Summary: A woman is left handcuffed to her dead husband as part of a sick revenge plot. Unable to unshackle, she has to survive as two killers arrive to finish her off.
Cinema Release Dates: 2nd July 2021 (US)
VOD Release Dates: 21st July 2021 (Australia)
Director: S.K. Dale
Screenwriter: Jason Carvey
Cast: Aml Ameen (Tom), Megan Fox (Emma), Eoin Macken (Mark), Callan Mulvey (Bobby Ray), Jack Roth (Jimmy)
Running Time: 88 mins
Classification: MA15+ (Australia), .R (USA)
OUR TILL DEATH REVIEWS
David Griffiths’ Till Death Review:
Megan Fox has always been an actress that has been harshly judged by Hollywood. To her critics she was always considered as one of those actresses that got her start with the Transformers franchise because of her looks. What those critics haven’t noticed is how Fox has evolved since those films.
Roles in cult films like Jonah Hex and Jennifer’s Body showed that she had talent, while many wouldn’t admit it but she was pretty much the best thing about 2014’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Over the last couple of years though we have seen the talents of Ms Fox go out of sight as she stole the show with her portrayal of a Mum in Think Like A Dog and showed true action star qualities in the lead role in the gritty Rogue.
Now with the new suspense thriller Till Death we see Fox in what is perhaps her best role to date. She has to go to some dark and emotional places with her portrayal in a film where she features in nearly every scene.
Here Fox plays tortured photographer Emma who has been suffering since she was robbed and attacked by the vengeful Bobby Ray (Callan Mulvey – Captain America: The Winter Soldier). Emma married the District Attorney Mark (Eoin Macken – The Forest) who helped her put away Bobby Ray but their marriage has been less than happy.
Mark has turned into a money hungry lawyer who has affairs while Emma has turned to Mark’s collegue Tom (Aml Ameen – The Maze Runner) for love and compassion however she is too afraid to leave Mark. Now with their anniversary at hand Mark has organised a surprise getaway for an anxious Emma who is worried about the fact that Bobby Ray is about to be released from prison.
Reading through the simple plot it sounds like you can work out exactly what is going to happen, but that is certainly not the case. Screenwriter Jason Carvey (A New Wave) has created a twisted thriller that Australian director S.K. Dale (The Coatmaker) has had an absolute field day with.
Any question of Megan Fox’s acting abilities are shot to hell with this film. Fox is brilliant here as Emma, she portrays the vulnerable side of a scared and lost woman amazingly well and then backs it with true grit and determination as she is left a character that has to fight for her life. There is little doubt that this is the kind of role that would have taken Fox to some pretty dark places to get inside what is happening to her character and she does that really well.
As a director Dale asks a lot of Fox. Not only is she in tough scenes, she is in truly harrowing scenes and to her credit Fox pulls them off easily. This is the kind of performance that will quieten even her toughest critics… and rightfully so.
Credit must also go to Jason Carvey and S.K. Dale. This is just another run-of-the-mill thriller. Now way, there are twists and turns that occur here that even the most hardened cinema goer won’t predict. I’ll admit one made me jump because I certainly wasn’t expecting it and I can normally pick what is going to happen in most thrillers.
As a director Dale uses the environment around him to create a tense thriller that never allows the audience to settle in their seat. He also brings out the best in his cast. The scenes where Fox and Mulvey go toe-to-toe are absolutely sensational and the result is the kind of the film that you just want to sit down and watch again straight after seeing it for the first time.Till Death is a sensational thriller with twists and turns galore. The film showcases the true acting talent of Megan Fox while also showing Hollywood that we have a talented young director in our midst when it comes to SK. Dale. This unpredictable thriller is a must see for those that like surprises at every turn.
Summary: O’Hara is a mercenary leading a squad of soldiers on their mission to rescue hostages in remote part of Africa. Unfortunately the mission goes wrong and the team are stranded, forced to survive against the local rebels.
Cinema Release Dates: TBA
VOD Release Dates: 2nd December 2020 (Australia), 16th November 2020 (UK), 28th August 2020 (USA)
Country: USA, South Africa, UK
Director: M.J. Bassett
Screenwriter: Isabel Bassett, M.J. Bassett, Mark Middlewick
Cast: Brandon Auret (Elijah Dekker), Isabel Bassett (Tessa), Nkanyiso Bhengu (Butcher), Tamer Burjaq (Masakh), Adam Deacon (Zalaam), Kenneth Fok (Bo Yinn), Megan Fox (Samantha O’Hara), Ashish Gangapersad (Nuru), Sisanda Henna (Pata), Greg Kriek (Mike Barasa), Lee-Anne Liebenberg (TJ), Mangaliso Mazibuko (Bobbie), Tertius Meintjes (Gordie), Chrispen Nyathi (Mifuna), Buntu Raxabgana (Mannie), Cosmos Sebastian (Banjo), Austin Shandu (Alred), Jessica Sutton (Asilia Wilson), Calli Taylor (Chloe), Simon Wanderi (Porter), Philip Winchester (Joey Kasinski), Bainet Yusuf (Maxwell)
Running Time: 105 mins
Classification: MA15+ (Australia), 15 (UK), R (USA)
OUR ROGUE REVIEWS
David Griffiths’ Rogue Review:
A few years ago if actress Meagan Fox had a film coming out the world knew about it. The talented actress was the face of huge franchises including Transformers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. She was so popular in fact that when she left the Transformers franchise there were fans out there saying they would boycott the Bay juggernaut due to the fact they thought she had been unceremoniously and unfairly dumped.
Today Fox’s films seem to come out with very little fanfare at all – a shame when you consider that some of the films that she has been releasing recently are absolute gems. First there was the seriously under-rated Think Like A Dog and now her new action film Rogue has landed on a number of streaming platforms in Phuket. With a lot of ordinary action films being released during the Covid lockdowns it is a refreshing to see a film like Rogue stand above the pack.
Directed by MJ Bassett (Ash vs Evil Dead) Rogue sees Fox star as mercenary leader Samantha O’Hara; who is sent into East Africa with her team to rescue the kidnapped daughter of a Governor. Once on the ground O’Hara learns that Asilia (Jessica Sutton – The Kissing Booth) is being held captive alongside her best friends, Tessa (Isabel Bassett – Solomon Kane) and Chloe (Calli Taylor – The Courier).
But as O’Hara and her team find themselves in a fight to the death with local warlord Zaleem (Adam Deacon – Righteous Villains) they soon discover that they are also the hunted. Not only does Zallem to have a bigger army than they expected but there is also a rogue lioness patrolling the area who is annoyed that she has been separated from her cubs at an illegal lion farm. Soon she is hunting down O’Hara’s team as well as the rebels they are fighting.
You could probably say that there is nothing ‘new’ in Rogue but what makes this film standout from some of the other action films out there is the way that the story is told. MJ Bassett reveals herself as an under-rated director of the genre, her battle sequences here are equal to anything that we saw in films like Black Hawk Down while her screenplay, which she wrote with her daughter Isobel, does something that so few action films do – give characterisation to even the minor characters.
That small thing totally enhances the rest of the film. The fact that one of O’Hara’s teams was once a member of Zaleem’s militia leads to some brilliant tense moments between himself and the former captives of Zaleem, while even Zaleem is given more characterisation than most action bad guys would be. There are times in this film where he basically pleads his case to O’Hara explaining that the militia are as equally as bad as the Government she works for. Yes, it doesn’t justify anything but it does make for more interesting scenes than just endless shootouts.
Bassett also allows for Rogue to take on an environmental angle as well. Not only does she show the cruelty that exists in the illegal lion farms but also reveals that it is corruption and greed that keeps them running. Yes, the plot almost does label the lioness as one of the ‘villains’ of the film but at the same time there is a clear understanding from O’Hara as to why the lioness is doing what she is doing – she is simply just trying to protect her young.
Sadly amongst all the Covid carnage in cinemas at the moment Rogue has slipped through to go straight to streaming services but this is one action film that certainly shouldn’t be missed. Meagan Fox stars in a role that demands both dramatic and action skills while the story itself is both intriguing and suspenseful. One to certainly hunt down while cinemas are still closed.
Summary: A twe;ve-year-old boy finds a way to communicate with his dog. While the Government hunts him down for his technology he decides to use his dog’s simple thoughts to help repair the relationship between his parents.
Australian Cinema Release Date: TBA
Thailand Cinema Release Date: TBA
Australian VOD Release Date: 9th July 2020
Country: UK, China, USA
Director: Gil Junger
Screenwriter: Gil Junger
Cast: Dillon Ahlf (Brayden), Gralen Bryant Banks (Principal Harris), Gabriel Bateman (Oliver), Sean Boyd (Hunter), Bryan Callen (Agent Callen), Lena Clark (Mrs. McClelland), Josh Duhamel (Lukas), Jason Edwards (Mr. McClelland), Megan Fox (Ellen), Lara Grice (Ms. Shackley), Mason Guccione (Rodney), Neo Hooo (Xiao), Madison Horcher (Sophie), Billy 4 Johnson (Nicholas), Julia Jones (Agent Munoz), Will Junger (Will), Zoe Lazar (Debbie), Youngjian Lin (Shen), Janet Montgomery (Bridget), Kunal Nayyar (Mr. Mills), Marnette Patterson (Cindy), David Rayden (Rockford), Jannette Sepwa (Jason), Todd Stashwick (Henry (voice)), Izaac Wang (Li)
Running Time: 91 mins
Classification: PG (Australia)
OUR THINK LIKE A DOG REVIEWS & RATINGS:
Dave Griffiths’ Think Like A Dog Review:
For a long time family films were a dull, boring affair that seemed at times to not even work for kids. Sure you had those that marked a generation like Frozen but few were entertaining or mature enough to provide any entertainment for the adults that were forced to watch them with their kids. The 2020 cinematic year seems to have bucked that trend though with films like Spies In Disguise, Sonic The Hedgehog and My Spy offering something for kids and adults alike. Now we can add another film to that list – Think Like A Dog.
To be honest we should have expected the film to have a certain winning formula. After all it is written and directed by Gil Junger, a man who may not be a house-hold name but has worked on some of television’s most popular comedies over the years including Dharma & Greg and Ellen. Then there is the fact that the film stars Hollywood A-Listers Josh Duhamel (Safe Haven) and Meagan Fox (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) star in the film – gone are the days when star’s managers let them make mistakes like The Pacifier. Through in child actor Gabriel Bateman who did amazing things in Child’s Play and Lights Out and you can certainly see why this film should work. The best thing is it does.
Bateman plays Oliver a twelve-year-old prodigy whose science experiments stun those around him. At school he is excelling, while of course trying to attract the attention of his class-mate Sophie (Madison Horcher – Adventures In Babysitting), but he is not so smooth when it comes to inter-acting with the opposite sex. He also faces stresses with his home life as it becomes more and more obvious that his Mum (Fox) and Dad (Duhamel) are heading for divorce.
But then his latest experiment doesn’t go the way he planned and he finds himself being able to communicate with his dog. Together the duo come up with a way to help try and keep Oliver’s parents together but they soon find themselves in trouble when a tech-billionaire known as Mr Mills (Kunal Nayyar – The Big Bang Theory) wants the technology for himself and they inevitably attract the attention of the US Government.
While the film does have star power the key to this film working is the A-Grade screenplay from Gil Junger. The film works because its script captures the magic that made films and television shows like The Wonder Years and Spy Kids work so well for families. Junger knows that when it comes to writing for families you can’t make things cheesy, no matter how ridiculous the storyline is, and it is okay to tackle topics that kids maybe facing in real life.
While it would be really easy to dismiss Think Like A Dog as ‘just’ a talking dog movie, the film goes a lot deeper than that. In modern society a parent’s imminent separation is something that a lot of children will face. Here Junger explores the situation through the eyes of a child yet doesn’t suger-coat it either.
Likewise with the humour of the film. There is humour in the film but it never becomes that cheesy type of humour that has made so many family films unwatchable over the years. Junger seems to find the right mix – he makes the Government Agents bubbling and comedic without ever making them a complete joke. The same when it comes to the film’s nemesis. It would have been really easy for Mr. Mills to have been written as a Jim Carrey bad guy especially considering he was being played by a television comedy star. Instead making Millls a believable character makes his actions even more sinister, especially when he is trying to lure the kids into his trap.
So much comes together and works well for Think Like A Dog to be such a good family film. Gabriel Bateman acts well beyond his years, Duhamel and Fox put in mature performances that just show they need to be taken seriously as actors while Kunal Nayyar takes a huge step up and shows that he has a future outside of Big Bang Theory. However, the very special ingredient here is an amazing screenplay that allows this film to work for family members of all ages.
Kyle McGrath’s Think Like A Dog Review:
Average Subculture Rating:
Other Subculture Entertainment Think Like A Dog Reviews:
Summary: As Shredder joins forces with mad scientist Baxter Stockman and henchmen Bebop and Rocksteady to take over the world, the Turtles must confront an even greater nemesis: the notorious Krang.
Australian Cinema Release Date: 9th June 2016
Australian DVD Release Date: TBA
Country: United States
Director: Dave Green
Screenwriter: Josh Appelbaum, Andre Nemec, Peter Laird (characters), Kevin Eastman (characters)
Cast: Quincy Acy (himself), Alessandro Ambrosio (herself), Stephen Amell (Casey Jones), Lou Amundson (himself), Carmelo Anthony (himself), Will Arnett (Vernon Fenwick), Andrea Bargnani (herself), Derek Binsack (Adam), Joslyn Brewster (Bumblebee), Peter Donald Badalamenti II (Splinter), Matt Barnes (himself), Phil Cappadora (Sailor Sam), Mike Catapan (Officer Grillo), Robert Clohessy (Deputy Warden Hamlett), Stephen Farrelly (Rocksteady), Noel Fisher (Michelangelo), Connor Fox (Trevor), Megan Fox (April O’Neil), Langston Arnold Galloway (himself), Brad Garrett (Krang (voice)), Matt Gorsky (Davy Lowry), Jeremy Howard (Donatello), Brittany Ishibashi (Karai), DeAndrew Jordan (himself), Shane Larkin (himself), Laura Linney (Chief Vincent), Jill Martin (herself), Tyler Perry (Baxter Stockman), Pete Ploszek (Leonardo), Jonathan Redick (himself), Alan Ritchson (Raphael), Austin Rivers (himself), Tony Shalhoub (Splinter (voice)), Brian Tee (Shredder), Gary Anthony Williams (Bebop), Jane Wu (Jade)
Runtime: 112 mins
OUR TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES: OUT OF THE SHADOWS REVIEWS & RATINGS:
It seems like there are always going to be people that enjoy jumping over a film like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out Of The Shadows. See this franchise finds itself in a strange predicament. The first film was pretty much considered ‘average’ by critics (not this one… I loved it) but seemed to be well received by fans of the turtles themselves. Having grown up not only watching the turtles religiously but also being surrounded by a tonne of turtle merchandise I was one of those that adored Jonathan Liebesman’s fresh new take on the classic… and now I’m here to say that the new film is better than the first.
This time around we find the turtles, Michelangelo (Noel Fisher – ‘Red’), Donatello (Jeremy Howard – ‘Men In Black II’), Leonardo (Pete Ploszek – ‘Teen Wolf’) and Raphael (Alan Ritchson – ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’) still living in the shadows. They hide from New Yorkers and instead allow former cameraman Vernon Fenwick (Will Arnett – ‘Despicable Me’) take all the credit for saving the city.
The turtles are soon forced from their life of eating pizza and watching the Knicks though when intrepid reporter April O’Neil (Megan Fox – ‘Transformers’) discovers that respected scientist Baxter Stockman (Tyler Perry – ‘A Madea Christmas’) has hatched a plan to not only free the evil Shredder (Brian Tee – ‘Jurassic World’) but will once again give him enough power to take over the world. That plan soon leads to Shredder teeing up with cruel alien Krang (voiced by Brad Garrett – ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’) and taking control of two very tough, if not very dumb, henchmen (or should that be henchanimals) Bebop (Gary Anthony Williams – ‘The Internship’) and Rocksteady (Stephen Farrelly – ‘The Escapist’).
Not to be out-numbered the turtles find a new allie (and April a love interest) in the form of determined prison guard Casey Jones (Stephen Amell – ‘Arrow’) who plans on putting Bebop and Rocksteady behind bars and in turn show Police Chief Vincent (Laura Linney – ‘Mystic River’) that he is more than capable of becoming a Police Detective.
Director Dave Green (‘Earth To Echo’) hasn’t just made ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out Of The Shadows’ bigger and better than the original film he has also done something much more special and that is capture the magic of the original television series that made fans of the turtles fall in love with these tough mutants in the first place. Sure the fact that the screenwriters have introduced old favourites like Krang, Casey Jones, Bebop and Rocksteady into the franchise goes some of the way to re-create that magic but a lot of the credit must also be paid to Green who is in the difficult position of having to make this film appeal to people of all ages.
While some directors have to make a film appeal to both children and their parents Green is faced with the even harder task of having to make this film likable to two generations of turtles’ fans. Like The Simpsons the turtles have been long enough to be loved by people in their mid-30s and then right down to young children. Hence, a real problem for any filmmaker brave enough to take on directing in this franchise. While critics may want this film to be as dark as Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy realistically that is never going to work. You can’t have an actor playing a Heath Ledger Joker like bad guy when you’ve got small children involved. No instead Green does the right thing and has Tyler Perry over-act his role of Baxter Stockman and making it a little ‘lighter’ for younger eyes. The fact that the film works on all of these levels just shows that Green is an director to watch in the future.
Green and his screenwriters are also smart enough to know not to change too much in the Turtles universe as well. The newbies here, Casey Jones, Rocksteady, Krang and Bebop are pretty much the same as they were in the original series… with a very modern tweaks. Then there is the action, again Green goes back to what fans of the series know and love, there is a huge element of danger to New York but the fight scenes never last too long and unlike so many films these days aren’t just a flurry of movement. Even the trademark Turtle moral is there as the film reminds kids that just because they are different to everybody else they are still important.
Acting wise you got what you would expect from a film like this. Megan Fox does her usual ‘pretty girl’ thing while Tyler Perry, Will Arnett, Stephen Farrelly and Gary Anthony Williams provide enough comedic relief to keep everybody happy. And while Laura Linney does look a little lost at what she is doing in an action blockbuster like this Stephen Amell does provide a real breath of fresh air into the genre. Amell looks like he was born to play Casey Jones and seems to love being given the opportunity to play one of the turtles’ universes’ most popular characters. He has shown in TV’s ‘Arrow’ that he is a decent actor and once again Amell impresses.
Once again I suspect some critics won’t be as impressed with this film as much as I am but I like to give credit where credit is due. As a massive fan of the turtles I give ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out Of The Shadows’ a huge thumbs up.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Out of the Shadows is the sequel to the 2014 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. This film finds the turtles hiding in the shadows allowing Vern Fenwick (Will Arnett) to take all the credit for defeating the evil Shredder a year ago and saving the city. But all is not well, Shredder escapes captivity with the help of Baxter Stockman (Tyler Perry) and to their surprise get roped into assisting inter-dimensional villain Krang (voiced by Brad Garett) open a portal which will allow him and his battleship The Technodrome to enter and destroy our world. It’s up to the turtles and their friends to save us all again.
This movie for all its grandeur is primarily a kids film, it’s not attempting to be anything other than a fun adventure movie for the family and unlike the recent Michael Bay directed Transformers movies I didn’t find myself rolling my eyes at the stupidity or vulgarity of the humor. The characters of the turtles are presented perfectly and the messages of friendship and teamwork are simple but important.
A definite strength of this film would be it’s fan-service to the audience who enjoyed the 80s-90’s cartoon series all those years ago. While there have been many other animated and live action TMNT films and tv shows since then none have left that same impact and the filmmakers know it. A major issue the previous film had was its misguided attempts early in production to stray away from what people expected of a TMNT movie, this I believe led to some hasty re-shoots in order to fix things that fans had expressed concern over. With this film however from the beginning it’s clear the intention was to appeal to those fans expectations. This reminded me of the approach Star Wars Episode 7 took which clearly worked wonders for that movie after the much derided prequel trilogy. This was a nice touch I thought and as a fan who grew up with the cartoon series it was endearing to see villains like Krang, Bebop & Rocksteady again.
Ultimately I think people’s opinions on this film will reflect their opinions on the last. Personally I thought this was an improvement overall. It’s the kind of film that’s easy to nitpick but when you see a giant mutant rhino trying to kill 4 mutant ninja turtles with a tank it feels somewhat misguided to complain of plot holes that the target audience couldn’t care less about.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, directed by Dave Green and starring Megan Fox, Stephen Amell, Will Arnet with Alan Ritchson, Noel Fisher, Pete Ploszek and Jeremy Howard as the turtles. The film continues on from the first film and shows the audience the outcome of the turtles taking down the villain, Shredder.
As a kid I was never a truly big fan of the Ninja Turtles but I knew of them and did see some of the old TV shows.
The one thing that really stood out for me is the fact that the film really made you root for the turtles. For me anyway, I felt like the camera angles, the score to the film and the acting from the actors within the film, really made this a film that was highly enjoyable and fun to watch.
The newest addition to the Ninja Turtle team is Casey Jones played by Arrows, Stephen Amell. Seeing Stephen Amell as Casey Jones on screen was fantastic. I felt as though he portrayed the character perfectly and was very interesting to see him act in something other than the hit show Arrow.
The humour that was portrayed in the film was humour that was very enjoyable. It never felt forced, it always felt right to have in certain moments and reminded me of the kind of humour you would experience just by hanging out with your friends.
The storyline for the movie was a very enjoyable storyline. I felt like the movie was paced extremely well. I was never bored, I was never confused and I was never lost within the film. It all ran really smoothly in my opinion. The CG (computer graphics) used to create the turtles was amazing. For the film they used motion capture suits with the actors and you can tell in the film that using that technology really payed off in creating very realistic movements when the turtles were on screen.
Fans of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will very much enjoy the next installment in the franchise.
Average Subculture Rating (out of 5):
Other Subculture Entertainment Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out Of The Shadows reviews: You can also listen to our full Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out Of The Shadows review on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #180.
This week on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Adam, Dave, Greg and Nick take a look at new release films ‘The Conjuring 2,’ ‘Donnie Darko (Re-release),’ ‘God Willing,’ ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out Of The Shadows,’ Hello My Name Is Doris,’ and ‘A Perfect Day’. This episode also contains interviews with Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga, Drew Barrymore, Megan Fox, Stephen Amell, Adam Elliot (Adam Elliot Retrospective)and Gavin Bond (Todd Who?).
Also make sure you listen to this week’s episode to see how you can win a copy of ’Stretch’ (starring Patrick Wilson, Ed Helms, James Badge Dale, Brooklyn Decker and Jessica Alba) thanks to our good friends at eOne Entertainment. Once you’ve heard the question on the show you can enter on our Facebook or Twitter pages.
And we have a bonus giveaway on this weeks’s episode. Make sure you listen to see how you can win a copy of ’Blood Punch’ on DVD thanks to our good friends at Bounty Films…. but wait there’s more your DVD will be signed by the star of the film Milo Cawthorne. Once you’ve heard the question on the show you can enter on our Facebook or Twitter pages.
You can listen to The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show or download it for free from our Podcast Channel – Listen/Download here.
Turtles fans beware Michael Bay is seeking to destroy your childhood the way he did for fans of the Transformers. That seemed to be the warning going around when it was first heard that Bay was set to be the producer of the re-boot of the popular Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise. But perhaps the warning went out a little bit early because there is more than enough to like about this latest superhero film.
Maybe to appease the true Turtles fans but the plot here not only calls upon the stories of the popular Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series but also the popular comic book series. The film beings with New York City coming under attack by the evil Shredder (Tohoru Masamune) and his Foot Clan Soldiers. Now while most journalists are dismissing the so called Foot Clan the determined April O’Neil (Megan Fox) is doing all she can to prove their existence so she can finally become what she has always dreamed of… a crime reporter.
Her bid to find the truth though soon uncovers something else that New Yorkers should probably know about. The existence of some heroes, namely some teenage mutant ninja turtles known as Raphael (Alan Ritchson), Michelangelo (Noel Fisher), Leonardo (Pete Ploszek/Johnny Knoxville) and Donatello (Jeremy Howard). These hard-shelled heroes are breaking all the rules set by their master, a mutated rat named Splinter (Danny Woodburn) and are doing all they can to help protect the city.
Now the first thing you will notice about Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is that it is nowhere near as good as the recent Dark Knight trilogy or even most of the Marvel films, but the film still has its credits. Despite fears to the contrary the screenplay does allow for some characterization of each of the turtles (something that wasn’t the case for the robots in Transformers) while director Jonathan Liebsman does deliver some pretty intense action sequences, although that is only to be expected seeing he was the man at the helm of Wrath Of The Titans and Battle Los Angeles. The scene of the turtles, April and Vernon (Will Arnett) crashing down the side of a mountain in a truck while battling Foot Soldiers is a pretty decent scene, while Liebsman’s direction is aided by some pretty nifty special effects that bring the turtles to life.
As would be expected though the hand of Michael Bay is firmly over this film. There are a lot of loud noises and close ups of Megan Fox’s assets just as Mr. Bay likes it and while you can easily defend the much maligned storyline of April once being the owners of the turtles and Splinter by highlighting that happened in the comic book series it is harder to defend the ending of this film. Like it or not but Splinter’s grand plan at the finale of this film is way too close to what we have already seen in The Amazing Spider-Man as Dr. Curt Connors (aka The Lizard) tries to bring about his Armageddon.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles also seems to be damaged by some of the re-writes that the film went through. From the background ‘trained in Asia’ story set-up of Eric Sacks through to the fact that he is never seen in a scene alongside Shredder in full uniform it is obvious that at some point in this film’s production Sacks was supposed to be Shredder, which actually would have worked very well. The most obvious reason for changing that is it may have been too obvious, but hey when you have William Fichtner turn up in a film your audience is already going to be expecting for him to be playing a bad guy anyway.
As far as the acting goes no-one is in any danger of being a threat on Oscar night. William Fichtner and Will Arnett both breeze through their clichéd performances while Whoopi Goldberg’s role is almost blink and you’ll miss it. Megan Fox does enough to silence her critics, she’s not as bad as everybody was expecting her to be, but again she hasn’t been given anything gritty to work with either.
If you’re prepared to walk into Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and just expect a fun action film then you aren’t going to be disappointed. The film does its best to appease both fans of the comic book series and television show but the question must be asked which demographic is this film aimed at. The current series of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles seems to be aimed at younger kids but most of the humor and violence of this film would suggest that it has been aimed at an older audience. Still Turtles fans can breathe a mild sense of relief, at least it didn’t turn out to be as bad as some of the later Transformer films.