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‘TMNT’ an explosive implosion

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TMNT 2014

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The Foot Clan headed by Shredder is on the loose in NYC and terrorizing its residents. Who will come to the rescue? In Michael Bay’s latest outing, he revives the TMNT series using the latest CGI technology and his screen Queen Megan Fox. Fox, April O’Neil, is a reporter at the channel six news who is stuck covering frothy stories, such as what celebrity is wearing what instead of the hard news. Vernon Fenwick, Matt Arnett is her camera man.

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When April spots the Foot Clan attacking someone and sees the TMNT fighting back she whips out her cell phone to take pictures. A few scenes later, she attempts to convince her boss, Whoopie Goldberg, Bernadette Thompson, but she does not believe her.

Eventually, April meets the turtles and it is revealed that her father was one of the scientists who helped create them. This leads us to Erick Sacks, William Fitchner a wealthy businessman. Fitchner has a press conference in which he says that it is his mission to stop the Foot Clan and bring peace to the city. When April see him she realizes that her father worked with Fitchner and so she thinks he is as an ally. Yet, there is more to Fitchner than she realizes.

This reboot of TMNT is loaded with a lot of humor, special effects and mayhem. How is April connected to the turtles? What are the Foot Clan’s long term plans? How does Fitchner factor into all of this? Unfortunately, the answers to all of these questions are sadly unoriginal. We do get a few answers as to how the turtles got their names, who named them as well as other tidbits that lovers of the TMNT lore will find interesting.

The CGI for the turtles is extremely detailed and authentic. The green of their skin, facial impressions, down to even the scar on Raphael’s mouth, has never looked better. Add to this the clever quips (turtle banter one might say) which is peppered throughout, and which delineates one character from another and you have a turtle potpourri!

Splinter, their sensei and adoptive dad is finely detailed down to his rodent nose, blackened claws and whiskers, in a rather Yoda kind of way. There are later on moments in his fight with Shredder in which one cannot help but harken to Darth Vader and Obi Wan Kenobi.

TMNT is a very kid friendly movie, in that there are no gross images, foul words and the only scene in which sexual attraction is alluded to is a fleeting one. That being said they adhere to the story line that Mikey has a crush on April, as well as Raphael being the most driven, Leonardo is the bookish one (in this he even wears glasses) and Donatello has his bamboo breastplate.

The problem with TMNT is that there are no surprises. Yes, the action sequences are fun, the CGI has never looked better, but the story itself is staid and cliché. This feels more like made for TV special on Nickelodeon than a full length feature film. This of course should not be surprising since it comes from the Nickelodeon studios. However, one would hope that given the price of admission, we could expect more.

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