The first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film was a disappointment, with action coming in at poorly timed moments that did not heighten any suspense or anticipation as well as using cliché and predictable humor. It does this by using children jokes that may be fun for the children but gives the adult audience members a cringe fest. The film also lacked in the fun, child feel in which a film intended for young audience, between the ages of 6 and 13, should have. It took itself too seriously for the majority of the film, with a plot and villain that felt like a rough draft and could have been vastly improved. It also felt like the actors were also taking the role too seriously instead of treating it like a fun film, which should be expected from a production that makes children’s TV shows.
Whilst the acting was niche, the character portrayal of the turtles and their characteristics/personalities were the only thing that made it worth-while when watching the film as it gives older audiences a reminder of their childhood heroes from the 1987 and 2003 cartoons. Very few scenes in this film were worth watching, and can be rated a 5 out of 10 due to the small amount of scenes that had action and instead had too much of the plot explaining and background of characters that the audience did not want to see the background of. There was also a lack of character development, especially from Vern Fenwick as well as very little development from April O’Neil, with characters still staying as annoying and having as poor a personality as they were at the beginning of the movie.
However, the contrast to this is the trailer to the sequel, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out Of the Shadows (no, not the game). It is full of action scenes that the first one was in dire need of, in which are timed to perfection, giving small teases but also never quite giving away important plot lines. Another benefit of this trailer is the use of villains, giving both hints to which they are yet also allowing the audience a small taste before it takes it all away again, begging so many questions which we don’t mind leaving unanswered until the release of the film in June. The turtles are once again on point as well as adding a few new characters such as Casey Jones and Baxter Stockman, whom could be either lovable or hateable, depending on the audience and how they accept these portrayals of favorable characters from previous adaptations. The music, ‘It’s Tricky’ by Run-D.M.C did lacked in the action intensity, instead being chosen for its comedic affect as well as appealing to a wide variety of male audience members due to the fact that it is a rap song that has been used in many comedy films as well as many male directed films. However, a way that the film can also appeal to females is the use of a strong and curious female character that is in a strong job role and a high position as a woman in the workplace and surrounded by many men as the protagonist.
However, a disadvantage to this is the use of the male gaze, which was shown in the first film by using low panned shots as well as using this in the new trailer when showing the use of costume and yet more low panned shots. This could sit negatively with the female audience, making it feel like she is being sexualised by the almost completely male dominated testosterone setting. Let’s hope that the sequel will offer Megan Fox’s role as April O’Neil to be more serious and give her more than just a character for men to look at and instead give her a role that women and young girls can look up to, what with her being a journalist as well as what appears to be a helpful yet very independent female character. The effects are more decent and upgraded than the first film which gives the film a more realistic feel as opposed to a huge lorry sliding down a snow mountain.
Whether or not the film will become as successful as its predecessor is debatable, yet judging by the first film it should not be difficult for the sequel to be bigger, better and more loyal to the fan-base rather than the budget and profits being made. It is more of a fan service film than a high budget marketing scam, and yet it also has a very action packed feel that can put this argument directly into debate.
Altogether this film looks to be a vast improvement with better actors, more action and better marketing towards the intended target audience, however as it is an adaptation from such unsuccessful and terribly portrayed past movies, it could end up being a cinema flop. Hopefully this will not be the case, especially with a wide range of superhero movies also being released in 2016. I will give the trailer an 8 out of 10 and hope that the movie can set itself the same standards as its trailer.