Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

Armageddon Review

It’s time for another Michael Bay film. This one is a disaster film so you can bet that there are a lot of opportunities for explosions. Like most action blockbusters that are over 2 hours, the film starts to fade by the end despite a reasonable start. Still, that’s not the area to blame in this case. It’s the characters and the writing that really keep the film down. It’s not like you’d expect too much ever since the Transformers series went public and people found out about the writing quality but you still always hope for the best when starting the film. Ah well, at least the explosions will keep you guessing.

The film starts off in NYC as a guy is trying to walk his dog while insulting everybody. The Dog attacks a guy’s Godzilla collection and starts to rough the Kaiju up. This leads to a confrontation between the man and the owner of the dog, but the man is blown up by a meteor. Not gonna lie, that scene was pretty hype since it’s just not something you’d expect in a film that isn’t about aliens and super powers. We learn that these shards are hitting various places on the planet because a big meteor is coming that will destroy the world. The government is forced to call in a team of drillers so they can teach them how to be astronauts and send them to the meteor where they will drill inside of it, drop the nuclear bombs, and get out of there. This can’t go wrong!

I remember reading way back in the day about how one of the main actors asked Michael Bay if it would be simpler to just teach the Astronauts how to drill than the other way around. The response he got was a very direct No. Still, I have to agree with the sentiment since it doesn’t seem like the drilling is all that hard. I mean…it’s just drilling right? Not to trivialize it or anything, but they had 2 weeks to prep anyway. Instead the drillers use that 2 weeks to mess around and go to clubs. Not the most productive way to go about things and I can see why the army lost their patience with them. The fate of the world is at stake and they still can’t get serious.

We actually get a Suicide Squad esque montage where we meet all of the characters. Naturally the very first member we see is trying to evade the cops and does a pretty good job of it. They have 2 copters after him and a dozen cars, but he’s still escaping. Another one is on his horse…riding away from th cops. Another one’s in a shady bar and you get the idea. These are the best of the best, but they’re all criminals so can they really be trusted with matters of National Security? They’re not doing this out of the goodness of their hearts either as they want to stop paying taxes and be able to visit the White House as part of their terms. I’m assuming they won’t get these rewards or at least hopefully not. Honestly, I’d at least want a big chunk of money as payment for saving the world though. That seems pretty fair if you ask me.

The first bit of the movie is actually really solid. We get to see inside of the government base as they all talk a good game and posture quite a bit. The dialogue is witty but not over the top and exaggerated. The characters are tough and rough without being annoying. These guys are professionals and act the part. We also get some nice destruction scenes in New York as we see people falling to their doom when buildings break and it may have even looked more impressive here than in Batman V Superman which is saying something. The film really only breaks down the instant we meet the main characters. That’s when you know that trouble is on the horizon.

We go to a drilling boat where Harry, the lead driller is playing golf. His team has been polluting the ocean for years under the cover of corporate business and he is casually hitting protesters on the head with his golf balls. Then he realizes that his subordinate AJ isn’t around and unfortunately he has been fooling around with Harry’s daughter. This is a very sad way to introduce these two characters, but it’s unfortunately not unexpected. AJ quickly runs out of there while Harry grabs his shotgun and tries to shoot him. It’s a very surreal scene as Harry runs around the ship shooting holes everywhere and sabotaging millions of dollars in the process. All that and he only gets a grazing shot on AJ’s leg. Naturally there are quite a bit of tensions between them now but they’ll have to team up if they want to save the world. AJ is clearly not going to stop going after Harry’s daughter so now Harry will have to either accept it or cut AJ’s air supply once they hit space. He’ll have some pondering to do.

Michael Bay films always suffer from 3 major problems. A nonsensical plot filled with many holes and characters making bad choices, terrible writing where every character has a potty mouth, and going for a lot of fanservice scenes that do nothing to add to the plot and are just there to doom the movie. While we mostly avoid the second option the others are still around for the duration of the movie. We didn’t need to have another scene that takes place in a shady strip bar where the characters prove that they are using their money in the worst way possible. One guy borrows millions of dollars just so that he can stay there for a full day before likely going off to die and that way he won’t have to repay the money. He also goes crazy in space and tries to murder everyone, but the characters wave that to the side and don’t mention it to the people on Earth. Now this crazy attempted murdered will be on the loose until he cracks again. That’s not cool.

The plot between Harry and his daughter Grace also isn’t handled well at all. You can definitely see why he’s upset since she’s been hiding her relationship with AJ for 5 months. I don’t know how though since they have so many public displays of affection that Harry must be really dense. Even when it’s mission time and AJ has to go we have to waste 5 minutes as he goes through an entire song in slow motion with large breaks between the lyrics. If you want a good example of a bad romance, this is it. It’s absolutely terrible and considering that the whole team has no sense of morality I’d want Grace off the ship if I was Harry as well. Every time one of the team comments about Grace’s looks you want Harry to grab the shotgun again.

Naturally this doesn’t make me like AJ any better as well. He’s willing to sacrifice the mission just to show off and never gets me to change my opinion of him. At least Harry was usually a good character and he’s the only member of the team that was actually decent. He makes the tough calls when necessary and is also the only one who seems to want to save the world. He has no demands upon doing it, he’ll just save the world to save his family. It’s a shame that the whole crew couldn’t be like Harry.

As for the plot getting a little iffy, why on Earth would the government try to blow up the bombs early when the characters still had time? They know that blowing up the bombs at that point would do nothing to stop the meteor from heading their way so it’s a waste of time. It would also blow up the only people who even gave them a chance at saving the world. It was only added into the movie to be used as pure drama and that’s why you should never do something purely for the rule of cool. You have to keep the plot in mind at all times. The film also seemed to want to stretch itself out for no reason like when the heroes stop at a convenient Russian rest station in space. Okay…then the place starts to blow up so they head back to the ship. This entire scene was completely filler and adds nothing to the movie. It’s just there for more explosions I guess, but it’s a rather long detour from the main plot.

The scenes in space also just aren’t as fun as the ones on Earth. Everyone starts to blend together since they’re wearing the costumes and all of the scenes start to look the same. It’s just more and more space with nothing really happening. They finally get the drill going and leave, but the final act is a little on the slow side. The first act wasn’t good since the main characters were so bad, but at least it was fun. You can’t really say that about the end. The humor is pretty hit and miss as you’d expect. Some jokes are really good and others are quite forced. Attempts were made though so I’ll at least give it credit there.

Overall, Armageddon is one of those films with a great concept and a poor execution. The film shows glimpses of greatness such as all of the scenes without the main character. The film is solid up until the first scene where AJ appears, gets good again from the point where Harry leaves for the base and gets debriefed. It sinks again when we get the montage of the other characters and just doesn’t rise up from there. It’s a fun film and the pacing is good for half of it, but there are simply too many negatives to recommend this film. I’ll give it some kudos for keeping the dog alive in the first scene though. I was ready to hit the panic button but the film kept its class there. If you want a lot of explosions and really annoying characters then this is the perfect film fr you. If you want a hype action film with better characters then I would recommend Batman V Superman instead. That one will be right up your alley.

Overall 5/10

Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

The Rock Review

This review is of the edited TV-14 version of the film. Keep this in mind when reading the review as one for the unedited version would be far more negative.

It’s time for a retro action film from the 90s. Sure, it may not be that old and calling the 90s retro is a little risky, but at this point I’d say that it’s old enough to be a valid point. You won’t really see this kind of film come out nowadays because the cinematography is just very different and new styles have surfaced. These 1-2 men against an army films can always be a lot of fun though and this one is handled well. I do admit that the first half does beat the second as the film begins to putter out but both halves are still pretty good. It’s more the fact that the film is so long and climax fatigue starts to set in while the first half is more laid back, but still has the explosions you’re waiting for. This is a Michael Bay film so there are quite a lot of explosions.

The film starts off with a bunch of terrorists breaking into Alcatraz and kidnapping 81 civilians. They demand 100 million from the government or they’ll use the chemical missiles that they stole from another base (Where they murdered everybody) to destroy 80000 people in San Francisco. The government is forced to call in the local chemical expert, Goodspeed. Goodspeed is used to being in a lab and doesn’t really like violence but he isn’t really given an option. He won’t be enough though so Mr. Mason is taken out of jail to help out. Mason is the only person to ever escape Alcatraz and he used to be a legendary agent for the British Intelligence. If anyone can stop these guys, he can. Will these two vastly different characters be able to put aside their differences and save the world or are they doomed to take a loss here?

Right away one thing you’ll notice about the film is that the soundtrack is actually really great. The themes are nice and fast which make the action scenes more fun. It amplifies the visuals and just makes the whole adventure feel a lot more complete. The visuals are also pretty good for the various locales and the combo works pretty well. Since a lot of films don’t really bother having a soundtrack I always feel the need to give a shoutout to the ones that actually pull it off. It’s an important thing to have.

Goodspeed is a decently good main character. He panics quite a lot but he’s never really been a field agent so it’s all pretty new to him. He still wants to do his best to stop the villains and save lives. He never really waffles on this and stays true to the goal. He fights when necessary as well and doesn’t bck down. He also tends to be a nice guy as he doesn’t put Mason on the spot in front of his daughter. He’s a quality lead. Fortunately, our other lead is also good. Mason’s the expert of the film. He’s one of the best hand to hand fighters the army has got and he’s also really good with a gun. This combo definitely makes him very lethal to everyone else. Anything can be turned into a weapon with this guy. He’s certainly not heroic the way Goodspeed is though. After the government locked him up for 30 years the guy appears to have gotten jaded with life in general. He just wants to make sure he gets out of this in one piece. The guy certainly has good reason to be upset at everyone though as he did get a pretty bad deal. No trial and everyone keeps on lying to him. Still, he has to man up in the end to save his daughter so he presses on. The ending may not be extremely happy for him, but it’s happy enough I suppose.

The villains try to go for the sympathetic angle, at least the main one. He wants the families of the fallen Marines to get recompensated since the government ignored them and figures this is the best way to do it. The thing is, he hired a bunch of guys he has never worked with before and they’re a little more villainous than the others. They just want to murder a bunch of guys and don’t care for anything but the money. Teaming up with villains never pays off in the end. It’s just a good way to speed up your ultimate demise.

I can’t really say that the romance was all that good, but to be fair it was barely a factor in the movie. It was relegated to the backseat for the entirety of the film. It was just there to give the main character more incentive to save the city. It’s not like he needed much more at this point since the city was nearly toast, but it’s not as if it’s a bad thing. The main heroine seemed like a reasonable character.

The first half of the film with the car chase was handled pretty well. The cops look a little bad as they really made it very easy for Mason to escape. Still, it was a good blend of action and humor. Goodspeed certainly gives us a lot of great facial expressions the entire time. The film really speeds by until everyone dies and it’s just the main two. That’s where the pacing finally starts to slow a bit as the characters keep rethinking what they should do next. It’s also one of the only points without a lot of constant explosions. Still, it’s not as if this lasts for long and then the action starts up again.

As far as the writing is concerned, I’d say that it’s okay. Naturally the TV version fixed up some of the language so that significantly improved the script. That gives the writing a little help even if it is still there. It’s not a masterpiece, but it’s not bad either. It’s at a good enough level where it doesn’t distract from what’s on screen so then you can focus on the fights. This whole review really just boils down to one point, this is a solid and explosive action film. What you see is what you get here. There’s no animal violence, the violence in the fights isn’t excessive, things just move very quickly. You move from fight to fight and they’re all handled well.

The government is extremely shady as always, but to the point where it is comical. I always love seeing the government act shady while I also love seeing them look good in films. I’m fine with it either way. The film even has a bit of a stinger involving a certain assasination that everyone loves to use in conspiracy stories. It was a nice enough subplot and I wouldn’t mind a sequel where the government ends up going to court and then things get crazy.

Overall, The Rock is definitely a really solid action movie. The fight scenes are on point and there is an explosion around every corner. The film may have slightly dragged by the end but it’s hard to point to any specific scenes that could have been cut. There may be a few here and there, but it’s just that the overall length of the film is rather long. It’s still handled well at the end of the day. The main message of this film is that you have to be a good shot because if you miss the first few times, you may not get a second shot. I’d recommend giving this film a watch if you see it on TV. You won’t be disappointed.

Overall 7/10

Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

Transformers: The Last Knight Review

If you ignore the fact that Prime looks obviously evil in the poster…it’s hard to disagree with the message. If one planet is going to die then shouldn’t it be Earth? Those guys are always picking on the Autobots and destroying themselves anyway. Even if the Transformer movies have not been all that good historically they do certainly have great posters and trailers. If nothing else, they always do a good job of drawing you in. On that note, I went to the theaters to watch this latest installment, but could it hold its own against the last few and even surpass them? Time to find out!

Well, the film starts off with a prolonged action scene back in the days of the 12 knights. It’s as boring as you’d expect with very generic bombs being thrown and people stabbing each other. Films like this one keep reminding me why action scenes should all take place in the modern day alongside big buildings and cool effects. The drunk Merlin gets the Autobots to help him so they destroy the other side. Merlin is even given the staff of power which has the ability to destroy and recreate whole planets. He literally takes it to the grave.

We cut away to the present day where a girl by the name of Izabella is saving a few kids who broke into a government protected site with killer machines running around. They shoot to kill and that includes kids, but fortunately Cade and his resistance pals like Bumble Bee show up and finish off the government robots. The kids run off, but Izabella stays with Cade since she wants to fight. The two characters trade sob stories while Cade has a beer (The film made sure to show that it was a Budlight) and then Mr. Edmund shows up to tell the heroes that they have to find the scepter of power and stop the incoming invasion. He has also located and brought in a lady named Viviane who is a descendant of Merlin and the only one who can wield it. Naturally Viviane and Cade don’t get along, but none of the characters do. Can they at least stop the invasion or will their not so subtle insults against each other take top priority? Oh yeah, Megatron’s also around.

This is 100% a Michael Bay film. You can tell because it follows all of the classic tropes. The only good one is that we get a ton of explosions. There’s constantly something catching fire and blowing up. Everyone gets to be in an explosion at some point or other and that was interesting. Well, interesting isn’t the right word, but at least it’s something to catch your attention even if you know that it’s just trying to cover up the lack of a plot.

Unfortunately the other cliches are here. Naturally when Viviane is brought to the castle, she decided to bring along a rather inappropriate outfit for business. It’s not as if it would be a huge deal but of course Cade brings it up and they have a pretty sad conversation about it. Keep in mind that these two were enemies at first, but Cade quotes a random philosopher once they’re okay. He shows off his 6 pack once and they are immediately past the friend zone. The flirting and fanservice were pretty sad and while not as bad as in previous films, I had a feeling the film would bring this into the picture.

Then there’s the writing. I don’t want to say it was the worst yet, but there must have been over 50-100 s words in the film. It was used in almost every single sentence. It’s as if the keyboard warriors from reddit and twitch were the main characters in this film. It was incredibly awful and took you out of the film every time. Why does everyone have to use swear words to express every idea that they get? It’s painfully bad and would have doomed the film to a low score even without all of the other negatives.

It’s also hard to know who to root for. The Autobots are anything but likable. They spend the first half of the film doing more damage to each other than the Decepticons possibly could. Bumblebee even destroys one of his fellow Autobots for no good reason. I don’t remember his name but it was one of the minicons, Bumblebee just crushed him without remorse. The others don’t get along either so there’s a ton of threats among them. We get about 20 minutes of the Autobots just yelling at each other and the humans deciding to follow their example. The insults get pretty personal throughout and one guy even brings up the race card to counter Cade. Well, I shouldn’t say “even” that was another guarantee in this film. Viviane doesn’t get along with her parents and relatives either for more drama and they care more about her love life than the alien invasion. Edmund is constantly threatening to destroy his butler and his butler tries to choke Cade to death, but is stopped at the last second. These are our heroes.

Think about that for a second. Our heroes are the ones who keep threatening each other, actually destroy one member, blackmail other members, and basically just live to destroy. They destroy Decepticons not for honor or victory, but just because they like to murder stuff. Optimus Prime isn’t exempt either as his terribly conceived plan to head to Cybertron winds up getting him frozen. Fortunately, he crash lands there and the ice chips off. I think he suffered a severe concussion though because he doesn’t remember that Cybertron was destroyed so he rushes over and attacks the metal lady who’s there because he thinks she destroyed it. She casually beats him in one hit with her lightning and forces him to kneel before her. She then easily mind controls him to turn evil and be her slave. It’s hinted that it’s mind control since he grew a red scar and she did the same to Megatron. Oh yeah, Megatron gets mind controlled so he’s a subordinate yet again.

Prime doesn’t stay evil for long though as a quick “Martha!” sort of line gets him to turn good again. The heroes decide to kick him a few times while he’s down so he learns a lesson though and everyone just stands there and watches it happen. I get the feeling Prime isn’t too popular on Earth sometimes even if the Autobots claim that they look up to him. While Quintessa (The metal lady) was pretty awesome and it was nice to see her wreck everybody, the film forgot about that. Instead of blasting Viviane and ending the film in an instant, she orders Megatron to do it and doesn’t do anything herself. She gets blasted by Bee and that’s basically the end of her story. It’s a sad way to go.

Hot Rod is actually in this film, but you’ll barely care since he’s nothing like his classic self. He’s just a guy with a french accent who likes blasting stuff. His time stop ability is useful, but he rarely ever remembers to use it so he may as well not have it. The Decepticons are all fairly generic. We have a scene inspired by the Suicide Squad where we see him release his favorite cons and they all team up, but half of them die in their first action scene and even Megatron himself isn’t all that impressive. He seems about as durable as your average con and has slightly more firepower. He never really seems like a threat.

Despite the writing being so bad, some of the humans are all right. Izabella is reasonable for a kid. At least she knows what she is doing and managed to survive for so long as the government base. Her robot even looked a lot like Bumblebee and I could have sworn that it was him the whole time. Why do they have the same design? If Bumblebee had died in such a random way like that I’m sure the fanbase would have gone nuts though. I didn’t really care for Viviane much though. She seemed to overreact a lot and the 180 personality shift once she got along with Cade was sad. Cade also wasn’t that great as he drinks too much beer and also takes things too personally. The whole plot with his daughter was made to be way too dramatic.

The government is also bad as always. They decided to turn against all of the Transformers yet again. Sure, they’re all pretty mean, but why pick a fight that you can’t win? Their weapons are finally strong enough….well who are we kidding. Their weapons are always strong enough to beat Transformers. They’ll still lose in the end if they go with a frontal assault so it’s just not a smart move. It’s a rather half baked one. The only good member of the army was the physics guy who kept mocking the heroes for relying on magic. He’d point out that magic wasn’t real and that the team should use physics to win. It didn’t work of course as magic is the whole point of the film, but the guy made some good points and had a lot of excellent burns.

The film relies pretty heavily on being half comedy and action. Unfortunately, the humor doesn’t work very well. The funniest scenes were the unintentional ones like the heroes constantly bickering or Optimus Prime getting frozen just by flying. The actual humor just tends to fall flat like the flirting and all of the characters acting like jerks. I suspect the guy on the telephone trying to be a knight was supposed to be funny as well, but it didn’t really work. Also, how come this guy seems to know everything? I like that he didn’t panic like the others and just decided to hang out at the beach instead of stressing out, but it felt like filler. Of course, over half of the film is basically prolonged to extend the run time. I suppose there could be some charm in seeing the characters all insult each other in a reverse friendship kind of way. Perhaps Bay is going for that as you just enjoy all of the insults, but even that would need better writing. Bad writing holds everything back.

Aside from the opening action sequence, the fight scenes aren’t bad I suppose. They all start to blend together after a while and we don’t really get any prolonged fight though. Most fights end with a few hits. Bumblebee vs Optimus is probably the only really long fight in the movie and that would probably be the best one. The ending was rather anticlimactic though.

This film does have an after credits scene by the way so you should stick around for that. It’s the kind of scene that would be hype in a different series but not for this one. The villain that they’re hyping up is not someone I want to see. I was practically wincing there because I assumed that by grabbing the scepter they had hopefully destroyed this person too. Ah well, at least the cool person who is giving out the intel should be a good villain. Perhaps that is all I can ask for.

Overall, Transformers delivers another blunder. It’s just a bad film that is crammed in with every plot imaginable. The plots could have been good except the writing is terrible. The script is so bad it hurts and the characters are all made out to be villains or unlikable. The romance is as rushed as it ever was since the characters have only known each other for around a day or less. The film can be funny at times but for all the wrong reasons. There’s just no reason to have hope for another film, but they’re going to come out anyway. I like to think that the next film will be better, but it’s hard to even think that at this point. I suppose the films deliver on being mindless action blockbusters where you just try to enjoy the experience and keep it moving, but all of the films feel the same in that regard. They’ll hold your attention but never come close to being a good film. If the next film wants to be better, it should finally make the Autobots heroic, Strengthen the Dinobots a bit so they don’t keep losing, strengthen all of the Transformers so humans aren’t constantly beating them, and make the humans more likable. The films may just be doomed though and your best bet is looking at the original animated series again. At least that one was quality.

Overall 3/10

Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Review

The Summer is basically over, but we’re still ready for one more big action film right? This film has some pretty steep competition since we’ve already witnessed some all stars in Captain America and Spiderman. Godzilla provided us with an unforgettable cinematic experience and Guardians of The Galaxy continued the MCU’s streak of victories. This means that the Ninja Turtles must try to defeat Robocop, X Men Days of Future Past and Transformers. Can it do this or is it already doomed to lose? The film was essentially about as good as I thought it would be and it didn’t drag on quite as much as I had feared.

The film gives us a quick intro to the turtles as we see them train and get a feel for the surroundings. (This is what the remake film for Batman and the upcoming Dr. Strange film should definitely do) We learn that the Foot Clan was a pretty powerful organization, but the cops eventually forced them to go underground. Now, the Foot Clan is prepared to rise up once again with the mighty Shredder as their leader! Splinter commands the Turtles to refrain from visiting the outside world because they are not yet ready. The Turtles don’t really care though because they have lives to save! April O Neal gets involved after she witnesses a battle between the two sides. She wants to expose the Turtles for the heroes(?) that they are, but they don’t want this. Will the Turtles be able to take down the Shredder and will April get her scoop!? The stakes have never been higher….

First off, I have to give the film some credit for the fight scenes. The battles against the Shredder were pretty intense. I dare say that they were more fun than Wolverine’s battle against the Silver Samurai. It may not be quite up to snuff with something like Cap vs Winter Soldier, but it was still very good. I dare say that the action scenes were better than I had anticipated. The iconic battle between the Shredder and the 4 Turtles atop the tower is easily the best fight, but Splinter’s battle is pretty emotional as well.

Of course, it may not be as enjoyable if you don’t like blowouts. The four turtles are literally unable to damage Shredder in their fights until the very end where the plot demands that the film must have a happy ending. It’s 4 to 1 and Shredder is basically toying with the turtles. There were several times where he could have finished them off and he just didn’t bother. The film also makes sure to show us that Splinter could also take on the 4 turtles at once since he gave the Shredder a better fight. I really feel bad for the Turtles sometimes.

The normal action scenes against the Foot Clan is a little less entertaining. The camera angles weren’t very good so it was hard to get an accurate picture of the action. It was still pretty suspenseful and epic to see the Turtles doing so well in the shadows, but we all knew who would win. I found myself missing the pizza boy from the original films a few different times.

The soundtrack is pretty generic. Nothing that you haven’t heard before. Unfortunately, it ends up being pretty negative thanks to the rap song during the credits. Easily the worst song that I’ve heard in such a mainstream film in a long time. I really don’t like rapping and it tends to make any scene a little less enjoyable. In moderation, it is possible to have a good rap song in the background, but it’s extremely rare. Mostly because I just don’t care for the beat and the lyrics are usually pretty cringe worthy. This is one film where you should make sure to dash out as soon as the credits start. Nobody’s got time for that song!

One issue with the film is naturally the romance. This is a work that is associated with Michael Bay so I’m sure that we all expected the worst. It never gets as drastic as the early Transformer films, but it can still be very annoying and grating on the ears. Michelangelo is constantly flirting, which isn’t cool. He never stops going after April and you really want the other turtles to make him back off. Unfortunately, they tend to ignore him. April’s partner also flirts a lot, although at least he does it in a classier way. If not for one scene where he shows that he doesn’t mind stooping to low levels, he would have actually been a good character. Unfortunately, it’s hard to save such a character. At least there really isn’t much here in terms of fan service, but unnecessary flirting is still pretty bad.

One big complaint that I had with the film was the lack of pizza scenes. If you’re a TMNT fan, then you’ll know that pizza is always very involved in the franchise. It only gets one or two scenes during the flashbacks and a single appearance in the modern times. They claim that it’s a Pizza Hut slice, but it bears to resemblance to any Pizza Hut slice that I’ve ever had! Even if it did have 99 cheeses on it, the actual slice should look similar. The film really dropped the ball there and the tension in the theater was pretty ominous. I think we were all tempted to leave and go to Pizza Hut for a true slice to compare it to the film’s.

Raphael is probably the best turtle from the group, although Leonardo is close. Raphael is basically the tough member of the group, while still being very nice and gentle on the inside. It’s an “epic” plot development where he confesses what he has been holding inside all these years. Everyone else ignores him and you’re supposed to feel bad for the guy. I was just waiting for the plot to continue. Raphael is pretty confident and he may be the strongest turtle, but he’s still no match for the Shredder. Raphael is decently likable, but he’s ultimately generic and he’s essentially the winner by default.

Leonardo is close, but it’s mostly because of the fact that he’s pretty silent compared to the others. He’s the fearless leader, but he spends all of his time trying to prove his superiority to Raphael. He gets one scene where he goes up against the Shredder in a one on one fight. All I will say is that the fight scene lasts for about 2 seconds and it’s very embarrassing. We don’t see anything that proves he has what it takes to be the leader. It’s one thing to be outclassed by the villain, but Leonardo never gets any big moments. He’s just there to fill in the fourth spot. Of course, that’s better than being the flirt of the group, but we’re coming to that.

Donatello wasn’t very likable and that’s because he’s the smart guy of the group. Now, why is that a bad thing? It doesn’t have to be since we have had many cool smart characters in the past. Light Yagami, Bruce Banner, Batman, etc. The problem is that Donatello wants to be “the cool guy” and he has one scene where he proves this to the others. He should just be happy to be the smart guy, but why would he be when Foot soldiers can just hack into his systems? In that case, there’s just no winning for the guy. He definitely seems to be the weakest fighter and he actually doesn’t seem to be very smart….he just uses big words to get that vibe. Nah, he didn’t work for me in this one.

Michelangelo was easily the worst turtle. His fans may be pleased at his contribution to the big fight in the film, but it’s not nearly enough to save him. He flirts with April nonstop throughout the film. It’s pretty sad and his taste in music also isn’t that good. His mind is never on the mission and he’s not very good at hand to hand combat. He actually forgets about Raphael (along with the other turtles) after the turtle had come to save him. Michelangelo isn’t exactly a team player and he never will be at this rate. Without Michelangelo, this film actually had a pretty strong chance of cracking a 7. He just brings the whole thing down since you basically have to tune him out.

April is the main heroine of the film and it’s a little scary to think that she’s more likable than the turtles. Unfortunately, she humors Michelangelo most of the time as she never tells him to give it a rest. There’s also one scene (Most of the trailers showed this) where she faints after talking to the turtles, which was rather unrealistic. She’s a tough reporter and she had already been talking to them. Why would she faint after seeing a turtle without his headband? It seemed to have been included just to be included. I guess it would help us to remember that the turtles are supposed to be scary, but it doesn’t work. Naturally, April gets her big moments where she helps the turtles take out the Shredder.

April also may not be that smart, but it could be another script issue. Her boss doesn’t believe that the turtles are real so April gathers a lot of “evidence” to prove it. Unfortunately, she doesn’t show her boss the pictures of the turtles that she got on her phone. It could be attributed to the fact that maybe she didn’t want to show this to the boss, but why wouldn’t she? She had every reason to show it to the boss since it definitely would have exposed the turtles. As long as April steers clear of the romantic advanced from her partner and Michelangelo, she should continue to be a pretty good character. She just needs to learn to do a better job of remembering what information she has at her disposal.

Sacks is one of the big players in the film. I can’t say that he’s very likable. One could say that his public role in the film is sort of like Harvey Dent’s. He’s shaking his fist at crime and he’s ready to stop the FOOT clan once and for all. Unfortunately, he’s not quite as convincing as Harvey and he is used for a lot of exposition. The exposition was definitely one of the boring moments of the film and we didn’t need another long origin story for the olden days.

Vernon is April’s partner and he wishes that she wouldn’t mind staying on the small jobs. He actually has a fair point since she’s still getting worthwhile things to report and I think April was a little too critical. The exercise convention was actually pretty good and jumping on a trampoline with other adults is hardly as embarrassing as she made it sound. If it was only her with a lot of little toddlers then maybe it would be tricky…maybe. A lot of people really wouldn’t mind considering that it will let them bring home their check. Back to Vernon, unfortunately, he isn’t quite as tough as he likes to think he is. He gets one attack at the very end of the film, but it’s not much. He does have one scene, which basically wrecks his character so you can’t really root for him by the end.

The Shredder is a pretty great villain. It’s interesting how he only talks in japanese when he doesn’t have the armor on, but becomes fluent in English with it. I’m guessing that the armor has an auto translator or something, but it’s definitely possible that the Shredder knows both languages. Nevertheless, he performs well in combat and that’s what counts. His goal is definitely a little dubious though and he better have the antidote at the ready. His fighting skills are so good that it will be tough for a sequel to top him as a villain. Although with the cliffhanger…I may not need to worry about this too much. The Shredder is definitely one of the highlights of the film.

Splinter is pretty powerful and he’s a likable fighter when he’s in on the action. That being said, I definitely disagree with some of his decisions. There’s no good reason to keep the turtles from patrolling the streets at night. The cops already took out most of the FOOT and when does he think the turtles will ever be ready? They’re already pretty tough and there’s a limit to how strong you will end up becoming. He was definitely too strict at that point, but I’m sure that he’ll lighten up from now on….although it may be too late for that.

Did I mention that the script for the film is pretty….retro? Unfortunately, this doesn’t seem to have been planned, but a lot of the lines are rather dated and they’re pretty cheesy as well. “Use an innocent as bait!” or something along those lines is uttered by the big bad Shredder! He acts as if no villain has ever done this before and his right hand woman even seems pretty shocked at the prospect. The music also quickly goes into its dramatic phase to highlight the scene as an important gamechanger. If these guys are villains, they shouldn’t have a problem with using civilians as bait. There were quite a few other lines that I could mention since they’re scattered throughout the film. I like a little cheesy dialogue in the films, but then it should be consistent and make the rest of the film cheesy as well.

I would definitely say that TMNT is a better adaption of the franchise than the Transformer films. Of course, there is less to wreck in a TMNT film, but they still covered most of the bases without depowering the turtles too much. One could argue that they’re slightly more impressive here than in their own series. I wouldn’t go that far, but they are pretty tough. The designs still look pretty terrible to me though. I seriously hope that they change the designs for the sequel and return them to how they looked in the old films or a model that looks a little bit more like the cartoons. I’m definitely all right with the Shredder’s design though since it’s pretty intense.

Overall, This film is kind of like Robocop. It’s just a fun film without anything to help it stand above the crowd. The main drawback is the excessive flirting from both Michelangelo and Vernon. Without that, the film didn’t really have any big flaws. Of course, that’s enough to hurt it a lot and the end credits scene was pretty bad as well. (The rap song hurts your ears as well) The cliffhanger may be intriguing to some and generic to others. Either way, I can safely say that I am looking forward to the next TMNT film. It should be a good one, although it won’t be great. I recommend this film if you survived through the first Transformers film to see how you compare the two. Both of them take a few shots at the original sources so that should be interesting. (Karai’s role is very disappointing for her fans and the “Cowabunga” term is used, but the Turtles look very bad in that scene…it’s one of those things) If you don’t like to see the main heroine get harassed by everyone for the entire film…this won’t be the title for you.

Overall 6/10