Movie: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Movie Critic: Danushan B
Genre: Action & Adventure
Released: August 8, 2014
Director: Jonathan Liebesman
Cast: Megan Fox, Will Arnett, William Fichtner, Alan Ritchson, Noel Fisher, Pete Ploszek, Jeremy Howard
The movie revolves around five main characters: April O’Neil (who is played by Megan Fox) and four ninja turtles that are known as Raphael, Leonardo, Michelangelo, and Donatello in the movie.
April O’Neil is a reporter for Channel 6 in New York and aspires to be a great, famed reporter one day. To make this dream possible she does everything in her power to find serious news that will potentially grow famous. In pursuit of this goal, she relentlessly gets herself into problems. In one of her daring attempts to capture thrilling news she inevitably crosses paths with the members of the Foot Clan. The Foot Clan is a criminal network that works against the city, with the goal to overthrow it and gain full control over New York. This is where the Ninja turtles come into play—out of the sewers and into the air—to fight against the Foot Clan and bring peace to the city (quite typical of ‘Super Hero’ movies). Throughout the movie, several ambiguities are created and resolved. Many loopholes remain, possibly to be fixed in the sequel coming up in 2016. Flashbacks are apparent. Pieces connect. Logic falls apart from time to time, but the movie manages to get away with it.
The ninjas gained an upgrade in this reboot movie compared to their cartoon version and the movie released in the 1990s. Some notable features include the turtles being completely bulletproof, being over 6 feet tall and stronger than ever before. (Just look at those muscles!) Shredder, the villain, also gained an
immense upgrade; he’s now made to look more villainous.
This being a Smoke Free Movies review, I shall discuss the presence or absence of tobacco usage in this movie. And, I’m glad to say the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles went smoke-free throughout the entire duration, which is quite amazing.
Tobacco usage is a health concern among people. Tobacco can be found in several different forms, and one of the notable ones being cigarettes. Now, movies endorse tobacco usage among its audience by displaying it in the hands of its characters, especially in the hands of a character that holds significance—like the protagonist or antagonist. And, this is often done to further develop and display the characters’ personalities. The audience may not easily realize the effect of this endorsement, but these types of pro-smoking promotions in movies do hold the potential to negatively affect the audience, as it makes them more susceptible to the tobacco industry.
Many youths look up to characters in the movie as role models, and try to shadow their footsteps. And if these ‘so called role models’ are seen with cigarettes in their hand, smoking, then it will inevitably
promote cigarettes in the hands of their followers too. Statistics alone shows that 87% of all tobacco impressions are seen through the movies. Fortunately, the TMNT goes smoke-free and sends a message.
If the movie industry followed the lead of these smoke-free movies and stopped placing scenes of tobacco usage in their films, this percentage could be dropped significantly thereby possibly preventing youths from starting smoking in the first place.
Personally, I found it pretty amazing to see a movie that didn’t feature tobacco use in it. It just provided for a better watch. Besides, TMNT has a huge youth fan base and the last thing I would’ve wanted is to see young people starting to smoke just because their favorite ninja turtle smoked a cigarette. That didn’t
happen, so it’s all cool.
Tobacco like I mentioned before is used in movies to further develop a character—to make them appear
more rebellious, cool, or depressed and to add to the mood of the story. TMNT accomplished all of this without having to rely on tobacco. To make the Foot Clan appear more rebellious they were equipped with guns and most members wore masks and dark suits at all times, thereby further distinguishing themselves from the citizens of New York. Instead of giving the protagonists cigarettes in order to express their emotions, the movie displayed their respective emotions through their words, tone of speech and gestures. So all in all, there is actually no need for tobacco in movies.
As TMNT has shown, movies can be made to better express and develop a character’s persona through different means and doesn’t need to rely on tobacco to do this. The special effects found in TMNT are not out of the ordinary, but given the budget they operated with they have done some amazing things. Most commendable are the stunts performed throughout the
movie—with stunts produced by over hundred people. Visual effects throughout the movie were well maintained and the sounds effects used throughout the movie supported and added to the visuals.
I also want to mention the editing that went into this movie. The edits, especially for the fighting scenes, were made at the right time and made the fight scenes more appealing to the eyes. Put this all together with 3D glasses, and you are in for a decent (but not out of the ordinary) watch.
So is it worth watching TMNT? Well, after hearing this somewhat detailed review you might be in a better position to make that decision. As far as recommendation goes, I will recommend this movie to movie watcher of all ages regardless of the fact that it is called “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.” This movie contains most of the elements that will make it a good watch for a teen, family or even a couple. These elements include laughs (thanks to Orange turtle Michelangelo), action scenes, somewhat of an
emotional scenes and a decent plot. And I’ll end this review with Michelangelo’s notable question in the movie (hopefully I’m quoting this correctly):
“Have you seen a cat that plays chopsticks with chopsticks?”