Friday, August 8, 2014

MOVIE REVIEW: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014) in 3D

Slow beginning, but a great action packed ending...

When I found out there was going to be a new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie, I was transported back to my son's TMNT themed 8th birthday party in 2008 where everyone (adults and kids) wore turtle masks and yelled "Cowa Bunga Dude" more times than I care to admit. My son is a true TMNT fan who has watched all the cartoons, played all the TMNT video games, and loves Michelangelo like he's a real person.

Now I am not that big of a TMNT fan, so I went to the media advance screening at the AMC Livonia on Wednesday hoping I would like the movie, but not expecting to. And even my son was wondering how good this version would be since the movie's physical depiction of the turtles is a little on the strange side (you know what I a referring to if you have seen any of the movie trailers).   But after a slow start (I admit to checking my watch once), the 3D action in this movie was so great that everyone was flinching as the characters jumped off the screen and right into our laps.  It was one of the best 3D movies that I have seen.

This version of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles story revolves around New York City fighting a highly organized street gang with martial arts ties who is terrorizing the city to cover up the theft of some very highly toxic chemicals.  The turtles have their crime fighting base in the city sewers and are trying to keep out of the way of the humans.

But one day, a reporter named April O'Neil (played by Megan Fox) tumbles across the turtles as she is checking out a story and realizes that she has a connection to the turtles that goes back to her childhood and the death of her father.  As the story continues, we find out what really happened to April's father and how the four Turtles and Raphael the Rat (voiced by Alan Ritchson) ended up in the sewers and why they love pizza so much.

The physical depiction of the turtles in this movie takes some getting use to.  If you have seen any of the earlier movies then you know these turtles look kind of weird in comparison - I assume the movie producers are using more sophisticated graphics to give the turtles more lifelike features and physiques that look like warriors. But as the action picks up and their history is revealed, I totally forgot how different they looked.

The 3D is the best part of the entire movie and it begins from the first frame and continues to the very end.  Very few movies actually start out with 3D so quickly and I think the entire audience was pleasantly surprised with some of the beginning 3D effects for scenes that really had very little action. As the action picks up, the 3D just gets better and better to the point where everything appears to be flying off the screen. Seeing this movie in 3D is definitely worth the extra cost.

My son loved it!
Since I am sure the movie will attract tons of kids, I have to point out this version contains lots of martial arts fighting and violence (which is the whole point of TMNT movie) that did get a little intense at times. My 14 year old son loved every minute of the PG-13 excitement and gave this movie two thumbs up.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles opens in theaters on today, Friday, August 8, 2014 with a runtime of 101 minutes.


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