If you’re trying to choose between seeing Guardians of the Galaxy and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, there’s no question about it – see Guardians. TMNT is really boring, not because it lacks in action, but because it is so cliche. I couldn’t care about anything that happened because I had seen this plot before, I had seen villains just like these before, I had seen characters just like these before, and I had seen action scenes just like these before. What makes the film even more boring is the lead character, April O’Neil, who is played by Megan Fox. She’s essentially a version of Lois Lane with the personality of a Triscuit.
I don’t want to give Megan all the blame since I know that the writing and directing contributed a lot to the dullness of the character. The sad part is, I couldn’t really get into the other characters all that much either. The only turtle that I found somewhat relatable was Donatello, who did not have all that many lines. Will Arnett, who I remember being very funny as LEGO Batman, was supposed to be funny in this film, but he really doesn’t get many laughs. It actually took the movie about an hour to get me to laugh once, which is pretty sad, and what’s worse is that I was never concerned for any of the characters either.
There were some things about the movie that were actually pretty smart. For example, and this is where this review gets spoilery, April O’Neal sort of had the turtles as pets, which makes it more believable when she felt the need to really pursue the answers to her questions about the turtles. However, this makes it less believable that she just so happened to be the first person the turtles encounter (aside from the Foot Clan, which is also unrealistic since the Foot Clan is working with the creator of the turtles). This is one of those movies that did have some thought put into it, but the number of coincidences that take place and the amount of nonsense the audience is expected to endure nullifies nearly all of it. On the bright side, the animation looks nice, as are many of the shots in the film, but since the first shot in the movie is unnecessary shaky-cam, I wouldn’t call it a beautiful-looking film at all.
I want to give the movie some slack for being better than some fans expectations, and I know that Doug Walker’s review has many more good examples of things that were done well in the film. I suppose if you were a kid, you would enjoy the movie a lot, and to the movie’s credit, it is mostly appropriate for a kid to watch, especially in comparison to most other superhero movies. So, maybe take a kid to see it… maybe. But if you want a movie that will show your kid what a good action/comedy movie with talking reptiles looks like, show him Muppets Most Wanted instead.