The movie that changed it all! The one and only OG movie that changed the entire game and took over kids lives, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1990's movie! What a time to be alive as a kid, with the ninja turtles cartoon, the comics, the amazing toys, but what came after that we never expected. The live action film of our favorite comic book heroes at the time, the cartoon icons, were coming to the big screen and I still remember seeing the sick but weird ass trailer and just couldn't suppress my excitement for that movie! I still remember seeing it in the theaters, well, vaguely, I do remember seeing it twice, once with my father, uncle, and cousin, in a line that felt like two hours. The line went around the building, it was a much see movie and we weren't going to miss out on this experience, I mean I was Leonardo and my cousin was Michelangelo, so why would we miss our own movie!?
The Ninja Turtles pretty much took over life for me at that point in time and it's still a part of my life now, probably to the day I die I'll remain a kid like fan. That's okay right? So was it all it was cracked up to be? Was it the epic culmination of everything that built it up to be? YES!
The story of April O'Neil as a television news reporter trying to get to the bottom of the mysterious crime wave in New York City sets the tone for what's to follow, a mugging on O'Neil herself. Everything up to this point shows awesomeness, the music, the tone which was a darker version of Ninja Turtles than we were used to, although the original comic was pretty violent. The lights go out and all you hear is the sounds of fighting and Mikey saying, "Woah", before the cops show up and the scene is lit up with baddies all tied up. That's how it fucking started! Ninjas from the shadows beating on the crooks and leaving them for the cops to take in. As a Cop I'd like to think I'd have some god damn questions like, "What in the ever living hell just happened here?" Little things in the movie that made no sense can just be pushed off into oblivion because It was entertaining and fun, that's all I wanted.
The voice actors of the Ninja Turtles fit perfectly, like when I hear the voices in my head, the OG Movie Turtle voices are the one's I hear. Judith Hoag was perfect casting as April, loved what she brought to the table as an actress, she was one of the best things about the film. Elias Koteas as Casey Jones, again perfect casting. I loved his character which brought some gritty action, comedy, and a little romance in the film. Hoag and Koteas had pretty fun chemistry in the movie, especially when arguing like an old married couple. Toshishiro Obata as Tatsu also killed it, he was a bad ass, the second in command of the Foot, and he's got some violent issues he needs to work out. James Saito as Shredder, top tier casting, the voice, the movements, the intense eyes, everything about him screamed "Perfect"!
The story surrounds April O'Neil as shes the catalyst of the entire movie. Everything surrounds April, as she is the one telling the world about the crime wave, her mugging conveniently brings her into contact with the Turtles, Raphs mistake of dropping his Sai which she picks up, and then ultimately her throwing the Foot Clan under the bus during an interview on network television brings about a response from the Foot's leader Shredder. The whole Raph arc with his temper and that getting the best of him to the loss the turtles endure when they lose their father Splinter, to the ambush against the turtles at April's home which almost gets them all killed, its just packed with fun filled craziness mixed with some comedy throughout. Its just amazing, especially as a Ninja Turtle fan. From beginning to the end, there is no filler like nonsense in between.
I wanted to rate this higher, but the soundtrack wasn't the greatest. This isn't a knock on the movie, there were some legit songs that brought out the best of particular scenes, but some of the soundtrack songs I don't even remember. Literally the only one that mattered was the end credit song that has stuck in my head since 1990, TMNT Power. I remember rewinding this song over and over on a god damn cassette tape, yeah, old school dinosaur era cassette tapes. 'Partners in Kryme' made a masterpiece with Turtle Power.
For a Ninja Turtles movie with people in full costume with barely any sight, they did a top notch job, not only that, some of the fights in this movie was epic. The April Home ambush had some goofy moments, but it got real desperate and brutal soon after. The rooftop scene with Raph and the Foot was great, although short. The best fights were definitely the end where the full foot clan, hundreds of teens in masks who thought they were ninjas, went into a dark smelly sewer to fight giant Turtles with weapons. The Shredder against the Turtles? Legendary. What a fun fight! Just an all out good time.
Was it a stunning visual movie? No. It was dark and gritty, but perfect. The stages they created for the masterpiece called Ninja Turtles just came out perfect, whether it was the lair, April's home, the subway, or the farm house where they escaped to, just spotless perfection left and right. Am I biased? You're god damn right I am, but I'm trying to be fair!
All in all this movie is the best live action version of our favorite Ninja sewer dwelling Mutants. Rating it was a little harder than I believed, since in my head its a high 90 to me, but going slowly and thinking hard about it I couldn't just hand out that type of score. So with that said, the score it gets is a 84 out of 100, or 8.4 out of 10! How!? I really thought I'd give one of my favorite movies of all time a high 90 or a 10 out of 10, but I betrayed myself and honestly I don't think I can trust myself again after writing this blasphemy.
Bottom line the ending the movie is epic, will forever be in my top three favorite movies of all time, and I this film will never get old.
Who watched this 1990's awesome movie? Did you like it? Have you seen it recently? Was it as good as you remembered? I literally watch this like five times a year, because its good and nostalgia reasons.