The intro to this movie doesn’t even feel like a TMNT film. It begins in 16th century Japan, where apparently horseback Japanese warriors make exchanges in English. This scene really should have been in Japanese. No subtitles needed. Why? Because it’s not really important to the story. Wait, did I say story? Sorry, this movie’s plot is barely hanging by a thread.
OK, that may be a bit harsh (albeit funny). This movie wasn’t as bad as I remembered it to be. Maybe I’m just a little sleep deprived, but I actually enjoyed watching it again. The Secret of the Ooze bugged me in a big way, but most of what went wrong in that movie seemed to go right in this one.
Corey Feldman is back as the voice of Donatello. Nice. He was sorely missed in The Secret of the Ooze. The battle scenes are also a big improvement over the last movie. There may be fewer battles, but they make it count. The Turtles don’t merely cower in fear, evade and escape. They actually confront their enemies head on, and they’re using their weapons again. You don’t ever get the sense that they are in any danger though. Casey Jones is back. Nice. Why didn’t they write him into the last movie? Unfortunately, he only has a comedic role in this movie and doesn’t do much scull-busting. I was surprised to find that Elias Koteas also plays Whit. Honestly I thought for sure it was a different actor. They were also able to keep Paige Turco for the role of April. Even if she’s not most suited for the role, at least we have some consistency.
Speaking of Whit, why does he snap the spear in half when he’s trying to save April? What was the point of that? You could have used that spear, dude! In the same scene, there’s a poor stuntman being hurled into the water, yelling all kinds of gibberish. It’s kind of funny, but that’s not Japanese! Maybe if I was hurled from 6 feet in the air into a pool of water I would be yelling gibberish too. Probably not.
The humor in this movie is impeccably cheesy, but oddly enough, there are many memorable one-liners (even if they aren’t overly funny). It’s almost like a Leslie Nielsen movie with a constant barrage of visual gags and one-liner jokes, except with less visual gags.
All in all, it’s just goofy fun. It’s less goofy than the second movie, and less serious than the first. It sits in the middle, in my opinion; even if it was a disappointment in terms of the story (the first two movies seemed to do a better job of reflecting the Turtle universe). It’s not as anti-climactic as the first two, either. If you’re going to watch the Turtles, though, you may as well watch the first movie.