That Nickelodeon Movies logo was never more telling than this latest trailer for Jonathan Liebesman’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Coz in this one the turtles talk. And you know what? They sound like teenagers.
Let that sink in for a minute. Yes, it’s painstakingly loyal to the source material. But when was the last time a quartet of cocksure, irreverent teenagers actually made for entertaining protagonists?
Sure, it’s a thrill to see the TMNT live on the big screen for the first time in 21 years. At least it is, until they start talking…
“Let’s rock and roll.”
“This is our city.”
“That’s what I’m talking about.”
Fittingly, this is what I’m talking about. Oh, and I’m not even gonna touch on the dubstep… Or fainting woman…
Ok, let’s move on. Because for some reason, childhood nostalgia is so strong that most of us might be able to forgive inane plotting (it’s the Raphael show. Again.) and asinine characterisation if the spectacle holds up. And considering the multitude of explosions and the scale of Shredder’s battle armour, it just might.
But look a little closer and you’ll notice the cracks… There’s a distinct lack of that hot ninja action we’ve come to know and love. Part of the problem might be the fact that nine feet tall computer generations can’t put on a convincingly choreographed battle against live human performers. So while there’s an abundance of posturing, and falling, any legitimate ninja-ing is largely absent.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles gets a UK and Ireland release of 17 October. Colour me concerned.