'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' Review Roundup: Critics Slam Comic Book Flick
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the reboot of the franchise that peaked in the 90s, resurrects the crime-fighting reptiles in a corrupt New York City.
Leonardo, Raphael, Michelangelo and Donatello are back in action, rising up from the sewers to combat Shredder and The Foot Clan. The unlikely heroes are helped along in their mission by journalist April O’Neil (Megan Fox) and her cameraman Vernon Fenwick (Will Arnett). The film, produced by Michael Bay, had director Jonathan Libesman at the helm.
'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' Reviews
Upon watching the summer’s latest big-budget blockbuster, critics have aligned to slam Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Complaints range from the film taking itself too seriously and not recreating the tone of the earlier movies to it having an incoherent plot and too much of Bay’s signature loud and meaningless action sequences. One critic laments the film ever being made at all.
“2014's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles strains for gravitas. Director Jonathan Liebesman wants to compete with the big boys, the glossy, fate-of-the-free-world-depends-on-us blockbuster heroics, which have come to feel as generic as a row of toasters. He and his flock of screenwriters miss the point. In the 1980s, the Turtles were a spoof. […] If you thought Bay had forgiven Fox for saying he was "like Hitler," this new April O'Neil role is proof he hasn't. It's a setup. Audiences will ridicule her for stinking it up as an unconvincing journalist, but the script doesn't give her a chance.” – Ann Nicholson, LA Weekly
“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comes to the summer blockbuster season like an ugly creature someone left at a pet store. This loud, incoherent anti-entertainment may hold a small bit of interest for 10-year-old boys familiar with the title’s earlier iterations. But even youngsters may wonder why any hint of charm or fun has scurried away. Those new to the franchise may withdraw their head into their neck, turtle-like.” – Joe Neumaier, New York Daily News
“I have this nightmare. In it, every other movie I see is by Michael Bay. I wake up screaming. It’s been but a month or so since Bay’s latest Transformers blew into theaters and blew up the box office. And now he’s back, with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Two Bay behemoths rampaging through the ’plexes in a single summer. The nightmare is real. […] If ever there was a movie that should not have been made, this is that movie.” – Soren Andersen, The Seattle Times
“Is there a word that means the opposite of Cowabunga? If so, that's the word for the charmless, dull and derivative new take on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Perhaps this version — a blend of live action and motion-capture — will hold some shred of appeal for folks who fondly remember watching the animated anthropomorphic reptiles on TV in the '80s and '90s, or for young kids — though it's rated PG-13 for violence. But most will find it frenetic, overblown and un-exciting.” – Claudia Puig, USA Today