Release Date: March 23rd, 2007 by Warner Bros. Pictures.
The Voices: Chris Evans, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Mako, Kevin Smith, Patrick Stewart, Laurence Fishburne, Ziyi Zhang, Mitchell Whitfield, James Arnold Taylor, Mikey Kelley, Noah North.
Directed by Kevin Munroe.
BASIC PREMISE: The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles must use their crime-fighting skills to stop billionaire Max Winters (voice of Patrick Stewart) from succeeding with his evil plans.
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: Only early adolescents will be mildly amused by this CGI-animated revival of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles from their popularity in the 80’s. The plot sticks to a typical good guy vs. bad guy scenario with the only surprise being that Raphael (voice of Nolan North) dresses up incognito in metal to fight crime on the side. Leonardo (voice of James Arnold Taylor) fights crime way out in a South American when April (voice of Sarah Michelle Gellar) tries to convince him to return to the city to solve a bigger crime involving billionaire Max Winters. Winters’ evil plans bring back together Raphael, Leonardo as well as their other ninja turtle buddies, Michelangelo (voice of Mikey Kelley) and Donatello (voice of Mitchell Whitfield). Master Splinter (voice of Mako) gives them moral support while Casey Jones (voice of Chris Evans) tries to help them out in their battles. Watching any of these scenes might bring back 80’s memories for adults, but what’s clearly missing are the some of the trademarks such as the theme song, lots of pizza, and the popular phrase “Cowabunga”, which only comes up once. None of the ninja turtles really stand out in any interesting way. Watch for a cameo of Kevin Smith's voice as a diner server. With the exception of a brief chase in the diner kitchen with a small gremlin-like alien, writer/director Kevin Munroe often misses out on opportunities to add well-needed physical humor, instead mostly opting for straight-forward, dull action sequences. On a positive note, the state-of-the-art CGI animation looks quite impressive and the film moves at a fast enough pace with a painless running time of 87 minutes.
SPIRITUAL VALUE: None is required or desired.
INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: None, as long as you suspend your disbelief.
NUMBER OF TIMES I CHECKED MY WATCH: 4
IN A NUTSHELL: Mildly amusing with impressive CGI effects, but mostly dull and forgettable. Strictly for early adolescents.
RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: TV
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