We’re less than a month away from Jonathan Liebesman’s (Wrath of the Titans) reboot of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and it has already become one of the most divisive movies of the year. Drastic changes to the hero’s appearance and origin story have many fans seething, and from what we’ve seen of the film thus far, it doesn’t exactly inspire a lot of confidence or feelings that this is going to be totally awesome. In an attempt to win over public support, Platinum Dunes (I hope to never type those words again) has released a collection of new motion posters that probably won’t change anyone’s mind.
Studios seem to think that people like motion posters, because they’re everywhere—yesterday saw the release of one for The Expendables 3—and I’m not entirely sure what makes these different from a standard movie clip, except maybe the annoying shape that makes it hard to tell what’s going on. But whatever, they’re don’t appear to be going anywhere and are something we have to get used to.
Donatello gets the first offering. He’s traditionally the smart one of the group, the inventor, but he wants to be the badass just this one time. While he appears to be kicking a fair amount of ass in this footage, I think, he is still my biggest concern about this new TMNT. I hope I’m wrong, but when you look at the purple-clad Turtle, he’s covered in gadgets and gizmos and what looks like a proton pack from Ghostbusters. This makes me worry that he’ll rely more on his toys than his martial arts skills, like a legitimate badass would.
Raphael is up next. Usually the dark, brooding member of the team, this footage definitely falls on the gloomier side of the coin. He’s a big yelling blur here as he takes on some members of the Foot Clan and goes sledding down a snowy hill on his shell, which is really an excellent use of that particular attribute.
If you remember the opening to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon, Michelangelo is a “party dude,” and that is one thing that doesn’t appear to have changed. He also has a sweet, rocket powered skateboard, which he rides in the sewers and even down mountains, if you’re into that sort of thing. You also have to suffer through one of the more obnoxious catch phrases we’ve heard yet, “I’m a snapping turtle.” That’s not good.
Leonardo is the ostensible leader of the pack, and he also happens to get the best of these four installments—that isn’t saying much, but it’s true. That bit where he’s running and gets bounced off of the front of an SUV is one of my favorite moments of the footage we’ve seen.
For good or ill, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles opens on August 8.