Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014): Michael Bay is Rebooting your Childhood

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You know, I’m glad Hollywood is finally over the whole rebooting fad. It was getting tired, seeing all those classic characters getting remolded into something “contemporary” and “gritty”. We’re not going to have to tolerate those lazy rehashes anymore!

Just kidding, we’re totally going to get bombarded with even more shitty reimaginings, because God hates you. First there’s that RoboCop remake that looks spectacularly uninspired and generic, and then there’s…this. The latest cynical cash in of 80s nostalgia, brought to you by the same love and care with which the Transformers movies were made.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

The movie follows the adventures of four teenage mutant ninja turtles, who live in the sewers of New York and love pizza!

Oh, no wait, it’s not that simple. Apparently, Michael Bay, who’s producing the movie with his company Platinum Dunes, has decided to put his own creative genius into the movie. Reportedly, the turtles in the film will be aliens, or the ooze they get their powers from will be alien, or the ooze is actually melted version of the cube, which was destroyed by Megatron in the final Botatronic Wars.

The film will be directed by Jonathan Liebesman, who is known for timeless classics such as Wrath of the Titans, and Battle Los Angeles. He got the job over Brett Ratner (Sex-Men: The Ass Stand). An early draft of the script was written by Art Marcum, and Matt Holloway, and then later rewritten by Josh Appelbaum, and Andrew Nemec.

After Bay announced that the turtles will be aliens, there was severe backlash from fans online. Bay responded to the criticism with:

Fans need to take a breath, and chill. They have not read the script. Our team is working closely with one of the original creators of Ninja Turtles to help expand and give a more complex back story. Relax, we are including everything that made you become fans in the first place. We are just building a richer world.

Who’s in it?

Megan Fox as April O’Neil. No, that’s not a joke. Megan Fox is playing April O’Neil. She apparently resolved her issues with Bay, and is back in good terms with him. Hmm, I wonder how she managed to not just get Bay’s forgiveness, but also grab a lead role in one of his movies.

Other actresses who tested for the role are Jane Levy, Anna Kendrick, and Elizabeth Olsen. I don’t see how any of them are worse than Fox.

Pete Ploszek as Leonardo.

Noel Fisher as Michelangelo.

Jeremy Howard as Donatello.

Alan Ritchson as Raphael.

Danny Woodburn as Splinter. If you watched Seinfeld, you might remember him as Mickey Abbott.

William Fichtner as Shredder. Fichtner is that guy in the first scene of The Dark Knight who Joker delivers the “What doesn’t kill you, makes you stranger” line to. Oh, and Shredder’s “real” name in the film will be Eric Sachs.

TMNT 2014 Release Date

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will hop into your theaters on August 8, 2014.



The Good Stuff

The turtles are quintessentially fun characters, and if done right, they can be exciting crowd-pleasing blockbusters. I’m not optimistic about the film, but it has received endorsement from other quarters. Ninja Turtles co-creator Kevin Eastman has said that the film is “easily the best Turtle movie yet”.

The Bad Stuff

Nothing I have seen gives me hope for this film. An early version of the script, the one by Appelbaum and Nemec, was leaked online. The turtles belonged to a race of inter-dimensional warriors, while Shredder was “Colonel Schrader”, an alien under the guise of a government agent, who led “The Foot”, an elite black ops unit. The story also focused on the relationship troubles of Casey Jones and April.

Bay clarified that the script was written before his arrival, but all the military bullshit sounds like his doing, honestly.

Our Clever Prediction

I hope it doesn’t do well at the box office, but I’m not sure. I’m betting it’ll have a shitload of ‘splosions, and the bizarre military fetish that made the Transformers movies successful. There certainly will be an aggressive marketing campaign, so a big opening weekend looks very possible at this point. Its budget is at $125 million, which is a lot, but still almost half of what many of the big blockbusters are costing these days, so it’ll have a bigger chance to profit worldwide.