Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Teenage Ninja Mutant Turtles (2014)

The plot the 2014 reboot of Teenage Ninja Mutant Turles isn't greatly disimilar to that of the live action films over twenty years ago in which the central the story follows April O'Neil's (Megan Fox) desperate attempts to prove that there is a crime fighting vigilante group consisting of genetically modified turtles, unsurprisngly nobody believes her. However, deep in the sewers of New York there is indeed a crime fighting vigilante group consisting of genetically modified turtles and when New York is a target of a chemical attack they leap to the city's defence.

Michael Bay's production company Platinum Dunes seems to specialise in producing remakes, reboots or reimagings. The next franchise to get such a luxurious treatment is Teenage Ninja Mutant Turtles which receives its second reboot following on from the computer animated version back in 2007. Much like the franchise in the early 90s Jonathan Liebesman's 2014 reboot is a live action film but uses computers to create the teenage ninja turtles rather than the puppets used in the early 90s. This is, obviously, to be expected as gigantic leaps forward in technology have allowed this to be possible. 

Over one terabyte of data was used the capture the actors' performance and transferring them to screen as teenage ninja mutant turtles. The result is a staggeringly forgettable one. For anyone not in the know it can be quite difficult to decipher which turtle is which thus making the hectic actions sequences almost impossible to follow. For all that effort spent attempting to create the turtles that are "charming, intimidating and individually recognizable" it is disappointing that they are so ultimately charmless. What Liebesman has effectively done is turn Bay's giant Transformer robots into turtles but without the racial stereotypes. 

However, the GCI is not entirely to blame for the charmless GCI turtles but instead the fact they are individually and collectively immensely irritating. Each annoying quip, wisecrack or cheesy one liner brings about nothing except a deathly, stone cold silence which, to quote Priates of the Carribean, brings a whole new meaning to the phrase "as silent as the grave". The action would emotionally investable if the GCI characters were characters we could care about, but instead the action sequences feel nothing more than big, bloated sequences devoid of originality and threat as the turtles are (and any friendly humans) are clearly indestructible.

The human characters don't fare a great deal better either as the supporting talents of William Fichtner are completely wasted, however Megan Fox does a reasonably good as she gets the film's solitary laugh and she also works rather well with Will Arnett. Much like the characters the screenplay lacks originality and personality, and anyone with the even the smallest grain of knowledge about actors and actresses will quite easily guess who the villian of the film is from the start though this is only applicable to anyone who doesn't know anything about the franchise. Unsurprisingly, the whole film is a tad dull.


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