Decent live-action portrayal of a comic and a successful animated series...
When I was a kid, I loved the Ninja Turtles. I watched the episodes of the cartoon series like other kids I knew. They were my childhood superheroes because they weren't too super, yet they really kicked butt. Like other comic heroes, a world surrounding the protagonist and a wide variety of villains can really be fascinating to the imagination. Naturally, I was eager to see the first live-action Turtle movie that followed.
New York City serves as a logical backdrop for the world of the crime-fighting Ninja Turtles. There is a mysterious crime wave hitting the city. What police and television reporters do not know is that a clan of ninjas known as the Foot Clan has infiltrated the city. Led by a Japanese figure known as the Shredder, the clan recruits criminal youth and trains them to be fighters, promising them reward for their loyalty. The Turtles collide with the Foot Clan, and... well, you figure it out.
The Turtles have a ninja master and father figure in the form of a mutant rat named Splinter. Also joining this secret circle is April O'Neill (Judith Hoag), a news reporter who is nearly assaulted by the Foot Clan until one of the Turtles saves her, and Casey Jones (Elias Koteas), a vigilante who wields sports equipment as weapons. Not much happens until the Foot Clan crosses paths with the Turtles. Then the plot thickens.
The action scenes are fun to watch. Sometimes, they are dark in tone, which may be surprising if you're used to the Turtles from the more campy cartoon series. There is some humor to go along with the action. But let's remember. The Turtles started out as a dark comic. The TV cartoon was a departure from that comic. This movie is supposed to be based more on the comic than the cartoon. That's why the movie can get serious at times.
Overall, it's an OK movie. It's just about in the middle of my scale, neither entirely bad nor the greatest film ever. At least they accomplished a lot with the use of puppetry and costumes.
For more information about Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, visit the Internet Movie Database.
In addition, check out my reviews for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III, and TMNT.