Let's just get this out of the way, I don't like Michael Bay. As a producer, director, whatever else he does in the realm of film. I dislike the man and the products he puts on screen. I was kinda almost excited about 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' until I heard that he was involved. I watched the cartoon as a kid in the early 2000s and I even enjoy the campiness of the first three live action films. Just like the 'Transformers' series, I was worried that Bay would turn it into a spectacle rather than a film. A film full of CGI, but ultimately hollow. Well, that's exactly what you get with this and it really does disappoint me.
'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' follows the story of April O'Neil (Megan Fox) as she is a struggling news reporter in New York City, not happy with the stories she's given. One night at the docks she stumbles upon the Foot Clan, a mysterious organization terrorizing the city, in the midst of a robbery. During the robbery she sees a strange looking figure that thwarts the Foot Clan, but back at the station no one believes her. The Foot Clan targets a subway next and O'Neil goes to the scene, only to be captured. This time she sees four of these mysterious figures as they save everyone being held hostage in the subway. O'Neil spots the figures climbing to a roof top, follows them and takes a picture of them. Unfortunately for her, they notice her camera flash and confront her. The turtles, Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello and Raphael (Johnny Knoxville, Alan Ritchson, Noel Fisher and Jeremy Howard), wipe her phone after she passes out. When she awakens, they tell her that she can't tell anyone who they are, but they claim to be the "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles." Thus begins O'Neil's quest to revitalize her career, find out who the turtles are and also what the Foot Clan is really up to in New York City.
This movie isn't bad, it's just not really good. Mostly cause it feels lifeless. The characters get almost no development, especially the turtles. They are regulated to over the top personalities so we can tell them apart in scenes. All this really does is make them seem annoying most of the time. They're the smart one, the funny one, the angry one and the leader. They aren't Michelangelo, Donatello, Raphael and Leonardo that we all know. Then we have April O'Neil, who never really comes off as a reporter in the slightest. I mean I know she is one, but then only time she remotely does anything reporter like, was one scene early in the film. It doesn't help things that Megan Fox is a pretty limited actress, but I think they wrote this character for the other side of her story. That she's just the little girl who saved the turtles and Splinter as a child. Instead of basing it on the fact she's a successful reporter or skilled hacker or choose any occupation she's been involved with in the comics. There is literally no one else worth mentioning cause it's a revolving door of forgetful characters and actors. They even managed to turn Shredder into a glorified thug, rather than the main enemy of the turtles. The story was okay, I guess, but the dialog, acting and just the general way they portrayed the turtles, weigh it all down immensely. It has it's moments where it'll make you smile. The CGI is okay at parts too as well as a bit of the action. The terrible lines the turtles have scene in and scene out, the "acting" between Will Arnett and Megan Fox and the lack of a true bad guy in the film, makes this a chore to watch at times. I say lack of bad guy, because we don't really find who the real one is well into the film. Then they use the one we all wanted them to use, as a supporting role henchman. I hated that so much. Hey, at least this debacle is only an hour and a half, right?
There is just so much wrong in 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' its hurts. I love Johnny Knoxville, but is he really the best option to voice Leonardo? Could they not have made this into a better film than, 'Transformers: Revenge of Michael Bay Killing More Peoples Childhoods'? We're still going with Megan Fox as a lead actress? I really wanted to like this film cause TMNT has a ton of great potential in a lot of areas. They could've gone a ton a of different ways with this, but instead they chose to turn it into a mindless, CGI filled, popcorn flick. While those can be perfectly acceptable, this is not one of those films in the slightest. 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' is a movie that's, like I said, far from bad. But, it's even further from being good.