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Byron Shire
November 30, 2021

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

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Talk about spoilers – some actors might as well have the word tattooed on their foreheads. The minute that William Fichtner appeared as Erik Sacks, the sober-suited plutocrat, I knew that he would turn out to be the megalomaniacal bad guy.

It is always the same in these tedious, ear-splitting orgies of CGI. I was too old to be remotely interested in the Ninja Turtles when they first became a craze in the 1980s.

The concept seemed ridiculous – far more so than a talking mouse steering a steamboat down the Mississippi – but there was at least the saving grace of their being named after four masters of the Italian Renaissance.

I’d happily consigned them to history (along with the 80s in general), but they’re back, bigger and noisier and with more street cred than ever.

New York is under the pump yet again – this time it is the Foot Clan running amok (with Hollywood continuing its questionable practice of portraying evil as Oriental).

April O’Neill (Megan Fox – an actress of almost unique shallowness) is a reporter for a great metropolitan newspaper who wants to be taken seriously.

Her boss, Whoopi Goldberg (who might soon turn up as a contestant on America’s Greatest Loser), like the rest of us, thinks April has all the substance of a pancake.

Inadvertently, she becomes a fifth member of the Turtles’ gang and together they wage a campaign to counter the terror of the Foots. The pace is frenetic, the effects are dazzling and the Turtles themselves are impressive creations, but the cacophony is tiresome and the story desperately unoriginal.

There is a funny episode at the start where one of the Ninjas is preoccupied watching (presumably on Facebook) a cat playing Chopsticks with chopsticks, but it was all downhill after that.

With our eyes glazing over and our popcorn consumed, my companion and I both decided that, if we hurried, it wasn’t too late to catch Eggheads, so we fled without looking back.

~ John Campbell


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