"TMNT" Does it weld TURTLE POWER?

Genres: Action/Adventure, Animation and Adaptation
Running Time: 1 hr. 26 min.
Release Date: March 23rd, 2007 (wide)
MPAA Rating: PG for animated action violence, some scary cartoon images and mild language.
Distributors: Warner Bros. Pictures Distribution

Directed by: Kevin Munroe

JJ Rating: B+

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles…HEROES IN A HALF SHELL…TURTLE POWER!!!! Well of course that is no longer the wonderful and timeless theme song…but I had to. This one is called TMNT –you know initials. Leonardo, the blue one, is out of New York City because he’s training. He does end up coming back (duh dude) and ends up (of course) fighting with Raphael, the red one. These turtles are all brothers so the other two are Michelangelo (cowabunga), the orange one, and Donatello (*technical mumbojumbo*), the purple one. All people really need to know is that New York City is in trouble and these four brothers and their rat master—Master Splinter—are going to save the city once again. However, this go around it’s not Shredder who is causing havoc it’s a man that has a curse that has followed him through out his immortal life. Oh and let me not forget April O’Neil and Casey Jones….two cool characters one shouldn’t forget—my bad.

I am an avid fan of these turtles in a half shell. So when I saw that they were going to have a movie I was excited (not nearly as excited as I am for Transformers). I watched the cartoon all through the 80’s and 90’s and saw every single movie (except the third one I grew up—but never lost the love *beats chest and tosses out peace sign*). I love the live action aspect. But when I saw those movies I was sad that the foot were not robots. But I got over that quickly and enjoyed the movie even though there was a Vanilla Ice freak on there.

It brought back a lot of memories and it made me feel like a kid again watching it (except I wanted to throw my bag of popcorn in the face of the child that kept talking and turning around looking at me---not kidding). There was Michelangelo who goes by Mikey who was my favorite and he is the class clown with his silly antics and simple mentality. He keeps things light and fluffy without getting serious. Donatello is the technical genius and creates all kinds of gadgets but jetpacks (watch the movie). Raphael is the tough guy who doesn’t take anything from anyone and really doesn’t like taking orders (think Wolverine) but is too loyal to be a loner. Leonardo is a great leader and tries to do what is best for the group but has to butt heads with Ralph (think Cyclops vs Wolverine). I had this thought that blue and red are part of the primary colors and they stand out more and therefore that’s why those two colors were given to Leo and Ralph. Mikey and Don have orange and purple but those are less standout-ish and not as powerful. I state red and blue having power because no other color can create them and they create other colors. I do not know how they decided to come up with the colors they’d use for the turtles but it makes sense that the two that are always fighting for power are red and blue.

Also along the lines of that thought I was thinking that red = fighting and anger; blue = calm and collective and cool headed (for most of the time); orange = fun, silly, and goofy; purple = royal, brains and passive…but I am getting side tracked.

I like the movie. After seeing it I wasn’t too thrilled with it because I just really LOVE the first one even if it is just turtle suits. But this one started to grow on me as I thought more and more about it. This is why I don’t just write my reviews after I see the movie I let it gestate in my head a moment for me to really think about it and make sure my initial impression is right or do should I adjust it.

I know that I am sort of sick of having story lines with Leo and Ralph always at ends with one another. It grows tiring. But other than that there really isn’t anything else I could complain about.

You’ll hear a few familiar voices in this movie. Mr. Winters is Patrick Stewart, Sarah Michelle Gellar is April O’Neil, Casey Jones is Chris Evans (Human Torch in Fantastic Four) and a nice special appearance by Kevin Smith who voices the Diner Cook (great scene). The four turtles are played by unknowns: Don is Mitchell Whitfield, Leo is Arnold Taylor, Mikey is Mikey Kelly (hahaha) and Ralph is Nolan North.

The storyline is nothing spectacular but I do like how I believed one thing and it ended up being something nobler than I had previously thought. I like that minor twist in the storyline of a cartoon for children. I had to keep in mind it was intended for children and that it was. It did not fail on that account. There is one line by Don that might be questionable but I think it was thrown in there for the adults and it’s so quick that no child would really pick up on it but the adults will get a good chuckle.

I like the humor that was in the movie. Mikey has good humor moments with the lines he delivers. He also has a job doing birthday parties that he wears a big turtle head. I think that that might be some sort of throw back to the films with the turtle suits but I could be stretching to reach that one. Ha. The fight scenes were cool and easy to follow nothing spectacular but it fit the premise of the movie well. Splinter’s lines were wise though I do wish they were a bit more profound than what they were but they worked. April and Casey’s relationship was cute and not delve into too much which was good.

One of the best scenes in TMNT is when Ralph goes out on his own and he ends up at a diner and fights something. That was a funny scene. I love it. I also really love the ending with Splinter, Ralph and Mikey…it had me laughing.

TMNT is a fun movie and if you’ve loved the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles you will find something in this movie to love as you did with the first three films…no doubt. I really think this cannot be compared to the first three. I think they are different enough to stand on their own and still be enjoyed. I wanted to watch Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie after seeing TMNT, but I have not yet.

I might or might not get this film. I’m more leaning on the not but that all depends on my mood when it comes out. I mean if I have the money I will not hesitate to spend money on it. If I don’t I’ll have second thoughts.

I stated at the beginning, “TURTLE POWER” and that is an important aspect of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Really, as the movie points out, it’s Brother Power---but Turtle Power sounds cooler and this movie does exercise such power. So for old times sake go and listen to the old theme song and sing along (I’m about to)…Heroes in a half shell…TURTLE POWER!

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