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Shellshocker: 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' 2014 film first impressions

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Cowabunga dudes and dudettes! 2014 is shaping up to be the dream team of movie awesomeness with a plethora of original titles, sequels and reboots. Among the familiar faces popping up in box offices are our four favorite green half-shelled buddies, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Producer Michael Bay, who is certainly no stranger to big-budget blockbusters and remakes, appears a worthy choice to tackle the ambitious project.

However, we all know how passionate TMNT fans are, and the forthcoming flick feels confused. The turtle designs appear rugged and offer a fresh retrofit. It’s an increasingly aggressive look. Unfortunately, there are quite a few questionable choices, such as Megan Fox being cast as April O’Neil. She doesn’t quite capture the resolute April from the cartoons and past films. Granted, it’s only a preview so let’s avoid hasty judgment. Yet William Fichtner’s role as Shredder really can’t be justified. According to Turtle lore, Shredder, or Oroku Saki, is Japanese. Fichtner is not. While creative license and departures from previous TMNT incarnations are fine, this change seems pretty unwarranted. At least the alien Turtles narrative didn’t infiltrate our beloved reptilian adolescents.

Moreover, with the highly successful and complex Nickelodeon television show, their choice to produce a film which doesn’t relate to the current series is questionable. Bay’s upcoming movie is produced by Nickelodeon, but comes as a separate entity from the ongoing 2012 TV counterpart. And as sweet as the turtle layout looks, the animation somehow seems cornier than suits from the 90’s flicks. That being said, there’s a potentially intriguing plot, and Tony Shaloub of “Monk” acclaim voices Splinter. If this Ninja Turtles film follows the precedent set by preceding TMNT movies, Splinter is going to need a whole lot of antibacterial wipes. Seriously, he lives in a sewer. Johnny Knoxville lends his vocal talents as well, though he may be better suited to portray Michelangelo than Leonardo.

A fantastic Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles motion picture would be much appreciated, and despite initial impressions, let’s not judge this sewer by its manhole cover. Does this leave you humming the oft-recognizable theme song with excitement, or shaking your head and wondering “what the shell?” Leave a comment below to join the discussion.

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