Saturday, 24 March 2007

TMNT Movie Review

Somewhere out on the internet, folks are dissing the new TMNT movie with 2½ stars. I’m going to buck the trend and give it 3 solid stars.

It’s no secret in this house that I love the TMNT. Not the Saturday morning “cowabunga” TMNT of the 80s, but the mutant ninja turtles of the Eastman and Laird comic: a darker and violent TMNT.

The Saturday morning TMNT was nothing more than TMNT-in-name-only; albeit The Cartoon Network shows a TMNT that is closer to the story of the comic so gets a pass from this reviewer.

The new CG TMNT movie in theaters now is something of a hybrid: extremely light on the Saturday morning TMNT (“Cowabunga” is on their beatup VW van, I think) and heavy on a post-Shredder story line. Generally, the story is well done, provides a backdrop for inner TMNT tensions, and a foundation for sequels.

Visually, the movie is stunning. The humans have a refined look that borrows heavily from The Incredibles (and the girls, as I told my wife, might be a bit too sexy for a children’s movie; April O’Neil is hot...yeah I said it, a cartoon chick is hot). The turtles look much like the live action movie turtles, but better. Yet clearly a star of the film that will get no discussion anywhere other than here is “the city.” The city is fantastically animated and it feels like the early Eastman and Laird TMNT comics. The rooftops are wonderfully detailed in the way that E&L were so good at doing on the pages of the comic.

I went with my 4 y.o. daughter that has been talking about “Daddy’s movie” for weeks. She was glued to the story. While some 4 y.o. children might find the imagery scary (the monsters are not short on fangs, claws, fur, and roars), my daughter has been raised on a rich diet of movies crossing many genres. She enjoyed it very much, sitting still for longer than she has in other films we have taken her to. I can say that if you have a son or daughter that can separate fantasy and reality pretty well, this is not too bad. For comparison: Monster House is far heavier on the scary imagery than this TMNT film.

Go see this movie if you are a TMNT fan. I don’t think you will be disappointed.

Posted by caffeinated at 10:53 PM in 0xDECAF


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