I know almost nothing about Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and I’m already cringing at the new movie. I first had to do a double take at the fact that they made a movie, the ‘they’ being Michael Bay, who brought us the Transformers films with a varying degree of success and a guarantee of explosions. The TMNT movie seems to very much be in the same vein, the strange new breed of cinema that takes much-loved franchises of toys and children’s TV and reworks them into a badass, sexy, CGI-filled extravaganza. Presumably so, if you’re part of the demographic that enjoyed it as a kid, you can continue to validate your enjoyment of it by sinking your teeth into this new version specially tailored for adults. Hmm.
Now, there’s not necessarily anything wrong with that… but this process can go in weird directions. Or, as in the case of Transformers, just lead to some awful movies. There’s potential for great fun here, as there are with any action movie, especially based on pre-existing things like comics or TV shows so you know that the creators aren’t going to be afraid to be wacky, since they know they’ve already got an audience. If they need to, they can run on the power of nostalgia alone and it will rake in cash, but you don’t want to just lean on that. And you have to keep in mind, also, that a remake like this will draw in new fans—probably actual kids, seeing as they’re still intrinsically linked with their toy lines—and that can lead to a clash of target audiences. Continue reading