In what has become the summer of childhood movies come back from the grave, we add one more to the growing list: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Now whereas I’m incredibly excited to see the new Godzilla and Transformers movies – in that order – I’m not exactly sure what to think of this TMNT reboot yet. So I’ll break down the trailer; and let you the fans judge for yourself.
With Michael Bay’s company handling this 1980/90s reboot, you can be sure his unique approach to film making – blow stuff up with a heavy bass soundtrack– will be front and center. At various points in this trailer, I almost feel as though Decepticons are going to pop up out of nowhere and start blowing things up. The explosions, vehicle close-ups and mono-toned bass beat certainly don’t help the sense of déjà vu either – and neither will the leading lady.
Why Hello Miss April:
In case this movie didn’t feel enough like a Transformers film, Megan Fox makes her return to Michael Bay movies. Now say what you will about her, but personally I enjoyed her a lot more than Shia Labeouf’s character in the Transformers series – and her dodging the bullet that was Transformers 3 was a Godsend.
Some have already said they don’t think her portrayal isn’t true to the original April O’neil, but hey, storylines and characteristics of secondary characters are allowed to change. That is why April has had various incarnations over the years. I say give her a shot. Besides, once you hear about Shredder, you’ll be happy with the choice of April.
One thing that has remained consistent through all of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle comics, cartoons, and movies was the character of Shredder. His iconic samurai armor has remained largely unchanged, as too has his true identity. Over the years the story might have been altered slightly, but his true identity was always that of a Japanese man.
In Bay’s new film, Shredder is played by William Fichtner – who is not even remotely Japanese. Fans will probably find this the most insulting because this detail about Shredder has remained a constant throughout the various series. At the end of the day, they are allowed to cast whom they like. Just be thankful that the original plan for the turtles themselves didn’t go through.
Mutant or Alien:
With any film adaptation, certain things will change; but initially there was talk of changing what the teenage mutant ninja turtles were. They originally weren’t supposed to be mutant. Actually, there probably wouldn’t have even been turtles. At the beginning there were plans to make them aliens – rather than mutated turtles who gained the ability to walk, talk, learn and grow to be about 7 feet tall.
This made a lot of fans upset, but it seems as though the origins was changed back to the original idea of ‘mutated’ turtles. At least that’s what it looks like from the trailer as we hear one character telling April O’neil that ‘heroes are made, not born’. The green slime and technological equipment also seems to point to this idea as well. There’s also talk that April O’neil’s father helped create them – so there’s that little tidbit of info as well.
Serious vs Comedy:
One of the staples of the TMNT series is the different between the turtles themselves. Leonardo (blue mask) is the brave, calculating, and experienced leader of the group. Contrary to Leo, Michelangelo (orange mask) is the free-spirited joker. Rounding our the team is Donatello (purple mask) the scientist, and Raphael (red mask) the most aggressive of the group. Together they’ve always had an ebb and flow, but it fit somehow.
Personally, seeing the redesign of Leonardo gave me chills at how awesome he looked. Michelangelo on the other hand made me worry a little bit. When he took off his mask, he looked more like Shrek than a turtle. Everything about this trailer screamed serious action – explosions, etc – and the humor that we see in this trailer seems . . . awkward. Michael Bay can do a lot of things, but comedy isn’t one of them. Remember every supposedly “funny” moment in transformers? You could tell they were meant to be funny, but instead came off as awkward, forced, or worse downright insulting due to stereotyping.
Overall, I’m interested in seeing what this movie is like, but it is nowhere on my MUST SEE list for this summer. So for all of you turtle fans out there, what do you think of this trailer? Do you think it’ll be worth the wait or should it have remained untouched? Maybe we won’t know for sure until we actually see the movie in full.