Sound Off: Jonathan Liebesman's 'Ninja Turtles' - What Did You Think?
by Alex Billington
August 8, 2014
Now that you've seen it, what did you think? Cowabunga! They're back on the big screen! Originally created in 1987 by Kevin Eastman & Peter Laird, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were first turned into a movie trilogy in 1990, as well as multiple animated TV shows, toy lines and much more, including another animated movie in 2007. Now Platinum Dunes takes a shot at bringing back the Ninja Turtles in live-action form with director Jonathan Liebesman at the helm, Megan Fox as April O'Neil, and an eclectic cast including four actors in suits playing the Turtles. But is it any good? At least the action? Or is it another disaster? Once you've seen it, post a comment with thoughts on Jonathan Liebesman's new TMNT.
Spoiler Warning: We strongly urge everyone to actually see the film before reading ahead, as there may be spoilers below. We also encourage all commenters to keep major spoilers from the film to a minimum, if possible. However, this is an open discussion from this point on! Beware of spoilers, don't ruin this movie!
Editor's Note: I haven't seen the film yet as I wasn't able to catch a screening before leaving on a trip. Until I get the chance to see it myself, we'll fuel the fire with this excerpt from Ethan's review: "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles doesn't make any sense, and is nothing more than a half-shell attempt to cash in on the reputation of the iconic crimefighters. Slick action, striking special effects and lead characters who stay true to the source material aren't enough to save this film from ultimately being an unfortunate waste of time and resources." That sounds much worse than I was expecting, but then again this seems like a tough one to get right even in this modern era of CGI and performance capture. Do you agree with Ethan or not?
What did you think of Liebesman's Ninja Turtles? Turtles are back! Or is it bargain bin trash?
We will remove any comments that indicate you have not seen the movie, as this area is meant to discuss the film only once you have seen it and can talk about your thoughts. Please keep the comments civilized!
Reader Feedback - 27 Comments
I enjoyed it a lot. Obviously there were some changes to the story that people are turned off by, but honestly I am just thrilled something from my childhood is still relevant. And their personalities and the way they interact with each other haven't changed and neither has their main purpose. I hope given the results of this first movie they can get writers who can fix the script problems they had with this one. I manage a movie theater and have seen it 3 times already and its just opening day. I'll say its better after the first time because the surprises and adjustments are gone and you can appreciate all the good things about it.
Rob on Aug 8, 2014
I wanted to love it. The turtles characters were fantastic. Most of the action in it didn't feel like a ninja movie but more like a Jason Statham Action or Daniel Craig James Bond movie. The story was cliche and full of plot holes. And in the words of shredder the foot clan was "WEAK". Trying to get Megan Fox to act like she has any real emotional connection to anything = disaster. She just doesn't have very much emotional maturity, at least not on the big screen. Splinter was fantastic. I loved the scene with the young turtles. The elevator scene was a win.
VoiceOfReason on Aug 8, 2014
When April eventually took a back seat I thought fox was fine. She did all she had to just like Paige turco did in #2 and #3. I honestly think this franchise is one that will get better with sequels rather than worse like most
Rob on Aug 8, 2014
I agree Splinter was fantastic.
Rage72 on Aug 8, 2014
left the theater after 30 mins and got my money back..
chaz on Aug 8, 2014
lol - ouch. I think I've done that once.
avconsumer2 on Aug 9, 2014
You can do that?
TheOct8pus on Aug 11, 2014
As long as it's not super close to the ending they won't give you trouble but if you act really offended then you can do it close to the ending. I sometimes do this for movies that Ive realized I dont want to support
rolyjimenez on Aug 11, 2014
Ha! I'll try it next time I'm stuck in a garbage movie.
TheOct8pus on Aug 11, 2014
Teenage Mutant MMA Turtles.
ErrorSapiens on Aug 8, 2014
I don't get all of the hate for this movie. I thoroughly enjoyed it and thought it was very exciting! I was very impressed with the effects and fight scenes. I really think the snow scene will go down at being a classic scene for adventure movies down the road. I urge everyone to go see it.
Rage72 on Aug 8, 2014
There is nothing "classic" about this movie. Except for the characters who happen to be in it.
TheOct8pus on Aug 11, 2014
Watched it, loved it.. Haters will be haters.. Fans will always be fans..
Vince on Aug 8, 2014
Saw it today and I don't get the hate for it either. I believe that at least part of the negativity is from people prejudging this based solely on Michael Bay's name attachment. Maybe that is fully earned, but as someone who never saw the original movie or TV series and going in with an open mind, I actually had a fun time with this movie. Sure there was a fair amount of silliness and some story contrivances, but we need to remember that this is primarily a franchise targeted to kids. That said, if you let it, it can work on a similar level of silly, along-for-the-ride entertainment as GOTG. The final fight scene featured some damned impressive virtual camera POV shots and the representation of Shredder was very effective. Even Megan Fox did a solid job of carrying most of the human side of the story. I'd say stop pre-judging and give it a shot!
Movie Bear on Aug 8, 2014
Thank you for your statement, people seriously need to let go of the michael bay hate before even seeing a film with his name attached. I, like you had a lot of fun watching the film. That elevator scene was one of my favorites!
cg on Aug 9, 2014
Micheal Bay has officially ruined my childhood.
tyban81 on Aug 8, 2014
I haven't seen the film yet, and I'm not defending it by any means, but you got to remember, yeah Bay (a producer) may have ruined your childhood...at least your expectations of what the movie should've been with all the different iterations of past source material....but maybe he enhanced the childhood of the youngsters that are seeing it now. The door swings both ways with this movie and that TMNT are still a popular series today and not something that was brought back to life like Transformers
JBrotsis on Aug 9, 2014
The only age group I would recommend for that film would be of the ages 4-9. They will be highly entertained and won't care about the shitty acting.
tyban81 on Aug 9, 2014
I just saw the movie tonight. And I can totally agree on the shitty acting...megan fox, will arnett...everyone. After seeing it, I can only say I enjoyed the action, the CGI turtles/splinter, the turtles' faithful characteristics, and the fact it was brought back to the big screen since it's 90's predecessor. Everything else was garabage (Shredder didn't need to be that intimidating...he was kicking more ass without the use of his blades...so why need them?). Still though, I know the youngin's will get a kick out of the movie.
JBrotsis on Aug 10, 2014
Great movie with dynamic action sequences and we have a big name behind that film: Michael Bay
Бабак on Aug 9, 2014
Takes a deep breath: I told myself i needed to walk into this movie as someone who has never seen tmnt EVER. Naturally i was born in 85 so... turtles was my childhood. I only went to this movie on opening night because i gone to every TMNT movie opening night growing up so by Turtle Veteran law i had to go to this one opening night. The good: Visuals were fun, i thought Bay was going to make them like 13ft tall but the size ratio was good. New designs for the turtles grew on me and the voicework was awesome. the fight sequences were fun and with honestly the personalities are what carried the movie. So the turtles were what kept me in my seat . The Bad:The whole thug gangster thing only really worked for Raph but ..not for the rest of the gang Leo had less and so did Donny ...but mikey had this i really hate to say it but Justine bieber kick to him .... and well there was a lot that lacked substance Mikey is fun loving but he was only there to make you laugh no substance at all. April did not need to be a center point... i get tagging her in the plot but .... we wasted more time with her than i would of liked to. there was another guy in the movie he took a bullet i think. The ugly: Plot holes like a mother...... the movie was rushed , splinter was garbage, shredders new armor was garbage, and.. PLOT HOLES........ the origins was toyed with in the wrong way, the new IDW comics did it better and more creative than this movie did. Turtles 3 did a better job with storyline and that was the least favorite of the 3 movies. The 3d one had more substance than this movie as well. There is no true line between shredder and splinter and the one bit of history in the story was so small it made no ties at all. Lastly the movie revolved around a dude that had a lot of money and then wanted a stupid amount of money and this guy was shredder student but WHY WAS SHREDDER HIS PUPPET..?? shredder is the puppet master , you could of pulled shredder out of this movie and it would not of made very much of a difference in the film. This movie will be good for kids 5-12 but someone looking at it from the standpoint of growing up with these four pizza loving cowabunga kings it did not do it for me. i see what you tired to do, you did not fail but you did not succeed either. -advice for the next one... you dont have to make every scene a crazy action sequence. Let us actually get involved with the character. -the foot are ninjas too .. they don't need to look like they belong in the 300 movie, the foot are NINJAS.... NINJAS DO NOT NEED GUNS.... -shredding is a bad ass on his own he does not need the powers of megatron - the turtles don't have to be rapping beatboxing hood gangsters... - i get we all liked kung fu hustle but... who the frack learns to perfect the art of ninjitsu out of a book........ PALM TO FACE.... OK im done this can go on for days
Splinter on Aug 9, 2014
TMNT was born in 1984, as a one shot comic that was a parody and homage to Marvel Comics properties the X-Men, Daredevil and Frank Miller's Ronin. After a sold out print run the two creators turned that one shot comic into a series which became a cult sensation. (This was Walking Dead of the 1980's) This had a licensing group persue the two comic geeks to turn TMNT into a franchise. This in turn sold a pilot miniseries in 1987 to advertise the toyline that would hit shelves that follwing summer. After that massive success of the toyline and cartoon (no. 1 in the ratings for a (then) unheard of 5 straight years) Hollywood came knocking. Finally, a movie series was produced with the first and best of the 3 debuting in March of 1990, which also broke box office records besting "John Carpenter's Halloween" as the most successful independent film of all time. That record stood until 1999 when the Blair Witch Project premiered.
Darren Hood on Aug 9, 2014
I thought the movie was awful. It pretty much followed the same story as Amazing Spiderman 2. Why did everything have to be connected? It was so cheesy. As previously mentioned, Splinter learned Ninjitsu from a book?! Get the fuck out of here with that. It was so insulting to the fans and completely removed the hatred that Splinter had for Shredder. They connected everyone but the one character we needed to be connected to the turtles... Shredder. The only turtle that looked right was Raphael, the other turtles looked more like Franklin the Turtle (http://fc06.deviantart.net/fs70/f/2014/073/f/3/franklin_the_turtle_by_mcsaurus-d7a5qu9.jpg) than they did the original turtles. Shredder was just a villain with no real purpose only used to say "Hey, at least we put Shredder in the movie." I enjoyed the turtles personalities and only noticed it was Johnny Knoxville as Leonardo once. Megan Fox wasnt bad but she wasnt April O'Neal. Also, Michael Bay couldnt get the turtles to be aliens without the fans revolting so he did the next best thing and made the TGRI canisters have two egg looking things that wre "from outer space". Id rather them not make a sequel just because the storyline will continue from this shitty universe theyve created. Best scene in the film was that emotional scene w Raph at the end. Also, this is the first TMNT movie where Raphaels anger doesnt get him in trouble.... Kind of cool BUT there were no morals for children to learn, just cool action which is something that most movies lack nowadays. Raphs anger getting him in trouble in past films showed children that you have to think with your head and not let your anger get the best of you.
rolyjimenez on Aug 9, 2014
Aside from the shitty acting Megan Fox and Will Arnett portrayed, I thought it wasnt as bad as i was expecting it to be. I cant begin to say how relieved i was that The Shredder was NOT William Fichtner. Of course the movie had a some flaws but i have to admit that i was expecting a lot worse. $7 for the movie was pretty justifiable, any more than that wouldnt be.
Rock n Rollllll on Aug 10, 2014
Thanks for deleting my review that I wasted my time writing. You can get back to riding Marvels/DC dick now.
rolyjimenez on Aug 10, 2014
Can you repost it?
TheOct8pus on Aug 11, 2014
Not verbatim but heres one I posted on /Film who has no problem leaving comments regardless of whats said in them "The movie was Amazing Spiderman w 4 heroes instead of one. April O'Neal is the most important part of the TMNT story now instead of the Turtles. Splinter learned Ninjitsu from a book completely removing the hatred between Shredder and Splinter. Splinter also was completely american rather than having come from a Japanese background which didnt make any sense considering the turtles still went around leaving Japanese symbols. Shredder was reduced to the muscle of the operation rather than the one calling the shots. He was also way too overpowered and had zero character depth. They still tried to sneak the whole aliens thing they were first trying to do before by saying the TGRI canister that made the turtles had stuff that they found in outer space. Not to mention the shitty Pizza Hut product placement. Remember when TMNT had a bunch of action but still tried subtly teaching you morals? Where was that in this movie? The only thing they care about is drilling our children with mindless action pieces giving them NOTHING to go home and think about... Nothing to grow with. The only half decent scene in this movie was Raphs spiel when they thought they were going to die. Im all for trying new things but they completely ignored what made the turtles so special just to make another mindless action cash cow. Now theyre going to make a sequel? Spare me. I wouldve been fine never having seen this film."
rolyjimenez on Aug 11, 2014
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