I, like many, grew up on the TMNT cartoons, comics, and live action movies. This adaptation was absolutely necessary for an entirely new generation. It obviously had to meet a certain standard with regard to a "live action reboot". The remake of this classic with modern technology was done very well, despite all of the negative stigma toward Michael Bay and his summer blockbuster flare.
This movie has every element that you would expect from a TMNT storyline. April O'neal is still the persistent reporter out for that big story, whatever it may be. Her character still maintains that "damsel in distress turns friend to the turtles" role that it has always been. The turtles are still four individual personalities (Leo the leader, Raph the aggressive loner, Donnie the nerd, Mikey the surfer dude jokester), although I will admit that their personalities seemed forced onto you. Almost as if you had never heard of them before you entered the theater. One thing is for sure. If you didn't know their character traits before you view the film, you'll certainly know them by the end of it. The action in this film is outstanding. The fight scenes, especially with Splinter, are very fluid and precise. The jokes are quirky and frequent, and of course there is pizza. The aforementioned elements have always been key to any TMNT installment. I think that the writers, Bay, and Liebesman nailed this part right on the head. I was absolutely glued the entire time, and I laughed at just about everything that came out of Noel Fisher (Michelangelo) and Will Arnett's (Vernon Finwick) mouth. All in all, this was a fun filled, action packed, enjoyable, entertaining, humorous, family friendly joy ride from beginning to end. I honestly do not understand why the critics have judged it so harshly.
With that being said, I will give my only negative qualm with this movie, and please read at your discretion because the proceeding will contain spoilers.
One of the staples of ANY TMNT installment, has always been predicated upon the storyline that Splinter was the pet of a Japanese martial arts master, and that this was how he came to learn the art of ninjitsu. Splinters master was killed by Shredder, and therein laid the foundation for conflict between Splinter and Shredder. This movie absolutely missed this key factor by 350%. Im talking totally missed the mark by yards. Not feet. If this part of the storyline were the end zone in a football game, Bay and Liebesman ran completely in the opposite direction. In this film, Splinter tells the story of how he became a ninja master, and it literally goes as follows:
"I was cleaning the sewer one day when I came upon a book. (Finds book in sewer. Blows off the dust. Title of book reads 'Learn the art of Ninjitsu') I taught myself ninjitsu first, and then I taught my sons, and it turns out that they were really good at it."
When this happened in the movie, my heart sank, my stomach turned a little, and my childlike grin (that had been from ear to ear up until that moment) began to sag a little. This was their opportunity to prove the critics prior to the release of the film wrong, and they failed miserably at it. That would be OK if they had sacrificed it for a certain part of the film that made you say, "Well, that was OK. I can live with that because of this...". Unfortunately, that was not the case. This was always such an important and fundamental part of how and why these Teenage Mutant NINJA Turtles were such effective ninjas to begin with. Their training had always derived from ancient masters that passed their knowledge and wisdom down to Splinter, and he to the turtles. The ONLY thing that this allowed was for some character development. The turtles are still young and very unsure of themselves in this film. They've not been above the surface very much, and are only just now getting their first taste of combat and the outside world. So, this would allow for sequels and a lot more action, but they cant fix the way that they've massacred the subplot for how they learned their martial art.
Splinter, I will say, was a total bada. The fight scene between he and the foot clan leading up to his battle with Shredder was incredible. They did something here that hasn't been done before, and that was to show that Splinter can fight. He does to Shredder in one scene what all four turtles cannot do for literally the entirety of the movie. Although Im giving Splinters character credence here, I do not like Tony Shaloubs voice as the voice of Splinter. Although they have made Splinter out to be a younger version of his predecessors (old), his voice just simply does not match. Nor does the voice of Leonardo for that matter (Johnny Knoxville). Why they chose him over the actual character actor I do not understand. His voice in NO WAY exudes the word leadership to me. All I could think about every time Leo spoke, was that idiot Knoxville being shot in the groin by a paintball gun.
To surmise, this was nearly a two hour thrill ride, blast from the past, eyegasm that had some minor issues that can be tweaked, and ONE major storyline flaw that cant be fixed, but at the end of the movie I was still in my seat and was left wanting more. I will see this film again in the theater and I will own it on Blueray. I'll also pay to see the sequels. I only wish they had shot it in Imax 3D.
Review by anonynez from the Internet Movie Database.