Teenage Mu­tant Ninja Tur­tles

THE HE­ROES IN A HALF SHELL MAKE A LONG OVER­DUE RE­TURN

TekSavvy Insider - - Contents - BY MIKE BAKER

The he­roes in a half-shell get ready to go full on at the­atres.

Di­rec­tor: Jonathan Liebesman Star­ring: Me­gan Fox, Johnny Knoxville Genre: Ac­tion Out: Au­gust 08, 2014

Whether or not you’re of the opin­ion that Hol­ly­wood’s big­wigs have run out of ideas and are too happy to sit back and rely on re­boots, the fact that there’s a brand new Teenage Mu­tant Ninja Tur­tles movie on the way in Au­gust can surely be no bad thing.

As chil­dren of the 80s (and early 90s) the ma­jor­ity of us here at TekSavvy In­sider have been look­ing for­ward to this one from the minute it was an­nounced, and not even the in­volve­ment of Michael “who cares about the story, we’ve got ex­plo­sions” Bay or bizarre ru­mours of an ex­trater­res­trial ori­gin story have been un­able to dampen our ex­cite­ment for this flick.

Bay serves as pro­ducer here, with di­rec­to­rial du­ties left to Jonathan Liebesman, the up and up­com­ing South African di­rec­tor be­hind The Killing Room, Bat­tle: Los Angeles and Wrath of the Ti­tans. While none of those movies will be trou­bling any “best of” lists any time soon, they were all very ca­pa­ble genre pieces that man­aged to go about their jobs in a solid and mea­sured man­ner, sug­gest­ing that Liebesman, 37, could be one to keep an eye on.

Bay’s in­volve­ment, how­ever limited it turns out to be, raised plenty of eye­brows among TMNT afi­ciona­dos when it was an­nounced, and that’s a key is­sue that TMNT will need to side­step on its launch. That cer­tainly wasn’t helped by some of the more out­landish ru­mours to cir­cu­late about the movie.

Ev­ery­thing from alien tur­tles to ma­jor rewrites of the se­ries’ his­tor­i­cal canon has set the in­ter­net alight with an­gry com­ments, but it looks as though com­mon sense has pre­vailed and things will fol­low a more fa­mil­iar path (al­though whether that’s nec­es­sar­ily a good thing re­mains to be seen).

The strength of the cast may sur­prise some, with Me­gan Fox step­ping into the shoes of the iconic April O’Neill, while the ever-won­der­ful Wil­liam Ficht­ner tack­les Shred­der/Eric Sachs (a nice play on Oroku Sacki, the char­ac­ter’s real name in the comic book uni­verse) and Cana­dian Wil­liam Ar­nett pro­vides some comic re­lief as the hap­less Ver­non Fenwick – hope­fully with­out hav­ing the char­ac­ter’s un­abashed campi­ness di­alled down too much.

Voice work for the fear­less four­some come cour­tesy of Johnny Knoxville (Leonardo), Jeremy Howard (Donatello) Noel Fisher (Michelan­gelo) and Alan Ritch­son (Raphael), with Tony Shal­houb bring­ing the group’s leader, Splin­ter, to life. While early footage sug­gested that TMNT would be quite dark, in­sid­ers claim it has recre­ated the over­all tone of the comics, so fans of the group’s light-hearted quips and ob­ser­va­tions should find plenty to en­joy.

With so much rid­ing on this flick for Liebesman, we’re hop­ing he can deliver when TMNT hits the­atres on Au­gust 8th.

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