Hey there Viners, if you're part of our community, then you likely know I love the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I was born in 1985 and grew up with the cartoon and movies. From there, my love for the franchise lead me to the comics, and years later I now have the privilege of reviewing the new IDW series and even the TV show here on Comic Vine.
When news broke awhile ago about a new TMNT movie, it's no surprise that my excitement level shot through the roof. I wanted a return to the feel of the 1990 movie. Dark and emotional, yet still hilarious and fun. It was the perfect tone for the franchise, but then they announced the creative team behind it. Suddenly, I realize that's likely not the movie I'd get. Instead, I'd eventually get a movie where you need to shut off your brain and enjoy some popcorn entertainment. It'll likely be flashy, filled with stupid humor and tons of action. And you know what? I'm actually fine with that. Clearly, though, I'm part of the minority on this one. Every single time something breaks about this movie, a good 95% of the comments look like the following:
So news broke the other day that Megan Fox is in the movie. And over at Variety, they're saying she'll be April O'Neil (which seems rather obvious, no?). I get some people don't like her as an actress, and if you legitimately feel that way, then that's fine and you're certainly entitled to your opinion. I confess, my knee-jerk reaction to this was disappointment. Moments later, though, I realized I was being ridiculous and I've seen some absurdly irrational reactions to this, too. "Fox will ruin this movie, Fox is the worst actress ever. SHE DOESN'T EVEN HAVE RED HAIR!" Really? Really? First and foremost, while she'll likely be a big part of the film, there's no way she's a selling point for the majority of us when it comes to a Turtles movie. Additionally, while an Oscar is certainly not in her future, I hardly think she's an atrocious actress. She's not great, but she's definitely far from the most cringe-worthy performer ever.
When it comes to acting chops, the role of April doesn't exactly require Meryl Streep and this is something I imagine Fox's capable of doing. I hardly see this as being a demanding role or the factor that will make or break this movie. If you don't like her, you don't like her, but thinking she alone will sink this ship is beyond silly to me. As for the red hair remarks. Seriously? Come on, man. I think they have it in their budget to dye her hair, don't you? And even if they don't, her being a brunette isn't a huge change that warrants flipping tables and smashing your keyboards.
Let's talk about the bit that generates the most discussion: Michael "Explosions Feed My Soul" Bay. Just like I said about Megan Fox, if you don't like his work, then ya don't like his work. That's fine, but I still see people saying they hate him as a director and he's going to destroy this. For the gazillionth time, he's not directing this movie -- he's producing it. Clearly, he has his hands in the creative process behind this film, but it's not just him. There's two writers, TMNT co-creator Kevin Eastman, and director Jonathan Liebesman involved. If this movie does indeed suck, I see no reason why he's the one to receive all of the blame. But for now, they're claiming it'll have effects similar to Rise of the Planet of the Apes and The Raid: Redemption-esque fight scenes. I just pray the final product will be able to prove those statements true. Because if so, it would absolutely make up for a potentially lackluster plot and/or dialogue (for me, at least).
And then there's the leaked script -- something that made any TMNT fan's blood boil. If (and IF is the key word here) that's where they're truly going with this, then I must say I'll be very disappointed. I understand the movie has the right to make changes to the source material, but drastically changing everything just feels completely unnecessary and pointless. That said, Michael Bay has claimed the version of the script that leaked has seen "the shredder" (har har) and is nothing like what they're working with. I really hope he's being sincere with this, and there's no way we'll know until they let us see more information (likely via a teaser/trailer).
There's one other thing I'd like to address about the script: Aliens. Right when the producer (Bay) said they'd be aliens I felt the Earth tremble from all of the fans screaming (which is a totally rational reaction, by the way). The vague statement opened the flood gates to the endless possibilities of what this meant. Did they crash here on a ship? Is there a planet of "Turtles?" I hope not, but it's worth saying that the Turtles have always technically been part Alien. The ooze that mutated them from TCRI? Yeah, made by the Utroms -- aliens (insert meme here). So while they're part Turtles from Earth, they're also part alien space goop. Part of me believes Bay was foolish with his choice words and that's what he meant to imply. However, if they're from a planet full of dudes and dudettes who look like mutated Turtles, then I'll let out a sigh that could create an avalanche because they'd no longer technically be mutants, and that's an unnecessary change. But in the meantime, there's nothing to say for certain that's the case.
Every time a piece of news comes out about this movie the internet blows up. I get it, a huge chunk of us grew up with this franchise and hold it close to our hearts, but where is this kind of passion whenever there's a piece about the show or comic? The IDW comics have been brilliant thus far and the Nick show is hugely entertaining, yet discussion in those articles feel like being in an abandoned desert town compared to anything and everything regarding the movies. If you really love the franchise, show it by supporting it. Go purchase the comics (they're always re-releasing the old Mirage stuff, too) or check out the show on Nick (airs Friday nights). Seriously, go prove you're actually passionate about the franchise and give those a shot. To top it off, ComiXology even currently has a sale for TMNT comics! You can't beat $0.99 for those issues.
Now, I'm not saying the movie will be good, but what I am saying is the responses I've witnessed thus far have been hilarious overreactions. When the time comes, if you're that offended by the trailers we'll see, then just don't see the movie. Seeing the movie and then coming back to complain on the internet isn't you getting the last laugh. No, it's your money in the pockets of the people you allegedly loathe. So, when we finally get to witness a trailer and if you still feel the same way, then do yourself a favor and just don't see it. It's that simple. Your childhood won't be destroyed and do you want to know why? You still have those memories planted firmly in your head and those cherished events still happened. Hell, you can even go re-watch those cartoons and movies or read the older comics. There's no reason for you to even acknowledge this film when it comes out if you really don't want to. Me, though? I'm going to do my best to keep an open mind until we get the facts about the story and get a trailer.
Gregg Katzman is a freelance writer for Comic Vine and IGN Entertainment. This is the part where he shamelessly plugs his Twitter page in hopes of getting a new follower or two.