I keep hoping that somewhere along the line we’ll finally see something, anything, from Jonathan Liebesman’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle that makes it look good. As much as I’ve tried to be optimistic—and I was for a while, even after those weird humanoid faces were revealed—it’s been hard, harder than anything involving a movie about anthropomorphic turtles should be. That feeling extends to this short new character video and poster.
If you remember those motion posters that the Platinum Dunes-produced update of Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird’s beloved comic dropped a while back, you’ll recognize most of the action in this footage. This is basically an expanded version of those clips all stitched together, complete with the weird slice-of-life shots. You get the rundown of each of the Heroes in a Half Shell, who each gets their own snappy, groan-inducing quip about things like rocking and rolling.
From the footage we’ve seen, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles looks like a cluttered, jumbled, nonsensical mess. It may only be a Michael Bay-produced movie, but it certainly has the look and feel of a Michael Bay movie, full of lightning-quick edits and action sequences where you can barely tell what the hell is supposed to be going on. Then again, I’ve never been a huge a fan Liebesman’s style, either. Wrath of the Titans is a terrible movie, and his Battle Los Angeles is like two hours of watching someone sprint with a camera in the hand, it’s tooth rattling it shakes so much.
I do have one serious question. From their general appearance, the people that the Turtles are fighting are presumably members of the Foot Clan. If that is the case, why the fuck are they using machine guns? I really hope they don’t only use machine guns. I’m already concerned about Donatello not using his martial arts as much as he should—with all of those gadgets, you get the impression that he’s going to rely more on tech than skills—and the same goes for Shredder, since his costume looks more like heavy armor than anything that would allow the freedom of movement necessary to fight with any level of competence. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see how all of this goes down when the movie hits on August 8.
This poster is one of least offensive pieces of marketing that we’ve seen for the TMNT update. The views of all four Turtles are close enough that you can pretend they have the more traditional, rounded faces that you know and love from the comics, cartoons, and earlier movies.
And as many changes as this new movie has made, at least some things haven’t changed—and at least they’re not space aliens like in one incarnation of the script. At least they’re still fighting Shredder, even though he’s now also responsible for creating them, and he’s a white guy named Eric. They also still live in the sewers and love pizza, so there’s that. In situations like this we have to cling tight to what we have, like shipwreck survivors.