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Turtles rule, but 'TMNT' disappoints

April 10, 2007|by ZACH TUSSING/Pulse Correspondent

Movie review

OK, I have to admit something: I have been a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle fan since I was about 7 years old. I look forward to Saturdays so I can watch another episode of the TMNT cartoons. They have lots of action, humor, cool weapons and gadgets, and battles on Earth as well as on other worlds.

That's why I was disappointed with "TMNT," the new movie about the turtles.

It has short battles, very little humor, and the filmmakers didn't keep all of the personalities of the four turtle brothers.

If you are not a fan, here's a quick summary of the Saturday morning cartoon:

Four little turtles were accidentally dropped down a sewer in New York City and exposed to a mutation-causing chemical. A rat was in the sewer, too. The chemical made them grow to human size. It also gave them human intelligence. The rat named the turtles after famous artists and taught them the ways of Japanese ninja warriors. The main characters are:

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Master Splinter is the rat who is sensei (martial arts teacher) for the four turtle brothers. He is wise, quick and enjoys watching soap operas.

Michaelangelo is the witty, skateboarding, junk-food-eating turtle. He has better ninja abilities than his brothers think he has.

Donatello is a science geek who builds all the cool vehicles and gadgets that the turtles use, but he is also a decent fighter.

Raphael is quick to act, hardheaded and has a serious anger problem, but he is good in battle.

Leonardo is the leader and is the best overall ninja. He is always able to out-maneuver his brothers.

The new TMNT movie basically keeps the personalities of Raphael and Leonardo, however, the filmmakers made Leonardo a little more lame and Raphael is able to beat him. (A true TMNT fan knows this could never happen!)

The movie has Donatello rarely appearing and when he does appear, he is just a geek. He doesn't build awesome vehicles; he just works as a computer tech service employee.

Michaelangelo's and Master Splinter's personalities have changed the most. Instead of being witty, Mikey (his nickname) makes stupid jokes and acts like a fool. Master Splinter sounds like a drunk Japanese man and is difficult to understand. He might have been saying wise things, but who could tell?

Overall, there are some cool fight scenes although most of these are very dark and make it hard to tell who is fighting whom. (I don't think the sun exists in this film.)

If you are not a longtime fan of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, then you might like "TMNT." As for me, I'm setting my alarm for 9 a.m. Saturday. That's ninja time!

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