You knew that this was coming, and that it was going to be all kinds of mean, but now that the movie is out on Blu-ray and DVD, here is the Screen Junkies’ “Honest Trailer” for the Jonathan Liebesman’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
To be honest, this isn’t actually quite a brutal as I expected. Sure, they do their shtick of pointing out all of the obvious flaws and problems, but the issues all so apparent that you’re already well aware of them, and they either bother you or they don’t. There are some funny moments, however, like referring to the newly designed Turtles as “roided-out nightmare versions of Shrek,” or talking about how the “nerd rage of 1000 fanboys” led to changes in the story and obvious reshoots.
Easily the best part of this Honest Trailer is when a little kid shows up and just shuts things down. I’m a big believer in the idea that, just because you make a kid movie, doesn’t mean it has to be stupid as shit, but it is admittedly difficult to cast stones when your generation is responsible for “Ninja Rap.”
I get that Michael Bay is almost universally derided (for the record, I consider myself a fan, though not of the Transformers movies—Bad Boys 2 on the other hand…), and while he certainly played a part in this, I feel like he gets too much credit/blame as the producer. Liebesman should shoulder his fair share of the burden. Then again, he’s the director responsible for Wrath of the Titans, so I don’t know what people expected. This video does make a good point that Bay seems to have a thing for toys from the 1980s. Maybe he’s massively overcompensating for not getting all of the playthings he wanted as a child, or just loves them so much he wants to play with them forever.
They also make an observation that I feel like a lot of people miss about Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. (I find myself in the awkward place of defending this movie more often than I’m entirely comfortable with, even though I did not like it and do not think it is good.) For all of the problems, and there are many, the film does manage to get the spirit and feel of the title characters right. Of everything that you can pick apart in this film, my biggest complaint is simply that they’re not in the movie nearly enough. I don’t want to see April O’Neil’s story, especially played by Megan Fox, I want to see the Turtles, even if they’re weird looking, which they most certainly are.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles get the Turtles right to the point that I’m even cautiously optimistic about the upcoming sequel. Liebesman is out as director, replaced by David Green (Earth to Echo), and if they actually focus on the Turtles and tell a good story, it could wind up being a lot of fun. Maybe I’m misguided, but what the hell, I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt and reserve judgment until we actually get to see the damn movie. I also have my fingers crossed for Rocksteady, Bebop, Krang, and Casey Jones, all of which have been mentioned as possibilities. Hopefully they’ll all make an appearance when we sit down in the theater for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 on June 3, 2016.