Thursday, July 3, 2008
The World's Most Fearsome Fighting Team!
Lean, Green, Fighting Machine! That's what this famous quartet sometimes called itself. During the late 80's and through the 90's these 4 mutants were responsible for a huge breakout in Salmonella among other things.
While the Ninja Turtles may have had a huge range of products ranging from the toys, cartoons and the films, I going to talk about the original movie.
TMNT the movie told a tale that was different from the famous cartoon, and stayed true to its comic book roots. In the film the world was significantly darker and one of the most significant changes undone from the cartoon was Raphael. Just as in the comic Raph suffered from his uncontrollable rage and was constantly at odds with Leonardo for taking what he felt was his leadership spot.
Beyond that the movie had a very serious tone about family. Near the opening of the film, Splinter (the talking mentor rat) tells the turtles that he will not be there forever and his appearance in the film was a heavily aged one.
This movie covered a lot of ground. Themes of love were woven throughout the film, and though Leo and Raph never got on, this changed after Raphael goes out by himself and ends up in a Coma in yet another 'brutal' scene.
One of the heaviest or more shocking scenes to fans of the cartoon would be the scene where the Turtles discover that their home has been discovered, ransacked and that Master Splinter has been abducted. In the scene Raphael begins to shake in rage and lets out a thundering scream into the night which easily rivals the one Superman did in his first movie outing.
Raph's anger boils over
The character interactions were developed nicely from the comic, while Leo and Raph constantly battled each other, Mike and Donnie would mainly stay out of it.
The movie was unfortunately considered too violent for kids, and the subsequent sequels removed the tutrles weapons, especially Mike's chucks and made him use sausages in one part of the sequel! Oh the Outrage! But let's face it, the sequels lost the soul of the original and were just mindless popcorn flicks which even I at age 6 noticed. In fact the actress playing April O'Neil in the original dropped out for that very reason. Sure they replaced her with a much hotter April... but still!
One of the most touching scenes in the film involves the Turtles communicating with Splinter through a group meditation session. It is in this scene where the ties of family are really hammered home and its quite possible the movie's strongest scene.
Overall the movie was a good attempt at making the jump to the bigscreen and managed to keep the darker overtures of the comic.