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    August 23, 2014


    It's time to get shell-shocked. The ongoing loud summer continues with the new version, modern contemporary reboot of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle - a rejuvenation effort from producer Michael Bay and director Jonathan Liebesman (Wrath of the Titans). Clearly, it attempts to reconnect with the core-fans whom lived through the 80s and 90s, enjoying the televised Saturday morning animation while it is also attempting to branch out to the younger generation. But the result of this flick is an oddball live-action CGI-parade that gets muddy-pooled by inconsistency and identity crisis.

    GENERIC AND RUSHED: The movie, like any other franchise starter, seems very dutiful in nature to churn out a new origin story for the new generation to savour. Fortunately, it is most likely not to alienate the core-fans. But while the origin story looks fine on paper with good revelations of how the paranoid and over-dedicated news reporter April O'Neill (Megan Fox) had a thing in the past with the mutant turtles, the connectivity with the events on the modern day seems rigid and forced-out. Then, what follows on the running time of almost 2 hours are rushed, generic and superfluous story, penned by the surprisingly reliable Josh Appelbaum and Andre Nemec (Mission: Impossible 4), as well as Evan Daugherty (Divergent). And it does not help further when the plot runs in a ridiculous pacing and it lacks space to breathe in. As such, many of the side stories are shelved and put aside for the sake of “summer popcorn”.

    SUMMER POPCORNNevertheless, on a more positive note, I am surprised that the elements of the characters like ninja turtles, Shredder and Splinter, are done quite accurately. For the salvaging note, I thought the characters are portrayed nicely, even when the modern touch of the ninja turtles looks weird without their traditional rubber suits. And of course, the strongest suit in this movie, much like other Bay and Liebesman's genre films (also been the most irritating one at times), is the visual effects. Down that “summer popcorn” action list, somewhere, you may just enjoy the car chase scene down the sloppy-snowy hill or even some of the ninja close-up combats.

    “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” is at least better than the over-zealous and over-the-top fourth Transformers movie in the sense by offering a “watchable” plot, but it ultimately becomes neither interesting nor awful to glue with.

    Story: 2.5
    Casts: 3.5
    Cinematography: 4.0
    Effects: 4.5
    GREEN-TEA-O-METER: 12.1/20.0

    "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" stars Megan Fox, Will Arnett, William Fichtner, Alan Ritchson, Tohoru Masamune and Whoopi Goldberg; presented by Paramount Pictures; directed by Jonathan Liebesman from the screenplay by Josh Appelbaum, Andre Nemec and Evan Daugherty (Divergent). The movie was rated P13 and was released in Malaysia since August 7, 2014. The movie runs about 101 minutes.
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