The only way a movie could have the fans stacked against it more than Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles did would be if George Lucas announced he was making a fourth Star Wars prequel. Right from the start, whether it was with that first concept art, or with Michael Bay being made the biggest scapegoat in Hollywood, fans were willing to shoot this movie down with every chance they got!
Then the movie came out, and it's wasn't great. Shockingly though, it wasn't terrible either! Sure, it had some huge tonal issues, and some of the characterization was a little frenetic and stupid, but this is Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles we're talking about. Is "stupid" really a standard we want to impose on it? The movie was ultimately enjoyable for children, the people who keep the property alive regardless of how many original fans deny that fact. In the face of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2, let's consider a few improvements that could make this sequel pleasing for everyone!
I keep wondering just how people would have received this movie if the design of the titular Turtles was absolutely perfect. If it was a brilliant melding of the suits in the first movie with the realistic sheen we demand today, would people have overlooked other issues just because they were so happy to see these characters brought to life? The problem is that these giant hulking monstrosities are always on screen rubbing it in your face just how misjudged they are. Any time Raphael is on screen, I just wanna curl up in a corner and be grossed out by how brutish he looks.
Now sure, some fans will complain that giving the turtles a redesign would break a sense of canon, but do we honestly want to be stuck with these looks just for the sake of coherency? The turtles had a redesign in the third original movie, so just imagine that, only... good. I guess.
I can't remember a time when it wasn't the cool thing to trash Megan Fox as an actress. Given her performance in the last TMNT, I find it hard to argue about her acting ability, yet few people often consider that she's rarely given good material to work with. So what can I say about her role as April O'Neil in the next movie other than "it should be written better"? Well perhaps she could be put into a more relaxed and confident position for the next outing, given that her investigative journalism that no one believed in the first movie came off as the ramblings of someone who'd been snorting cleaning product.
How to nail Casey Jones? The best advice I could give here would be to simply be aware of the source material. The last movie did an okay job of drawing from the original comics, the 80s cartoon and recent canons all at once. Casey should then be adapted just as he was meant to be; a parody of comic book vigilantes. What we don't need is a rip off of The Punisher that caters even more to teenage boys, and just comes off boorish. Steven Amell from Arrow has plenty of experience scowling. Let's just see if he can do it in a fun way. We don't want a repeat of the Foot Clan!
Make Splinter Nice
This might seem like a small detail, but I think it would have a huge effect on the chemistry between the turtles and their master. In the first movie, Splinter, hilariously voiced by Tony Shalhoub, is bizarrely mean to the turtles. I'm not saying he shouldn't be harsh in his training of them, but it doesn't even seem as if he likes them. It makes you care less about the peril he's immediately placed in upon the fight with Shredder, and lessens the stakes in general. This is one small change that would vastly improve the dynamic of these characters.
What's your take on the sequel to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? Let us know with a post here on MoviePilot, by voting in our poll, or by leaving a comment below!