Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles review – one for the (grand)kids

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Director: Jonathan Liebesman

Starring: Megan Fox and Will Arnett

Certificate 12A

Way back in the 80s the comic book version of TMNT was immediately embraced by kids globally. It was decidedly left field, very quirky, anarchic and totally different from all the competition. It was followed by a cartoon series, which was re-named Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles in the UK ‘cos the powers that be decided the word Ninja was too provocative and violent…duh! Of course there was also a boat load of tie-in merchandise and I remember only too well being nagged gutless for the toys by the very same person who is now Creative Director of this publication.

tmnt retro

The comic book survived until 2000 and there have been several movies and spin-offs over the last 30 years. In keeping with Hollywood’s never-ending demand for new super-hero franchises they have now been re-imagined for the CGI generation.

Produced by Michael Bay, who is responsible for the mega-successful Transformers movies and directed by Jonathon Liebesman I found it pretty enjoyable considering I saw it at a press screening at 11.am on a Sunday morning.


The plot, as is, concerns the Foot Clan led by the evil mastermind Shredder terrorising New York City. Frustrated junior reporter April O’Neil (Megan Fox) inadvertently witnesses the Clan being thwarted one night by mysterious vigilantes. Her editor and co-workers don’t believe her so she sets out to find out who the undercover heroes really are. She is accompanied on her quest by her cameraman Vernon (Will Arnett) who also supplies the wisecracks.

megan and turtle

Of course, she finds the Turtles and their leader a rat called Splinter and it transpires that she, in fact, is responsible for their very existence. Her father a genetics scientist had experimented on them as babies. When his lab is ravaged by fire she rescued the baby turtles and rat and sets them free in the sewers where they mutate. The rat becomes their martial arts guru and they become Ninjas hiding from humanity but learning all there is to know from the internet!

master splinter

The origin story is nicely told, the characters are well realised and the movie rattles along at a great pace with the heroes going all out to defeat the enemy and save the city.

I saw it in 3D which is often a sadly under-utilised medium in many films however the long action scene featuring a chase between the Turtles and the Clan down a snow covered mountain justifies it big time.


Let’s be honest, this is a kid’s film and unless you are still young enough to feel nostalgic for the original you certainly won’t want to see this on “date night” but if you have kids or grandkids that deserve a treat then none of you will be disappointed.

Rating for kids: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Snooze Rating: 1 out of 5 stars

If you liked this you will also like: Transformers (all), The Lego Movie, Guardians of the Galaxy, How to Train Your Dragon ( 1 & 2) and practically every other super hero movie.