Anytime I see Michael Bay’s name attached to something, I instantly start lowering any expectations I might have. I have reached a point where disappointment is near impossible.
In a case like the updated Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Bay put it in the hands of another director, Jonathan Liebesman (Darkness Falls, Texas Chainsaw Massacre: the Beginning, Wrath of the Titans). This did not bode entirely well, as I have made multiple attempts to watch Wrath of the Titans and have yet to manage to avoid falling asleep.
The latest version of the turtle does not evoke the silly fun of the cartoons or the gritty weirdness of the original comic books. It tries to update itself as a serious action film, with flat jokes and attempts at cashing in on nostalgia.
Frankly, in a film called Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, we do not need a scene where the Teenaged Mutant Ninja Turtles in question actually describe themselves as such. We get it.
And seriously, having Will Arnett’s character be both April’s (Megan Fox) sole supporter at her job as reporter and be the guy suggesting they hook up? Creepy.
As Bay-related films go, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is not the worst. It is not the best. The characters are dull, and the film entirely seeks to get by on nostalgia combined with Bay effects extravaganza. And this is not enough to make the film actually fun and entertaining. I do not ask that my blockbusters be life altering or challenge how I view the world. But I do ask that they be engaging…and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is not that.