New York City is under turmoil due to a growing crime wave. There appears to be an organization with Japanese ancestry taking the full blame for various thefts and muggings. News reporter April O' Neil (Judith Hoag) is aggressively investigating the situation by putting the word out there to the public. She soon encounters a group of muggers and finds herself rescued by an unknown group. They are quickly revealed to be a group of human-sized, martial arts sporting, ninja Turtles. -summary
When looking back at the immediate splash of the animated series. It should have never been a surprise that the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were destined for the big screen. And even though some of the die hard fanbase would try and have you believe that it was the success of the comic that lead to them being so popular. Make no mistake, it was the animated series and toy line that caught like wildfire to make this movie possible. Plus, for some reason, kids and young adults seem to be more fascinated with anthropomorphic animal characters. Released in 1990 and directed by Steve Barron, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles brings the foursome to live action and delivers a fun, martial arts heavy action movie. The film was popcorn fun over 20 years ago and it still holds up very well.
The plot follows the four turtle brothers, Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael, and Michelangelo as they try to work in secrecy, but through circumstances end up caught in a feud with the Foot Clan lead by The Shredder (James Saito). He becomes aware of their existence when one of the turtles rescues April for the second time. Several battles ensues between the two groups leading up to the final encounter with Shredder.
If I was reviewing this movie as a teen, then I would be quick to tell you the action was the selling point for me. Since I look at movies a lot differently now, it's the production values that really stood out to me. The late Jim Henson was a master of his craft; he put together some awesome outfits for the turtles that not only still hold up today, but they can put to shame some of the more recent CGI heavy movies. I really like the costumes in part to the genuine look. Splinter also looks really good, yet creepy in another way. I honestly think I would faint in the presence of a giant talking rat. I enjoyed the edgy, gritty look of Shredder also. In the here and now, I'm sure his suit would look all flashy and shiny. In this movie, it has a very rugged look as if he created it himself in his basement. This also goes for the outfits of the Foot Clan, and appearance for the masked vigilante Casey Jones (Elias Koteas). The movie is very stylish, with a dark over tone to it, and the physical appearances of the characters fit like a custom made glove. The set pieces, especially during the sewers and rooftops, fit very well with the personality of the movie.
Even when I first saw this as a teen in theaters; I thought it was a great move to follow the dark personality of the comic. Barron did a great job meshing the feel of the comic with the light-heart attitude of the animated series. Fortunately, the former heavily overshadows the latter which makes the movie too easy to sit through. The Turtles playful antics could have easily went overboard, thus making the movie a chore to get through. There's a heavy focus on the action when it gets there, and the action scenes feature a great deal of weapon use and hand to hand. For the most part, the scenes are very well dispersed, plus the final battle with Shredder delivers as the perfect follow up to the previous action segments.
Some times in films like these, the human characters could prove to be quite annoying. This clearly isn't the case here, as O' Neil, Jones, and Shredder provide that necessary piece which separates this from being an animated feature. Their characters keep the movie from drifting into the complete absurd, because let's face it, a movie starring karate fighting turtles and a rat is pretty damn absurd.
The movie is a joy to watch, and I still like it a lot, but my only issue would probably be some of the silliness not always hitting the mark. I would have preferred more of Leonardo and Raphael's seriousness over the other two constant playfulness. But this is something I know varies from person to person.
Although I have a high interest in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, I can't really consider myself a fan, because it's the comic I always liked. While everything else has always left me very hesistant on giving it a try. Still, this is a movie that's easy for me to watch, and I consider it one of the better comic to live action movies out there. Unfortunately, due to the violence in this movie which completely differs from the animated series. Parents had a say in the sequels, and a s result, this is probably the only good movie in the line up. Highly recommended if you're into comics, superheroes, or even martial arts action with some comedy.
I just watched this movie last night for the first time in around 20 years, and it's still a barrel of fun after all these years!! This movie is quite darker than the animated series that was out at the time, and was a fine balance of well-done martial arts action and humor. The puppetry for the Ninja Turtles and Splinter are really good, too. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990) is the perfect movie to watch on those nights when you want a fun-filled … more
The original movie Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is 20 years old this year. If you were like me, who grew up on them, time seems to have flown pretty fast. Yet, today,. the Turtles endure. They even got a reboot of sorts for a new generation. If you're like me you whole heartily agree this version of the Turtles is the best one. This movie has a lot going on in it. After some research I've found that though it got some slight rewrites, for whatever reason, it follows … more
As much as I don't like the Ninja Turtles, I have to admit that I really enjoy this movie. The action is awesome all around and I like how it didn't really take itself too serious. I can watch this even now. Too bad the sequels couldn't follow up on the awesomeness.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is the 1990 American live-action film based on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise. The film was followed by three sequels, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze in 1991, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III in 1993, and TMNT in 2007. This film presents the origin story of Splinter and the Turtles, the initial meeting between them, April O'Neil and Casey Jones, and their first confrontation with Shredder and his Foot Clan. The film's core plot closely follows that of the first published TMNT stories, from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1,10-11, Raphael#1, as well as the Return To New York storyline (#19-21). This movie is distributed by New Line Cinema and outside the United States is internationally distributed by 20th Century Fox.
When the NYPD is unable to stop a severe crime wave caused by the Foot Clan, four new vigilantes, Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello and Raphael, come forth to save the city. Under the leadership of Splinter and together with their new-found allies April O'Neil and Casey Jones, they fight back and take the battle to Shredder.
The film kept very close to the dark feel of the original comics with several elements also taken from the animated series that was airing at the time, such as April being a news reporter, and the turtles having different-colored masks, as opposed to the uniform red masks of the comic. The film received mostly positive reviews, was the highest-grossing independent film of all ...