OKLAHOMA CITY – A couple of months ago, I watched what might be the worst movie I’ve ever seen in a theater: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. This film “stars” Megan Fox alongside computer-generated images, and it would have been great had the acting, CGI, story, music, directing, pacing and cinematography not all been from the bottom of the barrel. Iwis, there is essentially nothing to like about the picture, and I feel bad for anyone who spent money to see it, i.e. myself.
“But Grant, TMNT movies are known for being so bad that they’re good LOL!” Yes, the Turtle movies have a long and glorious history of being pretty crummy. But, the earliest ones had just enough silly/fun/special moments that they did actually end up in that special category of “so bad they’re good.”
Like, for example, 1990’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles had several things going for it: Elias Koteas as Casey Jones, a proliferation of surfer talk, pizza, a young Sam Rockwell as the head Foot thug, a rad early-90’s depiction of youthful hedonism, and so-bad-they’re-good ninja moves from the turtles.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze, though definitely pretty awful, also had enough special things to make it watchable like Ernie Reyes Jr. as the pizza delivery boy/karate-expert Keno, pizza, Vanilla Ice as the singer at a club performing Ninja Rap, Vanilla Ice overacting during his scene, Vanilla Ice overacting specifically to suggest that he had just come up with a great song on the spot, Raphael going rogue, Raphael helping Keno pass the “bell” test, Tokka and Rahzor, and SUPER Shredder, a concept that on its own elevates this movie to so-bad-it’s-good status.
And, to top everything off, both aforementioned movies had actual people playing the Ninja Turtles in real turtle suits. Were the suits clumsy? Yes. Were the actors’ movements stiff? Yes. Were the suits, just, like, stupid? Yes. But were they awesome? Yes. Were they real? Yes. Were they way less ugly and gross than their modern CG counterparts? Heck yes. Did the suits lead to silly things that were secretly delightful like Raphael trying to disguise himself in an overcoat while his shell was so gigantic there was no way the disguise would’ve fooled anyone? Yes.
Finally, did the real suits lend another level of emotion? Yes. CGI, meseems, encourages outlandish CGI environs. Not everything in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is computer-generated, but many of the sets are CGI, and they are just completely outrageous and unrealistic. But, with real suits, you can create real emotional shots like this:
Overall, these numerous little touches elevate the original TMNT films to the hallowed “so-bad-they’re-good” level. Lacking any similar features, 2014’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles must simply be clept “bad.” I do not recommend the film for anyone, and if you are looking for a movie to watch with your kids, I would recommend the vastly superior Maze Runner or the first two Turtle movies.
Grant Stevens has reviewed movies for this site and the Christian Chronicle, and he also sells homes for Ideal Homes. He is also the Warlord of the Use Ironic Correctly Society, and he enjoys playing basketball. Oh, and he does music stuff, and he’s into apologetics.