Skip to main content

Possibly the Worst Thing About the New Ninja Turtles Movie

In light of the Flophouse's live episode that will be recorded later tonight, I thought I'd write briefly about the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie that came out last year.

I don't have a lot I want to say since I'm not in the mood for a big long rant.  And besides, it's not like I'd really have much more to complain about that you aren't already aware of.  The gross design?  The stupid dialogue?  The terrible animation?  We all know it already.

No, today I wanted to pose a simple question.  Do you think the 2014 Ninja Turtles are going to be nightmare fuel for our children?

When I was watching the movie, I kept thinking about other misguided creatures or characters from other family or kids' movies.  Like the Wheelers from Return to Oz, or the truck driver from Pee-Wee's Big Adventure, or pretty much everything in Time Bandits.  I can only imagine that the hipster twentysomethings of 2025-2030 are going to keep posting on Internet 4.0 about how hard they shat their pants when they saw Splinter for the first time.

Hell, Michelangelo is the most approachable one of the bunch, and this is his happy face:

That's a soul-eating smirk if I've ever seen one.

It's not just the design, though.  The characters all have psychopathic mannerisms and are overly excited to fight and murder their enemies.  Now, I know that the turtles were kind of psyched up to go fighting in both the show and the '90s movies, but there was a bit of a difference - back then they just loved being ninjas (and, in Michelangelo's case, a turtle).  You got the impression that they were jazzed about what was more or less a really intense role playing game.  Beating people up (and sometimes killing them) was more of a side effect.  The new turtles are explicitly and unsettlingly eager about violence specifically.

So you've got these scary, wide-grinned green killer clowns who laugh about crushing skulls and move around the screen like the monsters in a CGI creature feature.  Fellow parents who have kids old enough to have seen it in theaters: did your children weep openly when they saw their heroes?  Or did it take a few days and a particularly creepy night for the horror to set in?