When it comes to movie remakes my normal response tends to be "kill it before it grows". Generally speaking there is almost never a good movie remake that has come out. Last House on the Left had none of the edge nor the allegorical level to make it even worth the time to watch. When it came to sitting down to watch Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles it took me a little bit to muster up the courage to do so. Having already low expectations were brought even lower when the realization that this was going to be a Michael Bay movie. Sometimes his films aren't that bad but other times they should be treated as a terrible mistake never to be spoken of again.
With this remake of the classic series there are so many flaws that it angered me to get through. Without adding in Michael Bay's overuse of slow motion and the Transformer version of shredder, there was the played out recycled plot that really did it in. I could overlook the fact that the turtles talk hood or that Donatello looked like a complete douche bag with a serious hoarding problem. The part that I couldn't overlook was that the entire film was a rip off of the Batman franchise. It literally felt like Michael Bay was sitting in his chair watching Batman (Begins or Tim Burton's is up for debate) said "Wow this is a great story! I'm going to redo this with Turtles and slow motion! The kids will love up!".
The Foot Clan
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles could very well be one of those most iconic films to come out of the 90s. Golden Harvest which is a Hong Kong based production company responsible for delivering such classics as Drunken Master, took the comic books into real life while use some of the best special effects of the time. TMNT was a fun kung fu flick that while had a simple plot was entertaining til the very end. Keeping with the tradition of Golden Harvest trademark, as well as the comics, the foot clan was a group of ninjas that were battling the turtles on behalf of Shredder. This outline allows for amusing fights that were also keeping you on the edge of your seat.
Now we get to look at the new edition of Bane's.. I mean the Foot Clan. Instead of being ninjas (cause ya know why have ninja fights in a ninja turtles movie?) they are boring mercenaries who are playing terrorists. So instead of ninjas flying through the air trying beat the livin hell out of each other we get strobed out gun, shadows and Megan Fox fumbling with her cell phone before we learn that the Turtles are really gangstas (just a theory but it did sound like they were shaking her down). After that point the influence of the foot clan kind of blurred for me. They came into the film very uneventful and went kind of with a bang...I guess? The mountain scene kind of felt like the high scene from the Matrix II was done mock-buster style.
*On a side note with the origin Bay went with "They're called the foot clan because they stomp all over every one" , I was under the impression the foot clan got their name because they were ninjas. Was this change to make the Bane rip off easier?*
Shredder's Big Plan
So Bane ends up find Bruce Wayne's manor and they have this big fight.. Damn it I slipped films again. So the Shredder ends up finding out the Turtle's hideout. Shredder launches an all out attack and ends up mortally wounding Batman, I mean Master Splinter. Could just be a coincidence but it's strangely close to the same plot gimmick.
With all of the possibility that exists within the TMNT universe. what ends being the sinister plan in this one? A gas attack. Just like the Batman with Michael Keaton and Batman begins. This powerful gas agent will cause the city population to mutate and go wild! The gas attack and the foot clan as a mercenary group are cliches that were played several years ago with a few different franchises.
The Little Things
Part of what makes a great film is the little details. Going full tilt with CGI might save money but in no way does it guarantee that the film will end up being any good. For a prime example of this look at Star Wars Episode I and compare it to Star Wars Episode IV. With the TMNT remake it felt like they took the leftover effects from Transformers and added some green skin over it. Shredder didn't look like a megalomaniac samurai, instead he looked like a chromed out tin can that the terminator threw up. Maybe if you have a low IQ the new Shredder might be able to hold your attention for a little bit on the sheer grounds that he's shinny, but I promise you this is a short lived high.
Than there is the poor choices made with the character designs. Splinter morphs for rat to horse all depending on the angel that you are looking at him from. The turtles have noses? This about as smart of a move as putting nipples onto the Batman outfit (the similarities just keep growing). The poor choices aren't just with the character designs but in the characters themselves. Raphali who is well known for the bad ass outcast becomes an overly emotional bore. Any tension felt between him and the other turtles is almost non-existent. Besides for some banter here and there he basically tucks tail every time someone disagrees with him.
Please No More
This new turtle's film makes Pearl Harbor seem like a good idea. There are very few, if any, redeeming qualities to this. The end battle which should be the highlight of this blatant rip off turns into nothing more than slow motion back flips and one very long drawn scream. If you are going to attempt to remake a classic film you should at least check out the source material first. While the turtles themselves kind of looked like the TMNT many of us have grown up to love, nothing else in this film is related. The whole plan of this movie was to rip of Batman and smack TMNT logo on it to take everyone's money. Future movie historians will look back on this and think Ed Wood climbed out of the grave to play one big slow motioned joke on the world.