Some years after the previous Ninja Turtles films, Leonardo has been ordered by Splinter to travel the world to learn to become a better leader. But while Leo has been fighting crime in Central America, things have not gone so well for his brothers back home. Michelangelo entertains children at parties, Donatello is tech support for a computer company, and Raphael has become a lone vigilante going by the name ‘Nightwatcher.’ Realizing he has a duty to lead his family, Leo returns home to attempt to revitalize their team.
At the same time, the mysterious billionaire Max Winters has hired The Hand, now led by Karai, to hunt down 13 monsters that are running loose in the city. But how is his plan tied to an ancient evil and an interdimensional portal? And what can the “TMNT” reconcile their differences and act like a team to defeat the menace?
“TMNT” is rated PG for animated action violence, some scary cartoon images and mild language
As someone familiar with the very first “TMNT” comics, I was impressed how Munroe was able to capture the dark and violent aspects of the comics. In fact, the opening scenes of the movie started to make me wonder if the film was going to be too intense for my preschooler. From the look of the eyes to the dark mood to the action packed martial arts sequences, it was all there. But at the same time, the film was able to capture the lighthearted aspects of the cartoons and the live action films. The turtles still eat pizza, skateboard, and act silly. But it’s all equally balanced with the darker aspects of the stories. The final product is a film that both dads and kids will enjoy together.
The animation really looked great. While there was nothing technically groundbreaking with it, the style of the CGI was a perfect blend of live action realism, the look of the animated series, and the dark look of the original “TMNT” comics. The colors, character designs, and backgrounds are all perfectly done. And the action was especially well choreographed. Every fight scene in this movie is as good as any fight scene in a movie this year.
What Didn’t Work:
I will add that a lot of the footage from “TMNT” that I saw at the San Diego Comic-Con was cut from this version. The scene where the kids at the birthday party beat down Michelangelo was significantly reduced, and the part where the kid kicks him in the crotch was totally eliminated. I hated to see it go because it was an indication that the film was a little funnier and edgier than the theatrical cut. Maybe we’ll see it on DVD.
The Bottom Line: