A lot of movie fans could make an argument to me that this film deserves a lot lower rating than I am giving it, most of those argument would probably center around the fact that Michael Bay is involved with it. It's not like there is absolutely no merit to that argument because there is, but I also tried to wipe away nostalgia, take a step back, and I tried to examine this for what is was......a movie (like the Transformers) designed to sell merch and appeal to the lowest common denominator. And you know what? That isn't always a bad thing....
Now I'm sure I'm going to take a lot of flack for this but that is all the original cartoons and movies were designed to do as well. If wanted some kind of substantial story with interesting characters then that show and those movies aren't very good either. I really liked them as a kid but my tastes evolved over time and that song and dance just doesn't work the way it use to.
I am in rare company though as I actually enjoyed Director Jonathan Liebesman's last effort "Battle: LA". If there is one thing that irked me the most about this incarnation of TMNT it's that (either on purpose or by accident) this movie has Bay's hand prints all over it and it doesn't feel like Liebesman's work. Maybe that's why he gets so irked when people try talk to him about this movie.
As you might have guessed (as this is a reboot after all) they have significantly changed the turtles origin and they did it for the worse. Most of the other changes I found to be acceptable (yes even robot Shredder).
Despite disliking the look of the turtles I should not that from a clinical standpoint they look very well done and Leo and Raph do not come off nearly as bad as Donny and Mikey do. I should also note, that while proficiently done I didn't care for how they designed Splinter either. None of the character looks were really appealing to the eye.
The banter between the turtles was always the highlights of the previous films and this installment proved to be the same although there were plenty of cringe worthy lines as well. All of the turtles of course get character trait moments. Donny does something nerdy, Mikey tells some kind of joke, Raph does something rebellious, and Leo does something leader-ishly. Of course they never really stray from those lines which (for me anyway) kind of makes them boring.
As one would expect Megan Fox did a fairly acceptable job of playing April O'Neil....wait....what? That's right....FAIRLY ACCEPTABLE!!! She most definitely has some Megan Fox moments for sure, but she was largely just there......which far exceeded the low bar I had put in place for this movie. I should also note that Will Arnett has earned the Cinema Geekly 2014 award for most Ham-Fisted line in a feature film. Congratulations!
The action was largely good and easy to follow, I just never found myself interested in them nor did I really find anything in those scenes that really caught my eye but after having just seen Guardians of the Galaxy I suppose it isn't fair to the turtles.
I can't be too mad at this movie. It mostly did what it set out to do. Appeal to kids, sell merch, sell tickets, provide nostalgia, and sneak in a some pizza product placement. Ultimately the best things I can say about a TMNT movie in 2014 that featured Michael Bay's involvement is this: It was an hour and a half long and there weren't any heavily racist or over sexualized characters in it, so kudos TMNT......kudos...