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2007-12-21 13:31
What it's about:

After the defeat of Shreddar, a deep rooted rift has torn the brothers apart. Leonardo is on worldwide training mission, Donatello provides mindless telephonic technical support, Michelangelo entertains kids at birthday parties as a clown-for-hire and Raphael has become a vigilante crime fighter.

But the brothers need to set aside their personal differences and sibling rivalries and band together to fight off a new evil threatening to take over the city and the world.

What we thought of it:

Fans of the comic book and animated series may stand divided over whether the new storyline is a fitting tribute of the original Turtles or a misguided jumble of the various stories over the decades; although it's never a complete departure from its humble origins.

Shreddar is defeated and the Foot Clan is reduced to "muscle-for-hire", April O' Neil doesn't work for Channel 6 News or Baxter Stockman and instead runs a shipping company with her fiancé Casey Jones, who is still a baseball bat wielding vigilante, and the Turtles have all in their own way connected with life on the surface.

Because the Turtles franchise is mostly marketed at kids, understandably you'd expect director/screenwriter Kevin Munroe to throw in a couple of references to the good vs evil philosophy, but the moral lessons in TMNT are off the charts. Every time Splinter delivers a line it's to lecture on the principles of discipline, the bonds of brotherhood, and loyalty; it's overkill in other words. Near the end of the film you feel like you've just sat through a semester of Morality 101.

Although the computer-generated imagery is not as impressive as that in Transformers, TMNT is not half bad, and should rather be enjoyed on the big screen as the finer character details will not be visible on a 54cm Flat Screen. The digital artists went into painstaking detail, even giving each turtle his own characteristic nuances: the gallant Leonardo, the swaggering Raphael, the jumpy and restless Michelangelo and the gracious Donatello.

Two action-packed sequences are worth mentioning for the fine attention to detail while hundreds of things are happening all at once: the Turtles' attack on one of the monsters in an abandoned building, and the racing rescue attempt through hundreds of Foot Clan soldiers.

Ultimately, TMNT isn't the best animated spin on a beloved classic. But watch it for its distinctive Turtle humour and departure from the real world.

- Megan Kakora
An underground parody that became a mainstream sensation will live on forever in the minds of fans, but conventional CGI and a so-so storyline make this spin on a classic nothing more than average.

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