Stream it or skip it: ‘Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie’ on Netflix, a hyperactive sequel to the canceled Nickelodeon series


As if TMNT wasn’t an acronym clumsy enough, we now have ROTTMNT:TMwhich does not translate to Rotten TSTIME Time: The Moviealthough that might be nice, but rather, Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie, now on Netflix. Stock: To get up was the fourth animated TMNT TV series to run from 2018-2020, updating the anthropomorphic reptiles for “today’s kids,” who, judging by the series, want things to be louder and faster than the loud, fast things that enjoyed by previous generations. It’s the first TMNT movie since the 2016 live-action crudfest TMNT: Out of the Shadowsand the first animated film since 2007’s Movie We Forgot Existed, TMNT. Rise: the movie is a continuation of the series’ story, tone, and angular, anime-inspired 2D visual style, hotly anticipated by, uh, the seemingly too small-to-be-the-show-of-at-tracked audience. keep that looked at it in not-big enough throngs. Now let’s see if it can justify its own existence.

The core: DATELINE: THE FUTURE. It’s 2044. Hell is on Earth, so that means the Republicans have won rimshot! Or, slightly less so, aliens from another dimension showed up and turned the planet into a bubblegum-pink wasteland, I presume inhabitable only by microscopic parasites and Ted Cruz clones, assuming you can tell them apart. The aliens are called Krangs and our intrepid Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, presumably no longer teenagers, assuming the passage of time affects them, and who knows, they may not be mutants and are trying to stop them. It does not work. Leonardo (Ben Schwartz) is the ‘greatest ninja in the world’, which isn’t saying much considering the state of the world’s population, and Michelangelo (Brandon Mychal Smith), once a chatterbox dorkwad, is now a great mystic wizard with a skullet. The only hope of saving the world, of course, is to open a time portal and send their friend Casey Jones (Haley Joel Osment!), a fighter in a hockey mask and a stick adorned with a chainsaw, 20 years in the past to fight. find a doohickey and prevent the Krangs from getting that doohickey, thereby stopping the whole Krang happening.

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So that’s the main plot. In 2022 it will be two years since Nickelodeon canceled Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja TurtlesBecause that’s how math works. The turtle boys now have mystical powers, and god please don’t ask me what they are, because you need to understand one of the many manic hyperventilating action sequences in the movie. So they’re different, is what I’m saying, but not so different that you won’t recognize them as the pizza-shawl-goof warriors we’ve known and loved since, like, 1986? It’s called integrity – Brand integrity. Such integrity, the whole mystical power thing falls away, so we don’t see them doing too much differently either. Namely their actions, which are as violent as ever. Always by force. No Ninja Turtle-related conflict will ever be resolved with diplomacy. Make no compromises. Do not agree to disagree. Just kick, punch, chop, whack, shoot, stab, crash, explode and scream. Loud, violent screams. You’ll be riding the kids to ride that damn volume knob, but you’d be foolish to expect anything else.

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Photo: Netflix

Which movies will it remind you of?: The plot itches heavily from the terminatorso go ahead, call it The Turtle MinatorI don’t mind at all. It features shades of Marvel stuff and Ghostbusters, at. But if ROTTMNT:TM shamelessly robs everything, it’s the rapid-fire snarkwit tone of Teen Titans go!.

Achievements worth watching: Master Splinter (Eric Bauza), the rat-father figure of the turtles, wants those damn chattering kids to settle down so he can watch his stories, and we’re all there for him, aren’t we? (And he gets the best one-liners.)

Memorable Dialogue: Splinter is criticized for the big bad bad bad guy who acts badly for his own sake: “This psycho routine is worn out. Where is the character development?”

Gender and skin: No.

Our opinion: This right here is 82 minutes of WHATEVS. Vividly colorful, more than occasionally but less than often funny, moderately entertaining WHATEVS, but it’s WHATEVS nonetheless. There’s a villain who looks like SpongeBob antagonist Plankton with a Trump wig, mutants that mutate on top of their already established mutations, and endlessly bloated creatures with tentacles that look like Kang and Kodos on acid, and I mean literally sour, like in hydrochloric acid. , dumped on them until they are all pink and mealy. The overall aesthetic of the film makes a normal hyperbole sound like a mouse farting under a pillowtop mattress, and at times made me wish I was under general anesthesia.

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I can’t say it’s uninspired, but I can say it feels like it never stops. It’s an endless mess. Gags and action, jokes and action, jokes and action, lasers and color and explosions and movement. (I forgot to put a verb in that sentence.) (Do I need a verb?) (I probably don’t need a verb.) At one point, a turtle says, “Shouldn’t we talk about this before we run from all the half-hearted willy-nilly pell-mell? and that’s the movie’s most blatantly self-conscious joke Heck, that’s the hardcore ingrained in the movie philosophy – and perhaps we should appreciate the irony here, that it’s not easy to bring such a maddening philosophy to life, and is a remarkable engineering feat, even if it never wins an Emmy or Oscar. Can barely make head or tail of it though. Did I mention the other two turtles, Donatello (Josh Brener) and Raphael (Omar Benson Miller)? Does it matter? Hell and Jesus cheese on a cracker god no it doesn’t. But I have to fit it in somewhere.

Our call: It’s no Secret of the Ooz but what is? Go ahead, STREAM IT, turn yourself off, if it doesn’t do it first.

John Serba is a freelance writer and film critic based in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Read more of his work at

Current Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie on Netflix



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