TMNT Review: A Welcome Return for the Ninja Turtles
by Alex Billington
March 23, 2007
After a 14-year hiatus since their third live-action movie, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are back in a CGI film named simply TMNT. There are still the regular characters that fans know and love: all four turtles and their well-defined personalities, friend and erstwhile TV reporter April O'Neil, fighting ally Casey Jones, and the wise master Splinter. TMNT is a welcome return to the beloved world of the Turtles. It's a very well made and visually extraordinary, entirely fun, true-to-its-roots film for which writer, director, and Turtles fan Kevin Munroe deserves a lot of credit.
TMNT jumps right into the action far into the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles storyline and universe. Leonardo, the leader of the four brothers, has been sent to South America by Splinter to become a better leader, but he is struggling to do so. Back at home in Manhattan, Raphael is becoming increasingly separated from his other two brothers Donatello and Michelangelo and even Splinter, performing moonlighting superhero work dressed up in full body armor and calling himself the Nightwatcher. When strange events begin to take place in Manhattan, it's up to their friend April O'Neil, who this time around is an exotic artifacts dealer, to bring the Turtles back together. Introducing many new and revised characters, the TMNT storyline is as daring as it is entertaining.
What I love about TMNT is that it connects with fans of all generations. Although I think the first two live-action movies are still the ones to beat, TMNT still lives up to my own expectations as a lifelong Turtles fan. Munroe pulls off the reintroduction and atmosphere of the Turtles universe almost as exquisitely as it's found in the comics, and he delivers an entertaining story with as many cheer-worthy moments as a Spider-Man flick. It's tough to rekindle the spirit of so many fans, but Munroe does it well, and I know it'll find the heart of any true fan.
Topping TMNT off are the fantastic CGI that shines during the many fight sequences, and the voice actors that can actually be commended for their work. Munroe made sure to cast little-known actors as the Turtles so that their names wouldn't draw attention away from the core characters. What every fan wants are fights that still hit hard even in CGI - and TMNT's certainly do. The final fight didn't play as well as others in the film, but it wasn't a letdown either. The best fight you'll find is between the two brothers themselves - Leonardo and Raphael.
I look forward to seeing more Turtles films from Kevin Munroe. I was vastly impressed at what he pulled off in TMNT and was incredibly entertained, a rarity for PG films aimed at the younger audience. From my own hardcore-fan background, I can still enjoy a good Turtles movie today, even in CGI. Although it doesn't beat the first live-action film, TMNT earns a place alongside it in the annals of the Turtles' long franchise history.
Reader Feedback - 3 Comments
TMNT is an amazing movie from start to finish; screw all the critics who think they know films this movie is above and beyond the best Ninja Turtles flick period. I've been a Turtle fan every since the 1984 comic book, This movie to me even surpass the other ones before it, in many ways this is the way the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles should have been depicted in the first place. I liked the story in this one wasn't confusing like reviews been saying. The message was "Family is a bond that cannot be broken" The Brothers went there separated ways after the defeat of their arch-enemy The Shredder. don't wanna reveal any spoilers to those who haven't seen it, The best fight is Leo and Raph hands down and when The Turtles fight the Foot Clan outside of Winters Building. This is the best CGI film I've ever seen. my only problem was that the movie could've been longer but that's the reason for the sequel. TMNT is worth every penny and this is a must watch for TMNT fans new and old as well as people who actually watch movies this movie is kick @ss. The Turtles are Back!!!!
Ruroni Kenshin on Apr 23, 2007
TMNT was a wonderful computer-animated film that brings back childhood memories. Although I did not watch TMNT from back in the day, I loved the movie. Of course, its major target is for younger audiences, but nevertheless, it makes a great family movie. Sure, loved ones fight with each other very often, but that is no reason to hate each other. We learn that we should always stick together, especially if you know that dangerous ancient stone warriors are on the loose 😉 Get your priorities straight! Family is high on your list! What can beat a brotherhood of teenage mutant ninja turtles?
pogface on May 6, 2007
I'm a Turtle fan and I thought this movie was pretty good. TMNT III (Live Action Movie) was really bad, and I always just wanted more of that cartoon with a darker tone. The first TMNT movie was pretty good too. Now I hope that we settle this whole Leo-leader-Raf-hothead crap for good, Don was a little on the nerdy side, Mike was a bit on the silly side and we could get rid of April (out of 99.9% of the screen time) for the next movie. Lets have some Krang smashing Shredder thrashing BeBop & Rocksteady, Rat King and old-school Casey rip A$$ once again. Casey needs to look more like Jason/Fri 13th, and not skinny lamer. But seriously, I watched this movie and didnt have any lame-a$$ cringy embarassing scenes - this was decent and fun and I liked it. More of this would be fine by me. I had some complaints but this is fine, we should try and get more of this content.
Mick Russom on Jul 11, 2007
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