A generation of children grew up glued to their television screens Saturday mornings to watch the latest cartoons of their favorite characters. Back then cartoons were the main source to see one’s favorite superhero or friendly ghost. Once in a great while there may have been a full-length movie made from a Saturday cartoon and just like the cartoons they were done with hand drawn animation. Computers back then were not used for such artistic purposes. The 3rd avenue available to experience a cartoon character was finding a toy, game or comic book of them. Growing up I collected comic books of all my favorite cartoon characters, besides having an army of G.I. Joe soldiers. However, one of my coolest toys was a model I built of the Batmobile; that vehicle used to travel through all the rooms of my house. Back then as far as I could tell, this was the extent of a child’s exposure to cartoon characters. These days it seems like a whole different world to me. I think there are still comic books but they may be predominantly superhero characters; I do not know. There are the usual toys and games but now it is not unusual to see a cartoon character on cereal boxes, vitamins, cookies, candy, toothbrushes; I can go on and on. The marketing of cartoons is big business where if a character is especially popular they may get their own ride at an amusement park. Honestly, in my opinion I feel it is overkill with all these different things available now. I felt the same way about this action adventure comedy. WITH an evil criminal on the loose the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will have to take a bigger risk that may expose their identity to an unknowing public. This sequel brought back Megan Fox (Transformers franchise, Jennifer’s Body) as April O’Neil and Will Arnett (When in Rome, Arrested Development-TV) as Vernon Fenwick, along with new characters Chief Vincent and Casey Jones, played by Laura Linney (Mr. Holmes, Hyde Park on Hudson) and Stephen Amell (The Tracey Fragments, Arrow-TV). I really cannot say anything about the acting because the whole film played like an extended cartoon. Action scenes were the vehicle that drove the story in this movie. I really did not find anything funny in the script, though the special effects at least were entertaining. It was about halfway through the picture that I glanced down at my watch, wishing time would move faster; I was getting bored with the monotony. Now I will say I think tweens, the 9 to 12 year olds, will enjoy this film more than me. Compared to other movies I have seen in this genre, the script was weak; it did not offer any little morsels to entertain the adults in the audience. I have not noticed much cross marketing for this film yet. If it should increase we may be in for a long dull summer of overkill.
1 ¾ stars
Deep in the recesses of your mind, unbeknownst to you, is a fond memory from your childhood. No matter what kind of early life was experienced, there usually is at least one thing you recall fondly. The trigger that ignites this memory could easily be one of the most innocuous things on the planet. When you encounter this catalyst the deeply embedded memory rises to the surface of your mind like a deep sea diving bell. This recently happened to me when I saw an old-fashioned candy called Dots in a 3 year old’s hand. The sweet treat has multicolored hard drops of candy stuck on a strip of paper that looks like it belongs in a cash register. One could remove each candy piece with their fingertips; but if one wanted to be real cool, they would use their teeth to peel the candy off the strip of paper. As soon as I saw that candy the memory of the candy store where I always bought those Dots appeared at the edges of my eyes. A tiny place planted on the corner of the block, the shop owner was oversized with arms that gave the warmest hugs. I had forgotten how safe and happy I was whenever I was in her store; the memory flooded me with a sense of calm, joyful peacefulness. JUST as I relived that memory so will many of you experience a past time in your life when you see this reboot of the warrior turtles. With New York City under siege by sinister forces, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were forced above ground in what would be the ultimate test for all of their past training. This action adventure had modern CGI technology working in its favor. The chases and fights were tight and big. Starring Megan Fox (Transformers franchise, Jennifer’s Body) as April O’Neil and Will Arnett (When in Rome, Arrested Development-TV) as Vernon Fenwick, this was where this comedy film quickly deteriorated. Besides being annoying the script was filled with lame jokes and references. The story was at a television cartoon level and though I did not necessarily have an issue with it, after a short time I felt the scenes lacked any real excitement. If it was not for the fight scenes I would have been even more bored than I already was with this movie. I feel once viewers who remember the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles see this film they will discover their memories were better than these updated characters. For those who did not follow the Ninja Turtles, they may find this was a picture that will soon be forgotten.