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Young, dumb and full of mutagens

'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' is yawn-worthy

August 5, 2014, 12:00 am

While I always liked the idea of there being teenage mutant ninjas turtles, every big-screen thing I’ve seen featuring them has left me cold (though, for nostalgia’s sake, I can’t help but smile when I hear Vanilla Ice’s dumb song “Ninja Rap”). Maybe it was the corny special effects back in the day. Maybe I was too old for them.

Therefore I have no stake in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot/remake other than its entertainment quotient, which rates somewhere on the “meh” part of the scale. Maybe it’s Megan Fox’s bland performance as reporter April O’Neil. Maybe it’s the movie’s bizarre choice to withhold meaningful exposition regarding the Shredder (Tohoru Masamune)/Eric Sachs (William Fichtner) connection while drowning the audience in exposition regarding the turtles’ origin, which many, many older fans will know backward and forward.

Maybe there are too many convenient plot contrivances—for example, no TV newsroom would operate the way O’Neil’s does, not even in the farthest reaches of make believe. There’s also curiously unmoving action, as when three of the four turtles are captured and April and her pal Vern (an underused Will Arnett) have to rescue them without apparent difficulty. The turtle voice actors are fun enough, but they’re paper-thin. Such is life in the sewer, I guess.
 

 

TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES

Directed by Jonathan Liebesman

With Fox, Fichtner and Johnny Knoxville

Regal Stadium 14
PG-13

101 min.

 

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