Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Movie Review
Updated: Dec 31, 2022
It has been a long time since I have seen this movie, but I remember it well. As a recap for anyone who hasn't seen the movie in a while too, it begins with the news report of a sound crime by individuals that are not seen. This movie takes place in the eighties which makes sense since the comic this movie is based off, was published in 1984. I like the depiction of the ninja turtles.and the fact that each character had had his own unique personality. They are trained by a mutated rat named, Splinter, who learned martial arts from his owner. The only odd thing about this is that he learned karate before he was exposed to the toxic chemical, which gave him the increased size and intelligence afterwards.
All the turtles are named after famous Renaissance painters, Donatello, Rafael, Michelangelo, Leonardo is chosen as the leader of the turtles by splintering himself. The group chooses to pursue the Foot Clan and Shredder after learning the connection between Splinter and Shredder.
In addition to the main characters, I also enjoy the Foot Clan because the organizational structure makes a lot of sense and is loosely based on the Yakuza, a Japanese mafia. This makes a lot of sense given the main villain, Shredder, originates from Japan too. I believe what Shredder was doing was come ot the United States, find some allies, and build his organization that trains its members in the art of invasion and martial arts.
The first time we see the Ninja Turtles engage with the Foot Clan is when they save April O'Neil from being killed after she sees members of the Foot stealing equipment, that was most likely to sell on black-market. The Turtles practice what they've learned from Master Splinter and drops one of their weapons after their win with the Foot, which is then picked up by April O'Neil. That is how she found out that somebody saved her, although she does not know exactly who. I thought this whole scene was one of the most remarkable since it was actual combat over fake lasers or mystical powers.
I like Master Splinter, although I am still mildly confused how random chemicals can give a rat of average size a massive growth boost plus human levels of intelligence, but then I remember it's all a movie. I think it's important to not overanalyze these things, such as the Ninja Turtles' origins and the reason for the massive size and intelligence. One part I would have preferred further explanation on is how it makes the turtles age at the same rate as humans, but again, suspension of disbelief must be considered here.
One of the best scenes in the movie is when the Foot Clan breaks into the antique store that April lives above, and burns it down. I like the way it forces April to rely on the Turtles and make the first instance of humankind integrate with the mutant turtles. I also like the final scene when they fight Shredder one by one, but then it's Splinter who saves the day by taking down Shredder with his bow and arrow. I think this scene shows how far the Turtles have come with their training, even though they're not the ones who ultimately win the fight.
My only real thing I did not like about this film is the blatant product placement, but as I have gotten older, I understand that product placement is necessary for every film to some degree.
I like how this movie teaches lessons well, and how grounded of a story it is. I think the main thing that I got out of this movie is that you cannot always work alone; that it's not always a bad thing to work in a group, but when the time comes, it's good to be able to stand on your own too. This movie had strong family themes; and showed you can still feel like family even if you're not technically related. This film is fantastic and depends on what age you are when you watch it so it is one of those films that can be rewatched and teach someone new lessons.