TMNT (review)

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It sounds ridiculous to criticize a movie about “four turtles, four brothers, genetically reborn in the sewers of New York” for being preposterous, but there we are. Sure, a story about an immortal warrior king who’s been walking the earth for 3,000 years and now summons 13 ancient monsters to New York City for what appears to be no good reason could work, but this animated reincarnation of the 1980s kiddie hit takes it all so darn seriously that you can’t even lose yourself in its goofiness. Apart from some gloriously stunning CGI — a rainstorm sequence is a step ahead for the touchable reality of the technology — and one zingy moment of cartoon mayhem, we’re subjected mostly to sibling angst between the four turtle boys; trite, tired jokes (do banks still give away toasters?); and nods to movies like Ghostbusters and Spider-Man that make you wish you were watching one of those NYC action fantasies instead. If you wondered what new could be possibly be done with a cartoon fad that had run its course twenty years ago, know we know: Nothing much.

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Tom Knight
Mon, Apr 28, 2008 5:03pm

I saw it last night and thought it was bloody brilliant. Reading around, it seems not many would agree with me!

Your review. The charge that the film took itself too seriously rings hollow – it wasn’t made to appeal to your sophisticated tastes and highly developed sense of irony. I was one of the first generation of turtles fans. One of the great things about the stories were that they were of violence, rebellion and life out-of-bounds – things adults would not approve of or, really, understand.

I would have been annoyed with such swaggering knowledge then, as I am now. Children should be allowed to take the worlds created in their imaginations seriously. Even – especially – if those worlds are preposterous.

Also, the Spiderman films are Dubya horseshit, aren’t they?

And why should I care about how much wine you drink?