Turtles body designs remain faithful to how they looked in the previous films.
- The voice acting for the Turtles is surprising good, despite the pitch-shifting.
- The action sequences are pretty awesome, despite the poor camera work.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles received generally negative reviews from critics and fans alike for the plot, computer-generated effects, and lack of character development. Rotten Tomatoes, a review aggregator, reports that 21% of critics gave the film a positive reviews; the average score is 4.2/10. The critic consensus reads: "Neither entertaining enough to recommend nor remarkably awful, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles may bear the distraction of being the dullest movie ever made about talking bipedal reptiles". On Metacritic, the film has a 31 out of 100 based on 33 critics indicating "generally unfavorable reviews". Audience polled by Cinemascore gave the film an average grade of "B" on a scale of A+ to F, as well as 5.8/10 on IMDb.
- Jane Levy, Anna Kendrick, and Elizabeth Olsen were all auditioned for the role of April O'Neil.
- Sacks was originally going to become the Shredder. However, him not being Japanese and not resembling Oroku Saki at all created backlash, so Shredder was made a separate character clearly depicted as Japanese.