Rajeev Masand – movies that matter : from bollywood, hollywood and everywhere else

August 29, 2014

Gutter rats!

Filed under: Their Films — Rajeev @ 10:31 pm

August 29, 2014

Cast: Megan Fox, Will Arnett, William Fichtner, Whoopi Goldberg & the voices of Johnny Knoxville and Tony Shaloub

Director: Jonathan Liebesman

The question you’ll likely ponder after watching the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie is this: Who exactly is it meant for? The 30-something-year-olds who might be nostalgic about reconnecting with characters from their youth? Or kids themselves, unfamiliar with the 80s comic books or the animated TV series but fascinated by the idea of these reptiles as lean, mean fighting machines? It’s an answer director Jonathan Liebesman clearly doesn’t have, which explains the schizophrenic nature of this big-budget, CGI-heavy mess that doesn’t even qualify as a guilty pleasure.

The plot involves our four hard-shelled heroes – named after Renaissance masters – Donatella, Raphael, Michelangelo and Leonardo leaving their safe haven in the sewer to battle the feared Foot Clan group of criminals and their metal samurai leader Shredder who is planning to unleash a chemical attack on New York. There’s also Megan Fox as April O’Neil, a TV reporter stuck doing puff pieces, who stumbles onto her first ‘real story’ when she discovers the Turtles.

Predictably, there are lots of big 3D explosions and relentless chase sequences. And given that the film is produced by Michael Bay, the editing in the action scenes is so typically frenetic, you can barely tell who is doing what and to whom. What this film might have benefitted from is a lightheartedness that’s sadly missing. Only one scene brought a genuine smile to my face; the Turtles, as their elevator slowly makes its way up to the roof of a Manhattan skyscraper, break into an impromptu musical hit. Instead of infusing the film with more such disarming moments, what we get is one of the Turtles making creepy sexual advances towards Fox’s character.

Bland, unimaginative, and entirely pointless, this is one film that needn’t have been made. I’m going with one-and-a-half out of five for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Stay home and take a nap instead.

(This review first aired on CNN-IBN)

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