Style over substance. The latest installment of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles saga is a beautifully computer animated movie that fails to have a cohesive plot. It seems as though the animators spent all their time making the animation smooth and believable that they ran out of time and had to slap a plot together. A lot of people will tolerate the disjointed story and simply enjoy the eye candy that is fast paced mutant martial arts. But as an aspiring writer, I can't help but be focused on the writing (even if it is just a kid's movie). The movie is fairly short, which is part of the problem. The first act seems to go on forever, and even using voice over narration didn't seem to speed it up. We had to get history on the villain as well as catch up on what each turtle was up to since the defeat of their arch nemesis, Shredder, years ago. By the time they are done setting up the movie, there isn't much movie left. The rest of the story conveniently falls into place. The problems in the movie don't stay problems for very long as a nice packaged solution for each one presents itself just in the nick of time. This, for me, sucked all of the potential suspense right out of the story. It wasn't all bad though. The story had a really strong theme of family and leadership that was somewhat lacking in the previous adaptations of this franchise. What it lacked in plot was made up for in emotion. Tense moments between the turtle brothers translated well on screen due mostly to great technique by talented CG animators. Another weak point of the movie was the voice acting Mako as Splinter (who you may remember as the villain on Samurai Jack). His slurring voice was not a good fit for the wise, composed tutor.
I hope it doesn't sound like I hated this movie, because I didn't. The look of the movie was perfect and the fight scenes were exhilarating. The ending hinted at a sequel, and I hope they follow through and get it made. This franchise reboot has a lot of potential.