Saturday, March 24, 2007

Well, it's decided.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is an awesome movie. Awesome to the max. Not a perfect movie, not by any means... the villians were interesting but somewhat underdeveloped, several jokes fell flat, and certain characters were unfairly sidelined (more on that, later), but at it's core, an awesome movie. One doesn't go to a Turtles movie expecting depth or perfection, one goes to keep one's nostalgia up-to-date and hopefully see some ridiculous shit and some hot ninja action. This movie provides.

It's also DAMN pretty. Visual treat, as every reviewer will inevitably say. Essentially, the stylized character models were stolen from Pixar's toolbox for The Incredibles, but this is not a big complaint, given that The Incredibles was amazing in every conceivable way. Actually, the two are very similar, in style, pacing, subject (heroes getting back together), and theme (importance of family). However... The Incredibles was sorely lacking in ninjitsu and chelonians.

Chelonians who, incidently, have been teenagers for the last twenty-two years. Don't they ever grow up?

My big complaint, and this is mildly a spoiler so... whatever, is that Donatello gets the shaft in terms of screen time. Now, this does make sense from a storytelling perspective... there's always been conflict between Leonardo and Raphael, the former being too demanding and the latter too much of a loner for them to team up well in all but the direst of situations. Michaelangelo is a non-issue, generally, as he exists in his own little world (which can be around this conflict without getting involved), but as Amber pointed out to me, Donatello often acts as an intermediary. He's the geek, you see, so he's the smartest and the most capable of divorcing himself from the emotions of the situation and examining the big picture, and the least likely to be influenced by his own emotions (rather, Leonardo is generally the most stolid, but once he reaches his breaking point, there's no going back, and Donatello becomes the calmest of the Turtles). As this was a story who's main conflict was between Leonardo and Raphael, he couldn't be present for their scenes, or he'd try to help. It makes storytelling sense to push him back, but it's a little unfair all the same. You'd think they'd tack on a little techno-wizardry, just to give him a presence.

Ah, well. Maybe in the deleted scenes. Hells yes I'm getting the DVD.


Blogger Ford Dent said...

I was equally disappointed to see Donatello get sidelined, but then again it's the very fact that he's the calm one that was responsible for that happening.

Just like Mike lives in his own little world, and therefore can roll with the punches, so too Donatello is calm enough and willing enough to handle whatever comes his way without too much complaining.

Besides, you and I both know the Raphael-Leonardo conflict was fucking amazing, (OH MAN SPOILERS) especially the fight on the roof (OH MAN NO MORE SPOILERS).

And yeah, I think a DVD purchase is a foregone conclusion.

3/25/2007 4:53 AM  
Blogger Vincent said...

You've got to admit that Don was pretty well cast in this story. He provided one of the biggest laughs of the opening sequence with his ZOMGSPOLIERS!!!!!! Tech support job ZOMGNOMORESPOILERS!!!!!! and dutifully supplied the gadgets and analysis as is his idiom.

Balancing screen time between four turtles is difficult, especially with Don and Mikey both leading generally angst-free lives. That stuff's for Leo, and the anger is for Raph. Besides...

Raph is awesome.

3/25/2007 11:04 AM  
Anonymous AAMF said...

So is Casey Jones.

Just sayin'.

3/25/2007 12:18 PM  

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