Friday, March 30, 2007

Movie Review: TMNT

TMNT: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
This one is for the fans and it goes way back to about two decades ago.
From cartoon (television) to plastic suits (movie version) and now thanks to CGI the turtles are back!
Better than ever.

What are they up to this time?

Ever since Archenemy The Shredder has long been defeated, team leader Leonardo (James Arnold Taylor) has been sent away by Zen Master Splinter (Mako) for training, Donatello (Mitchell Whitfield), Michelangelo (Mikey Kelley) and Raphael (Nolan North) have grown distant from each other and days of crime fighting are over.

Crime doesn’t stop though, and a new danger arise, that of evil dated some 3000 years ago.
Strange events are happening in New York City.
Tech-industrialist Max Winters (Patrick Stewart) is gathering an army of ancient monsters.
The mysterious Foot Clan led by Karai (Ziyi Zhang), in the absence of Shredder are now putting their ninja skills to aid Mr. Winters.
The world is under threat once again and our green heroes are needed.

But not before they are a team again.

Brotherhood has come into question.
The turtles are not what they used to be.
Their individual personality has got the better of them.
Michelangelo is carefree and fun loving, Donatello is smart and a tech geek, Raphael is rash and fearless, and Leonardo is serious and headstrong.
Four characters of different qualities can clash with one another.

In this movie that clash is apparent between Raphael and Leonardo.
It is not hard to realize that Raphael and Leonardo do exist in each of us.
One is eager to make things happen and the other to assess the situation and make the correct decision.
It is a constant struggle between the two.
Everyday we fight within ourselves.
Who do we allow to win or are we able to find that balance?

To win we often require the help of friends.
The turtles found their friendship in the form of long time allies April O’Neil (Sarah Michelle Gellar) and Casey Jones (Chris Evans).
Between the two of them we see also a sparkle of love. Sweet.

An attraction to the lure of the dark side can also be found through Karai (Ziyi Zhang).
An added dimension to the film it is.
The big boys would absolutely love the mysterious sexy appeal of her independence and confidence.

CGI has really brought TMNT to life.
All restrictions of previous movies are cancelled.
This is an evolution. And it is state of the art.
Much credit certainly has to go to director Kevin Munroe, who wrote and directed this film.
(A big thank you for reviving the turtles)

Through CGI, Munroe was able to bring us closer to the characters.
The use of angles and framing were terrific.
Every scene felt like we were there with the characters, feeling their every mood.
These are details made for a very good reason.
I would think that the director wants to close that proximity between the screen and the audience.

What is enjoyable as well is the styling of the virtual environment.
From a visual point of view, it is all so cool.
In Michelangelo’s vocabulary it means “Dudes… That rock!”

This movie will sure gain some cult following even though the story is not fantastic.
It’s not bad though.
Every good adventure has to start somewhere and it’ll definitely be interesting to see more “Cowa-Bunga!” actions from the turtles.
After all we now have them reunited so it would be a pity to separate them again.
I’m sure the narrator (Laurence Fishburne) would like to tell us another story.

What more can I say?
I’m a turtle fan with a little bit of blue, red, purple and orange in me.
Which one are you?

Movie Link:

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