Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Evolution – The Movie (2022) – review, film opinion [Netflix]. Reptiles, brains and magic

The world is about to end. The Kraang and his race complete the work of destruction. Not even the Ninja Turtles can stop them. As a last resort, they manage to send Casey Jones back in time to warn their younger versions of the threat. But will young, carefree turtles be willing to listen?

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comics were a dark, brutal satire of superhero stories. An utterly absurd origin story, strange enemies with names like Shredder – who was killed in the pages of a comic right after debut – liters of blood. That was also when Casey Jones made his debut, a perpetually pissed off guy in a hockey mask so brutal that even Raf thought something was wrong with him – in one of his first appearances, he accidentally killed a teenager. Then someone said that this type of comics would be great material for an animated series for kids. You only need to change…everything. The turtles began to play and eat pizza, they had their own slogan so that the youth had something to shout about in the yard, Shredder spoke in the voice of Uncle Phil from the Bel Air Badger and he regularly got a kick from both the turtles and from his own boss, placed into the belly of the robo-dummy, the Krang’s cosmic brain. Over the years, the brand has become more and more infantile. We have two live-action movies, of which the turtles didn’t use their weapons at all in the second, because kids might suggest (oh those nineties), a horror live-action series, another movie – this time CGI – and regularly produced cartoons. The latter is called “Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” and today’s film is its sequel.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Evolution – The Movie (2022) – movie review [Netflix]. Known story, but what kind of animation

Leo barely saved his life

The plot of the film is not original. In any case, not at all. Already after the very beginning of the first paragraph, you are able to finish the rest of the film for yourself. Just think of the most banal development of this story and I guarantee you will understand it. I confess that I have not seen the series, the plot of which continues the film, so I was surprised that the main characters have mystical powers. Leo can open portals like the ones in the game, well, “Portal”, Raph visualizes an enlarged version of himself made of energy, increasing his range and strength, Mikey is a kind of magical monk – he sends Jones back to Donna. . Donnie has a stick. As always the most boring weapon.

Interestingly, despite the rather childish humor and specific lines, the film is quite gloomy. At the very beginning, we observe the death of one of the characters (although time travel will fix everything, but the sight of a turtle disintegrating into molecules will remain in our memory). Later, when the Kraang attacks, the animators give us things like space tentacles stuffing one of the turtles into the brain, mutations like the polite version of Resident Evil, and even one of the Kraang with a hole in its head that robbed him of one of his eyes. .

Speaking about animation, it is worth praising the creators, because the direction and the quality of the animation itself make a very good impression. Interesting strikes, very smooth, full of jumps, dodges, kicks, flexible animation, interesting color palette. It’s nice to watch, and from time to time you can really straighten up in your chair and admire the skill of the animators. The turtle drawings themselves were carried over from the show alive and even interesting. Each turtle is very characteristically “its own”. Raph is huge, muscular, Leo is rather thin and agile, with red rims around his eyes, like some species of aquatic turtles, Michelangelo is the smallest and clearly the youngest, and Donatello, stereotypically, with technological gadgets here and there, so that the viewer does not accidentally I forgot that I was looking at a scientist. Krang turned out to be somehow … lumpy, cubic. I didn’t like their design, but I must admit that they were impressive in action.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Evolution – The Movie (2022) – movie review [Netflix]. It was the turtles who decided which shot would go on the poster.

Not my April O'Neil

The original language actors do a great job, although I’m not sure Ben Schwartz (Sonic movie) is the best choice for Leonardo. It’s true that this Lion here isn’t the serious, staunch tortoiseshell leader that viewers might associate with other movies and series. This is an eternally inexhaustible laugh, more like the classic Mikey in character than himself. Raf is the leader here. I’m a little surprised by the mix of established characters and hero roles, because Raph has lost his temper, Leo and Michelangelo are essentially the same turtle only with a different weapon and headband color, and only Donnie is still the same character as always.

The humor in the film is wildly uneven. On the one hand, we have cool, funny jokes, like everything that has anything to do with Splinter’s tail, regularly used as a whip, rope, which in places gives the impression that he has a brain of his own, on the other hand, we have sickly infantile dialogues and her mutant-trained friends, tumbling off the roofs of buildings, squinting at April O’Neil’s efforts, spoil the final effect a bit. Oh yes, April!

I know it’s just a cartoon, the times of both the national team and the #Oscars are so white, but what did they do with one of the favorites of the teenage nineties?! No red hair, no slightly unbuttoned yellow overalls, no slightly hoarse voice. Instead, an ordinary dark-skinned girl makes strange faces. Moments after we meet her in the movie, she just steals an ID card from a certain professor/scientist and hangs over the table, taut like a string, only to reach the plate, she makes a big, diverging squint, because there is clearly something funny about it. Even my eight year old son said it was weird. There is not even a hint of that old, iconic April in it.

The new cinematic Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is a pretty interesting mix of totally kid-friendly entertainment for kids, with more adult themes and above-average animation. The plot will not break anyone’s lower back, but it is absolutely correct and the film itself is not long. You can definitely watch it, I’m positively surprised.

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