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Why Fans Will Love (or Hate) Michael Bay's 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles'

Adam Bellotto Adam Bellotto
August 8th, 2014 6:53pm EDT
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Still from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

"Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" will be in theaters this weekend. And despite being a film about cartoon turtles- perhaps one of the most universally loved subjects in all of filmdom, just behind fluffy bunny rabbits and superheroes that team up with other superheroes- "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" is a film rocked by controversy.

Maybe it has to do with the presence of a certain Michael Bay; maybe it has to do with with the Turtles looking like four Shrek knockoffs who were horrifically disfigured in a grease fire. Who knows? We're not here to judge.

We're here to say: "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" has something for everyone. Whether you'd like to sit in the gentle breeze of an air conditioned movie theater and watch a 21st century re-imagining of the TMNT, or you'd like to sit just outside that air conditioned movie theater and hurl rotten fruit at the people who paid to see "TMNT." Both are just as valid in our book.

But for convenience's sake, let's begin with why you should like "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles."




"Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" Sticks to Tradition- For the Most Part

Ok, yes, the new Turtles are ugly. Horrible circus freak ugly. You're not gonna get any excuses about that. But look past their tortured exterior, and you'll see the winning personalities that first charmed us in that wonderful cartoon.

Leonardo is still a strong and just leader.

Michelangelo is still a pizza-loving party bro.

Donatello is still a thinker and a tinkerer and kind of a nerd.

Raphael is, well, kind of a jerk, but that's more in the style of the original comic, and not the '80s cartoon that most people tend to draw from.

They love and respect their wise rat sensei, and despite this being a dark and gritty Turtles reboot (woe that such a thing even exists), you'll leave the theater having witnessed a "Cowabunga!" or two. Check the video above- all the necessary personality traits are where they need to be.

Still from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

There's a Surprise Character Cameo

"Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" has decades of comics and tv series and movies to draw from. And anything with this many characters and favorites needs a little fan service- a Turtles movie just wouldn't be complete without some.

The new "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" holds up its end up the bargain. Keep those eyes scanning for a certain classic character- he might not be the most obvious to spot, but believe us; he's there. And if "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" can muscle its way past "Guardians of the Galaxy" and its unbelievable chart-exploding success, maybe we'll see a Turtles sequel in a few years.

And maybe that sequel will include said character in a vastly expanded role. Probably played by a more noteworthy actor, though- not the unknown on display here.

Oh, and if you can't spot him, just check the cast listing in the ending credits. He's there. Believe us.

Still from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

"Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" is a Solid Action Flick

Easily, the best parts of the entire "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" reboot are the action sequences, which are entirely on point. The four shelled brothers are bulky and sewer-monster huge, but their jumbo size translates pretty well when they actually go all ninja-y on some bad guys.

There's significant weight behind their movements, and it makes for immensely entertaining fight scenes.

Maybe there's a little more emphasis on the car-crushing, bullet-deflecting, punching-through-solid-steel destruction then there is actual ninjitsu, but at least the action itself has class. Turtles vs Shredder? It looks heavy and it feels heavy- in a good way. It's solid stuff.



"Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" is Goofy- Just the Way it Should Be

You've heard that Michael Bay's name is attached to the new Turtles (just a producer, though- go ahead and breathe), and you've seen the furious hulking horror movie beasts that it's attempted to pass off as Ninja Turtles. But the movie's got a lot more jokes than either of these elements would imply.

Maybe not all of them connect. Maybe quite a few of them don't connect. But this new "Ninja Turtles" is an action comedy- with an emphasis on comedy- and it will make you smile. Even if the rate of smiling is directly dependent on your taste in fart jokes, uncomfortable sex jokes, and repeated use of the word "bruh."

Alright, enough of the good stuff. Click over to the next page for all the reasons you should despise the new Ninja Turtles with a fire that eats away at your very soul.

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Photo Credits: All images courtesy of Industrial Light &, David Lee - © MMXIV - Paramount Pictures Corporation. All Rights Reserved.