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Old 10-21-2017, 11:06 PM   #4
Foot Elite
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Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Ca
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Originally when this film was being marketed, aside from being a cash grab riding on the coattails of the popularity brought on by Nickelodeon’s current CGI TMNT series. When it was revealed the Turtles were going to be depicted as aliens, there was some support from people who had been involved with the Turtles in the past including the original creators. But many fans of the franchise gave an immediate “Hell no!” And that was one of a variety of reasons that pushed back the film until 2014. When the film was released in August 2014, it was naturally met to mixed reactions from those who saw it.

As I have said, while I liked this film I didn’t love it.

On the good side it does try to be it’s own story so it doesn’t have to try and explain the lore of whatever current incarnation is out. And it does make references the fans would notice and understand. I also thought the Turtles themselves were quite good. I know people had their problems with how ugly the CGI images of the Turtle were, some even commenting that Mikey looked like Shrek in the trailers. However realistically humanoid turtles are not going to be winning any awards for their good looks, on the contrary, they would look rather horrifying.

I will also openly admit this film also had problems...a lot of problems. There is a general term I tend to use called ‘Rewrite Syndrome’ this is used to mean that the show or film presented is okay, but could be better if the script was scrapped and rewritten from the ground up. This movie is one thing I would give that label to. Everything depicted here is purely my thoughts on what the movie could be like so take them or leave them as you will.

First thing I would get rid off is the inclusion of a few characters that did nothing for the movie. Namely Bernadette Thompson, Taylor-April’s roommate, and the Shredder himself.

Bernadette Thompson really doesn’t have any purpose to the story which is sad, because Whoopi Goldberg is a good actress and deserved more then she got in this film. The only two scenes she appears in she is there to tell April to get more solid proof about the vigilante that is taking on the Foot, and the second time is to fire April from the station. There was some talk of Goldberg having a stunt double so there may have been more involved with her that ended up being cut. But ultimately this character adds nothing to the story as a whole.

Taylor played by Abby Elliott also is someone who could have been removed from the story entirely. Like Goldberg she only was there for two scenes that really add nothing to the film. The first is to be a roommate or someone for April to talk to and the second time was to say she wanted to move back home when she thought April was going crazy.

I have no problem with April having a roommate in this incarnation. What would have been better is if she had more involvement in the story, perhaps use her instead of having Vernon be the person who is along for the ride. For example, there are people in the fanbase who have compared Taylor to Irma from the OT series. In the OT Irma is loosely aware that April is seeing the Turtles, but doesn’t really know or understand who April is secretly communicating with. It isn’t until “the Cat Woman of Channel Six” that Irma actually meets the turtles for the first time.

So perhaps a better way of presenting her character in the story is that Taylor notices that April is becoming too obsessive about the vigilante taking on the foot. Then when she notices April is acting strangely and digging through a box of files. Taylor waits for April to go to her job before she herself goes through the files on project renaissance herself and we discover through her the backstory of the Turtles being lab subjects. Then April catches her or she later confronts April about what’s going on. April at first tries to act like nothing's wrong, and when that doesn’t work she tries to placate her friend by saying she does want to talk to her about them...but can’t. Then when the Turtles arrive to abduct April at Splinter’s behest, Taylor is taken too and has to decide for herself if the Turtles are really the Heroes the city needs or if they are something that needs to be reported to the authorities.

As for the Shredder, this is a character that does need to exist since he is the arch-nemesis of the Turtles. But he doesn’t necessarily need to exist in the first film. Originally Sacks was going to be the Shredder, but that was changed up with the inclusion of a number of moments involving a vaguely seen Japanese Man. Unfortunately, these scenes felt tacked on and disrupted the flow of the narrative. Even the scene where the Shredder and Splinter meet for the first time in the story the two of them act like they have encountered before even though this is the first time they have actually met.

The Shredder himself as a character is actually more intimidating when he is just a presence in the background of the narrative. Going back to Last Airbender as a reference, we don’t actually see Firelord Ozai until the third season. For the first two seasons we are just shown an intimidating silhouette whenever we see him at all and when we don’t see him we still feel his influence and power behind characters such as General Zhou and Azula not just in the Fire Nation's motives for power.

How this has been done in the past with the Ninja Turtles series such as the 2k3 and the 2k12 is we only see glimpses of the Shredder or Oroku Saki around the end of the first episode. And while we don’t know much about the character there is still a vibe that suggests this guy will be trouble.
In the 2k3 incarnation the Turtles stumble upon and foil several of the Shredder’s plans, this gradually gets Shredder to believe that the Turtles are a threat to him and should be eliminated. But after Hun captures and interrogates Raphael in “The Way of Invisibility” the Shredder surmises that the Turtles are not in league with his enemies and would prove useful. It isn’t until the 10th episode “The Shredder Strikes part 1” that Oroku Saki shows himself to Leonardo alone and offers him the option of joining his side. And when the Turtles make the choice not to support him, it is only then the Shredder sees them as something that needs to be crushed.

In the 2012 the Shredder only becomes wise to the Turtles existence because he catches sight of a news segment that showed shuriken with the Hamato kamon symbol that was errantly left behind by the Turtles. This leads him to believe that Splinter is raising an army of Ninja against him, while in reality Splinter just simply wished to raise and train his sons in peace. At first Shredder just lets his underlings deal with the Turtles and find where Splinter is hiding. But after they fail one too many times, the Shredder takes it upon himself to destroy his enemies students in episode 9 “The Gauntlet”.
While the motivations between these two versions of the Shredder are different, the consistent thing is that we are quite a ways into the series before the Shredder is officially introduced as an enemy of the turtles. So the first film would have been better to just simply have Sacks or Hun or some other underling of the Shredder face the Turtle’s first, but still keep the underlying threat of the Shredder present in the narrative. Then if the Shredder needs to appear, have him appear in the last moments of the film as something to entice the theater goers into seeing the next film.

Other things I would change is how the main characters were introduced. One of the complaints given by the fandom about the movie is that the Turtles are introduced a ways into the film and are treated like they are side characters in their own story. The explanation given by the studio is that the CGI appearances for the Turtles was expensive and couldn’t afford to have them appear as much as they would like. Which may be true...or it may just be a going story.

Other problems with this story are the logistics of the film. For example having Splinter learning ninjutsu from a book and teaching it to the Turtles. That is one of the aspects of the film was an ill thought out concept. The only way the book aspect could have worked is if Splinter did come across a book on ninjitsu somewhere (such as finding books at those "Free Mini Neighborhood Library" bins for example), and while flipping through it, it awakens memories of a previous life as Hamato Yoshi and that is what establishes the desire and need to train his sons in ninjutsu. And through their training, the Turtles unconsciously remember aspects of training they also had in previous lives, and maybe have flashes of previous memories but no real context to go with them.

or maybe do a Secret of Nimh like aspect where Splinter is able to gain human intelligence through the experiments he and the Turtles are experiencing. One night he hears that the project needs to be shut down and everything will be destroyed. Splinter realizing their lives are in danger, he is able to free himself from his cage but in the process of freeing the Turtles, an unknown viscus green chemical gets knocked over and they get splashed with it as they escape and that causes their mutation.

Last edited by victory_angel; 10-21-2017 at 11:11 PM.
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