I must admit, I was skeptical.
When it was announced that Michael Bay would produce a reboot of something as beautifully retro and as beloved as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, I was certain that this would backfire into quite probably the biggest mistake of his career.
But then I remembered other films produced by Bay: I Am Number Four, the Nightmare On Elm Street remake, the Hitcher remake, the Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake, the Amityville Horror remake, the Friday The 13th remake, that film with that lady's behind on the poster. All strikingly original films which have LITERALLY shaped my twenties.
And with a Bay-produced remake of Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds on the way, it's looking like the director/artiste is back at the top of his game. Like a chimp meeting a cage for the first time.
Case and point: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
The film opens with a montage showing how the titular turtles came to be. The "ooze", in this version, is translated as a cardboard box from another planet (that green one with the clouds) filled with metallic alien nano-mites. When these accidentally come in contact with the turtles, this causes them to become not only super-intelligent but super-strong. So far, this makes perfect sense. Making the turtles essentially robot aliens certainly was a daring decision to make but a worthy one I think.
Another daring move was replacing Splinter with Mark Wahlberg in full Fu Manchu make-up.
Playing a simple-minded Chinese soldier, Wahlberg excels as the new Splinter and the scene in which he wraps the young, newly-oozed turtles in a large American flag as the sun sets is particularly moving. I may be French but I had my hand on my heart at this point.
We are then introduced to Megan Fox's April O'Neill and boy did her performance change my mind about her completely: director Johnathan Liebesman's idea to CGI John Malkovitch's acting onto the actress' emotionless face almost made her believable as a real person. By the way, I'm not usually a fan of product placement, but having a 15 minute iPhone advert in the middle of the film really worked as an intermission.
Couldn't wait to tweet, smlag, Facebook, Ribbit and Bumblr after the movie, about the movie.
On my IPHONE.
As for William Fichtner's Shredder, what can I say? He is about as perfect as the Ancient Japan setting was in the third Ninja Turtles movie. It's like milk and wine: it just goes together so well. I particularly liked this one scene where he gives birth to himself as The Shredder on Will Arnett's breakfast table. It really reminded me of those early visceral David Cronenberg films.
It was radical.
Now some lesser reviewers will complain that the entire cast stops to sing the American national anthem at the end of the film as fighter jets spray out the words "Yvan Eht Nioj" in the sky and that's understandable seeing as that wasn't in the comics or the cartoons but stick with it and you'll feel it too.
Ignore those pesky reviewers: they don't like anything! Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen and Pearl Harbor are IMPORTANT movies and they make me smile with my face mouth.
I enjoy explosions and people who say things funny.
Overall, I say go see it! If only to see turtles transform into turtles. I had never seen anything like it before. Here's hoping that Michael Bay's upcoming reboot of the upcoming Amazing Spider-Man 2 movie is half as creative as this movie was.