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5 reasons for the wave of hate directed at the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film

Published on Aug 5, 2014 3:50 PM
It has been quite a journey for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle fanbase these past few years leading up to the release of the upcoming Jonathan Liebesman film adaptation, which is out in Singapore on Aug 7. -- PHOTO: UIP

It has been quite a journey for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle fanbase these past few years leading up to the release of the upcoming Jonathan Liebesman film adaptation, which is out in Singapore on Aug 7.

From the horror that ensued when producer Michael Bay let slip that there were plans to make the Turtles aliens to the raised eyebrows given to the Turtles' creepy new design; some say there's potential in change but most are keeping expectations low.

After all, fans have seen the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in a variety of incarnations - from their 1984 comic book debut, to a popular 1987 animated series, live-action movies in the 1990s and two more animated reboots in the last decade.

Though Bay has since retracted his alien statement - clarifying that it's the ooze that turns them into the creatures that has alien origins - the fact that Bay himself is involved in the film seems to be enough cause for worry. What with his track record - notably the explosive Transformers movies - proving a tendency towards the gratuitous.

But Bay isn't the only reason that fans have reacted negatively to the film. Here are five reasons for the backlash and wave of dissatisfaction generated by TMNT fans.

1. Megan Fox as April O’Neil

It isn't that the actress doesn't look the part. Hair can be dyed and it's been proven before that good acting trumps visual archetypes - for example Heath Ledger's Joker and Daniel Craig's Bond.

But with movies like Jennifer's Body under her belt and her less-than-stellar performances in the Transformers franchise, Fox's casting didn't exactly give fans hope.

When you think of the strong-willed, spunky, intelligent reporter that is April O’Neil, Fox is hardly the first actress that comes to mind.

To top it off, the actress recently shared her opinion about critics at a recent press conference, “They’re going to love it and if they don’t love it, they can f**k off and that’s the end of that.”


2. The Liebesman and Bay coupling

It is true that Bay directed Bad Boys, Pearl Harbor and The Island, which weren't entirely horrid films. But there's a reason that his treatment of many a film, with its numerous visual cliches and overused explosions, has led to the term "Bayhem".

Add to that Liebesman's resume which includes Battle Los Angeles and Wrath Of The Titans?

Suffice to say that a developed plot and reasonably realistic action sequences are not high on the list of expectations.

3. Have you seen the trailer?

Granted, with every new adaptation of a classic, you're never going to get your ideal version. Plus, TMNT has been adapted and changed so much since its original in 1984 that it's tough to truly be a purist.

But there are some things that just aren't right.

And the fact that most - or rather, anyone with normal vision - who have seen the Turtles' new look, have reacted with a combination of shock and disgust, pretty much sums up popular opinion.

Here are some tweets:





4. Have you seen the trailer? (Part 2)

Aside from the new faces, the Turtles are also significantly taller and bigger. Frankly, they look like tanks. A far cry from what you would think a stealthy ninja would look like.

There are also bits in the trailer that show the Turtles hurtling through urban landscapes in broad daylight.

It's not that fans are averse to fight/chase scenes that result in high property damage. It's an action movie. It should have some of that.

But they're ninjas. It's in the NAME. Come on.

5. The official rap song

"All my brothers tryna get some cheddar. We all want our cut like the Shredder."

Just. No.

The rap, by Juicy J, Wiz Khalifa, Ty Dolla $ign ft. Kill The Noise & Madsonik, is more noise than song and fails to capture the characteristics of the Turtles and what makes them cool.

Vanilla Ice, who rapped for 1991's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II, told GQ: "It feels a little artificial — what I mean by that is that it sounds like a bunch of executives in the corporate world put it together. It really does not fit the theme of the Ninja Turtles legend. I think you have to understand, and be a true Ninja, to possess the magic to really pull off the secret sound."

And for comparison, here's the catchy TMNT cartoon version.