Friday, May 28, 2010
Inexplicable Movie Review: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles does not need tinkering, Michael Bay.
I'm normally pretty OK with movies being remade, even if they're popular titles from my past. For example, the first Transformers didn't completely suck, even if the second one was complete and utter trash. The Karate Kid was a classic, but I agree with Bill Simmons when he states that certain aspects of it feel completely dated; I think it might be hard for some kids now to relate to movies that have absolutely no computer, cell phone or Internet presence. The new Karate Kid doesn't look great to me, but it also doesn't look like complete ass.
I'm more confused by the news that Michael Bay is remaking Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Uh, esqueeze me? Baking soda? What the heck is wrong with TMNT?
The movie holds up great, which isn't to say that it is a legitimately great movie. It is a bad movie aimed at kids, and it makes absolutely no attempt to be high art. With the ridiculous premise of turtles and a rat exposed to radiation who then learn kung-fu from the rat because he's originally from Japan, it would damn near be impossible to get an Oscar nomination. The turtles make lame jokes that are funny to kids, and so-bad-they're-funny to me now that I'm an adult.
It also helps the camp / humor value that everything about the movie is out of central casting and predictable, and logically unexplainable. You know, like how there is a secret army in New York City, led by a dude with a bladed helmet, and who seems to have a general who barely speaks English. They entice underage teenagers to join their super-serious martial arts gang with cigarettes, arcade games and skateboarding ramps. (Note about movies of this ilk, and a good idea for an Airplane! style spoof: What exactly is in it for all the super-serious henchmen of these movies? I'll even give you a title - Hench. Like, duh.)
There are also plenty of fight scenes, and most of them hold up well because they feature Three Stooges-style slapstick. ha ha, Michelangelo is on his back and spinning to trip up Foot Soldiers! Donatello just spit water in that guy's face! Oh, now the turtles are ordering pizza, and the Domino's guy (hi product placement!) can't find them because they live in a sewer, ha ha!
Given how ridiculous and great everything already is, why does their need to be a remake? Well, besides the obvious reason that Michael Bay would like to make lots of money. There are two directions they can go with this, both of which would suck:
- Make it like Batman Begins, which would mean super realistic and gritty... except that they're mutant ninja turtles?
- Copy the animated shows and go even more slapstick. However, the recent animated shows have sucked, so I can't see them doing big business. And hey, remember a couple years ago when they went this route and that movie sucked because it was slow and plodding?
In conclusion, Michael Bay please do not mess around with my movie. And also, don't you dare think of remaking The Wizard.