So I got to see a slightly advanced screening of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles this weekend. And here's my review of it for you, care of my Flixter page. Enjoy.
A really excellent if straightforward story, TMNT builds on the already well established world of the turtles. Thankfully we don't have to sit through another boring origin tale. Instead we jump right into the franchise, and story already in progress. This movie works well because it's a character piece, and although it might be a bit light on the action when compared to even its Saturday morning equivalent, the relationships are treated with a maturity that surprised and impressed me. I found myself honestly interested in the personal conflicts between Raphael and Leonardo, the group dynamic of a broken team, and the b-storyline of April and Casey's rocky relationship. I'm not sure kids will really dig this movie as much as someone slightly older though. There are action scenes that literally take place just off camera, or just before we arrive at the scene. And while it often might be more interesting as a character study to directly see the effects of the action its also frustrating to me, and I would presume doubly so for kids, to 'just miss out' on a number of potentially cool fight scenes. That said there are a few absolutely stellar fights in the movie, notably one amazing sequence on a rooftop in the rain. There are also a few moments in the film where the texturing of the CG is jaw-droppingly good; and the fluidity of movement throughout is really top notch. Finally, the voice work is absolutely impeccable; I worry what they'll do without Mako for the next film. And that's really what it comes down to, this film was such a tease in so many ways. if the goal is to make the audience want to see more, then it definitely succeeds. Sure it was entertaining, and a great character piece, but the kid in me wants more action, I want more adventure, I want to see more shell-kicking turtles made with this much quality and care. I hope this film succeeds with the kids, because I think it definitely will with the slightly older crowd, but if the kids can go for it then we might just be lucky enough to see more of the ninja turtles in the near future and that would make me very happy.