TMNT (TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES)
Since the defeat of their nemesis The Shredder, the Turtles have grown apart as a family. Leonardo (James Arnold Taylor) returns from a training mission in South America to find Donatello (Mitchell Whitfield) is tinkering in IT tech support, Michaelangelo (Mikey Kelley) entertaining children and Raphael (Nolan North) engaged in mysterious activities. Their rat sensei Splinter (Mako) is worried because evil is brewing in New York City, with tech-industrialist Maximillian J. Winters (Patrick Stewart) raising an army of ancient stone monsters. With the help of old allies April O'Neil (Sarah Michelle Gellar) and Casey Jones (Chris Evans), the Turtles have to face the mysterious Foot Clan, headed by Karai (Ziyi Zhang).
Review by Louise Keller:
They still like pizza, still jive and quarrel like naughty kids, but together, The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are a kick-ass force to be reckoned with. This CGI action adventure is a blast. With its striking production design and resounding score, the film is loaded with non-stop action and has a surprisingly good storyline. Best of all, the script endears us to the characters - from the cheeky turtles to the evil stone monsters whose deadly plan will not only destroy New York but the whole world. Turtles to the rescue! And what fun it is.
Laurence Fishburne's opening narration tells us everything we need to know about the lean, green, crime-fighting machines, each recognised by the colour of their eye masks. Then, it is time to leap into this stylish, fantasy world where the sewers are used for extreme skate-boarding and skyscrapers are used as springboards. Highlights include a thrilling martial arts fight between Leo and Raphe on a rooftop in teeming rain, and the massive pink tornedo-like whirlwind that opens a portal to another dimension, is also impressive.
All the characters have human traits, and the world in which they live resonates with our own. There are sibling rivalries between the Turtles and fatherly concern from their rat-guru Splinter. Maximillian J. Winters' tech-industrialist is weighed down with regret, and Foot Clan leader Karai never forgets the meaning of loyalty. But it is brotherhood that remains the film's lasting theme, as the four Turtles show that together they are unbeatable. The script is fast and funny. The action is full of zip. Technically and stylistically, the CGI magic created by 300 artists in Hong Kong and 70 artists in Los Angeles is heavy duty, dude.
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TMNT (TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES) (G)
VOICES: James Arnold Taylor, Mikey Kelley, Mitchell Whitfield, Nolan North, Mako, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Chris Evans, Ziyi Zhang, Patrick Stewart, Kevin Smith
NARRATION: Laurence Fishburne
PRODUCER: Thomas K. Gray, Galen Walker, Paul Wang
DIRECTOR: Kevin Munroe
SCRIPT: Kevin Munroe (creator comic book Kevin Eastman, Peter Laird)
EDITOR: John Damien Ryan
MUSIC: Klaus Badelt
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Simon Murton
RUNNING TIME: 84 minutes
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: March 29, 2007 (Vic); April 5, 2007 (other states)