Very rarely do the things we cherish as youth hold up over time. By the 1980s, the cartoons my generation watched were mostly extended commercials to sell toys. Nevertheless, the lasting ones all seemed to have a good spirit. There were lessons to be learned about teamwork, camaraderie, and leadership. And, then we would go buy some toys.

The new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles live action reboot is a hollow Makerbot rendering of a movie. It is a garbled pastiche of disconnected pop culture references crudely assembled, as if by not-yet-ready-for-Skynet A.I. trying to calculate the best ratio of human enjoyment vs product placement.

Directed by Jonathan Liebesman, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has all the classic features of the Michael Bay system. Pizza Hut. Elaborate, but mostly pointless sound and effects. Pizza Hut. An attractive, yet robotic Megan Fox. Pizza Hut, Pizza Hut, Pizza Hut. A completely incoherent plot that only the numbest of moviegoers could accept, and plenty of lens flare for everyone. This really should be no surprise. Pizza Hut.

Will Arnett provides virtually the only moments of genuine humor in the movie. His efforts are mostly squandered here.

If you are old enough to have discovered TMNT through Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird’s original comic book, it may dishearten you to know that both have wholeheartedly endorsed this movie reboot. The original comic was a lark, a parody of comic book tropes. This movie is a parody of itself. And yet, woefully unfunny.

Eastman sold his share of the franchise to Laird long ago. Laird sold the rest to Nickelodeon in 2009 for $60 million dollars, though he did work with Bay’s team to develop the film. Though that hasn’t stopped him from being critical of some of the filmmakers’ choices. I guess we all grow up.

Don’t get it twisted, Michael Bay does not give a fuck about you. You can lament all you want about how he seems determined to destroy everything you held dear through your childhood, but it won’t stop him from taking all that precious nostalgia, sending it through his grinder of gilded mediocrity, and turning a profit. And moviegoers eat it up. Rotten Tomatometers and fanboy outrage did not prevent Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles from being the #1 movie at the box office.

Cry all you want, the Michael Bay system has made him and everyone on his team very rich. He could not care any less about what you have to say about it. Bay is a Hollywood success, and this is after all, just a movie. Right?

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4 thoughts on “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Proves Michael Bay Does Not Care About You

  1. I understand your desire to protect your sense of nostalgia but they are in a commercial industry. The original creators were out to make as much money as they can as well. We use terms like sell out for creative-commercial success but who wants to eat Pizza Hut forever?

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  2. I finally rented this movie and it dragged on many times with pointless camera tricks and over-indulgent humour. Apparently, those were the most jacked-up turtles ever designed. It’s like Rob Liefeld redesigned them. I shudder to think how Golden Age Robin pumped up his muscles while still doing acrobatics as a teenager.

    Megan (La) Fox pulled off an earnest performance. She did more journalistic work than Sarah Michelle Gellar when she voiced the character in the last film. Her April was more like the sidekick and the point of reference to the audience.

    There were many moments where you see aspects of brotherhood and family that are classic to the heroes. But at times it felt forced when they did their super feats while still cracking jokes. I’m still not sure when they decided that the Foot Clan were their enemies. Was it when the lab was burned down or later when they grew up and heard of Foot Clan crimes? I don’t understand when they first established they were their main enemy.

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