Netflix movie reviews are occasional posts that will review movies currently out on Netflix that I watch. Hopefully it can help you save countless hours of scrolling looking for things to watch.
Runtime: 101 minutes
Notable Cast: Megan Fox, Will Arnett, William Fichtner
Director: Jonathan Liebesman
IMDB Score: 5.9
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 21%
I never saw Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles during its run in the movie theater because I heard mostly negative reactions to it. But when I saw it pop up in the “recently added” section of Netflix, I thought that it couldn’t be all that bad, especially for free on a lazy Sunday afternoon. I, however, was very wrong.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is about, and you’ll have to bear with me because it’s extremely convoluted, a young reporter named April O’Neil (Fox) who, while trying to come up with a good story, comes in contact with 4 six foot tall, talking turtles who know karate. Together, they must stop the evil Foot Clan, who seek to release a toxin into New York City and sell the antidote that only they possess. Lost yet? I was too.
Look, the movie doesn’t do a whole lot right. However, I didn’t completely hate it at the beginning. I actually enjoyed the way the Turtles were introduced. For the first 20 minutes or so, they are clouded in secrecy and fight in the shadows. It is very reminiscent of the way Batman is first introduced in the first chapter of Christopher Nolan’s trilogy, Batman Begins. I liked the direction the movie was taking at that point. But, it veers way off that road and falls apart.
Let’s start with this plot I mentioned earlier that doesn’t make the slightest bit of sense. The movie throws way too much at you without really explaining any of it. I still have no idea who the Foot Clan really was or how they came to power, although that may be because I’ve never been a fan of the Ninja Turtles series as a whole, in terms of the previous movies, video games, and cartoons. There are also a ton of extra, unnecessary elements put into the plot. There’s one element in particular involving the relationship between Megan Fox’s character and the turtles that I won’t spoil, but is absolutely ridiculous. Part of the problem is obviously the writing, but I think the biggest problem is the directing. The movie has no real focus at all, which is no shock considering all of the director’s movies average below a 6 out of 10 on IMDB. Besides the plot and directing, most of the main characters are annoying to watch. It’s almost forgivable in the case of the turtles since they are supposed to be teenagers. But it’s less forgivable in the case of Megan Fox. She’s not good in this movie and I don’t really see her as a good actress in general. She’s really nothing more than a pretty face, that in it of itself being debatable. I did like Will Arnett’s character. He plays Fox’s assistant/cameraman/driver (the movie is unclear about what he actually is). He stole every scene he was in and had the funniest lines in the movie. Unfortunately, most of the other jokes in the movie fell very flat.
In general, the movie is just not fun to watch. Some of the action scenes are cool but most of it is just flat out boring. I would say fans of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as a series would enjoy this, but from what I’ve read, the movie messes with the source material in ways that alienated those fans. It’s possible younger kids might like it. I, however, did not and give it a 1.75/5 overall.