Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (PG)

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Kevin Munroe

The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner21/03/2007

Two out of Five stars
Running time: 87 mins

The first CGI outing for the Ninja Turtles gets the look right and has some strong character work but the fight scenes are disappointing and there's not nearly enough humour in the plot-heavy script.

What's it all about?
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are back, only this time they're in CGI animated form rather than the silly-looking guys-in-turtle-suits from the first movies. Written and directed by Kevin Munroe, the film pits the super-ninja fighting team – team leader Leonardo (James Arnold Taylor), genius Donatello (Mitchell Winfield), goofy Michelangelo (Mikey Kelley) and resentful loner Raphael (Nolan North) – against mysterious industrialist Maximillian J Winters (Patrick Stewart), who is raising up an army of ancient monsters for his own nefarious purposes.

The Turtles are aided by their friends April O'Neill (Sarah Michelle Gellar) and Casey Jones (Chris Evans), as well as their rat sensei Splinter (Mako), but they have several problems to overcome. Firstly, the rivalry between Leonardo and Raphael is threatening to split the Turtles apart and secondly, their sworn enemies - the mysterious Foot ninjas - have joined forces with Winters.

The Good
The animation is extremely well done, capturing the dark tone of the original comic books and getting the look of the characters exactly right. The voice cast are equally good, particularly the Turtle actors, who manage to create sufficiently distinctive personalities for the identical-looking heroes.

The Bad
The biggest problem is that the fight scenes are disappointing, hampered by the fact that cool-looking ninja weaponry is not conducive to a kiddie-friendly PG rating. Similarly, the plot is needlessly complicated and the action drags considerably in the middle, which is surprising given the relatively short running time.

In addition, there's a distinct lack of humour in the plot-heavy script and the film suffers from a bad case of sentimental message overload.

Worth seeing?
This is never less than watchable but it could have been a lot better. Let's hope the inevitable sequel manages to improve things.

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Content updated: 19/08/2018 02:42

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