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Friday, March 23, 2007
Action, Animation, Family
Patrick Stewart , Sarah Michelle Gellar, Chris Evans, Ziyi Zhang, Kevin Smith
The "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" movie will be the first all CG animated movie in the history of the franchise. The PG-rated movie will derive its tone from the original comic-book series and will be grittier than the previous live action pictures.
TMNT (2007) | Review
TM Fun T (Snyder)
When the first live-action movie came out, I appreciated its slightly more serious take on the Turtles, but the rubber suits just couldn’t convey the skill and the speed of the comic book characters. The recent resurgence of the Turtles has been much more enjoyable than their late-eighties, early-nineties incarnation. The new cartoon (at least for a while) stayed more true to the comics while balancing elements to appeal to the audience of kids it aimed for. Now, the Turtles have ventured into CGI, and while they still haven’t really returned to their comic book roots, they’re not quite the joke they used to be; and for the first time, they really look like and move like giant turtles that know the ways of the ninja. Silly, perhaps, but it’s definitely a good time.
Monsters, immortals, portals that open every three thousand years
The plot for TMNT is silliness through and through. Monsters, immortals, portals that open every three thousand years—it all defies any sort of sense or logic, but the inner child in me still couldn’t help but utter “cooooool.” Besides, it provides a good framework for the turtles to operate in, and that’s all it really needs to do.
TMNT also does a good job of continuing in the continuum already established by the previous movies. Like Superman Returns, this is another sort of sequel, or at the very least a sequel to the first live action film. However, unlike Superman, TMNT acknowledges the previous stories without unduly wasting time paying homage to them. This film also doesn’t have huge disconnects in its continuity threads. True, April seems to have taken up a new job, and learned some new skills, but any changes are acknowledged so breezily as to not feel nearly as awkward as those in other recent franchise reboots.
On the downside, not all of the turtles get enough screen time. This is really a story about Raphael and Leonardo. Michelangelo and Donatello and even Splinter are mainly relegated to supporting roles. Although this may be disappointing to fans, at the same time it does allow room for a well-developed and at times fairly dramatic storyline between Raph and Leo. In fact, I was rather surprised at some of the more dramatic moments in this film.
It’s not always easy to get along with family
For a “family” film, it deals with some pretty important topics—specifically, reconciliation and redemption. It’s not always easy to get along with family, but Raph and Leo learn that forgiveness is more important than pride and self-justification. It’s funny that we’d be hearing that from ninja turtles, because Jesus told us exactly the same thing not all that long ago.
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