Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014) is the newest movie version of the franchise that’s edgier than ever before.
It starts with news reporter April O’Neil (Megan Fox) who is focused on getting the scoop on the Foot Clan that’s been terrorizing New York City. Unfortunately she’s always stuck with lighter news stories, even though she wants to be a serious journalist.
April’s cameraman is Vern Fenwick (Will Arnett). He likes April, but isn’t real supportive when it comes to achieving her dreams. The last time Vern Fenwick was featured was in the 80s cartoon series as an egotistical rival news reporter. This version of Fenwick isn’t as funny, but he is more helpful in the long run.
Now we get to the turtles themselves, who don’t actually appear until much later in the movie. As regular turtles 15 years earlier, April used to care for them, along with a rat named Splinter, by feeding them pizza. The turtles were also test subjects in her father’s science lab for something called Project Renaissance. That does explain how they got their names, Leonardo, Raphael, Michaelangelo, and Donatello.
I remember in the earlier movies when the turtles were made from animatronics and puppetry. Now they are graphical with a very edgy presence. It’s creepy at first, but once you see the turtles in action (in the style of the Transformers movies) it gets better.
Splinter is also very graphical. He taught himself ninjitsu before teaching it to his sons, but one thing that’s very different is that he has a punishment chamber called the hashi. He makes the turtles balance on different things for long periods of time if they disobey him for going up to the surface without permission.
Of course the turtles’ archenemy is the Shredder (Torhu Masamune). This time his ambition is to spread a deadly virus throughout the city with the help of scientist Eric Sacks (William Fichtner), who used to work in the same lab as April’s father.
The mutagen that created the turtles and Splinter was made to be a cure for the virus and Sacks intends to sell it after the virus is spread so he can become rich. It’s up to April and the turtles to stop him. The story plot may seem rushed, but at least that keeps it entertaining.
This movie was good, providing a new angle to the franchise. But what will become of April, now that her news career is in jeopardy from keeping the turtles a secret?