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Movie Review : Tmnt
By Mazzy Love
As a child of the 1980's and '90s, I grew up on the Ninja Turtles. Watched the show religously, read as many of the comics as I could find, and saw all three movies at least twice in theaters. Yes, even the third one. Though time passed and I moved on to other interests, I always held on to that part of me that thought the Turtles were still cool. And now, some 14 years after their last big screen exploits, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are primed to make a comeback.
In the new movie, TMNT, it's been a year since the defeat of Shredder (a nod to the first movie), and since that time, the Turtles have grown apart. Leonardo ( voice of James Arnold Taylor, Drawn Together) is in Mexico learning how to be a better leader and becoming a local urban legend. Michelangelo (voice of Mikey Kelley and Donatello ( voice of Mitchell Whitfield) work various odd jobs to make ends meet, and Raphael (voice of Nolan North, Ultimate Avengers:The Movie) has become a new armored vigilante, The Nightwatcher to take down New York's criminal element on his own. They're forced to return as a team when monsters linked to billionaire Max Winters (voice of Patrick Stewart) start attacking the city.
I just have to say the animation here at times is quite brilliant. The cartoony look of the people took some getting used to for myself, but the backgrounds feel real, and the animation on the Turtles themselves is great as well, bridging the live action and animated incarnations of the four. Check out the rooftop battle between Leonardo and Raphael to see just how amazing the animation is for this one. And I for one am glad they chose to go this route, as it allows the characters to do so much more than they would in the past. Whereas in the original movie they could fight maybe at the most 50 Foot Clan ninjas, here the battles can be much more epic, namely in the climactic battle of the movie. And speaking of the battle, it was good to see, thanks to animation Splinter get involved in the battle as well, and not just standing in one spot and flipping somebody off the roof of a building, but they allow Splinter to kick some ass here (albeit only briefly, but it's a lot more than they could do with him in the original movies), and be more like the action figure version that I played with as a child.
The script also by Kevin Munroe is also spot on Ninja Turtles, and the perfect way to bring them back into the spotlight, and to attract both fans old and new. In the year's time (in story) the characters have grown up somewhat, as the audience has in the past 14 years in real time. And the movie acknowledges the change subtly, through characters actions and reactions to things,which was a brilliant movie by Munroe's part.
To be honest I only have two complaints about this movie, the one is the lack of time spent on Donatello and Michelangelo, they're barely in the movie. I know the movies generally focus on Leonardo and Raphael's sibling rivalry, but it would have been nice to see my favorite childhood Turtle get more screen time, which was Michelangelo, by the way.
And the other fault is the music, while the score by Klaus Badelt (Pirates Of The Carribbean:Curse Of The Black Pearl) is competent enough
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