Mixed feelings among longtime Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fans aside, the upcoming movie reboot isn’t looking too shabby. The action sequences in the film appear sufficiently flashy and stylized (if nothing else), thanks to director Jonathan Liebesman (Wrath of the Titans) and producer Michael Bay (Transformers: Age of Extinction). Likewise, such elements as the Turtles’ personalities, the story, and the film’s general sense of humor, seem to be hitting the intended mark.
The first trailer for the TMNT reboot revealed that, in an intriguing twist on the title character’s origins, the villain Eric (William Fichtner) was responsible for creating the Turtles, with the intention of using them (presumably) as weapons – something elaborated upon in a new TV spot (see above, courtesy of CBM), which includes previously-unseen footage from the film.
Admittedly, in the above TV spot when Leonardo is saying, via voiceover narration, that “We knew the world would never accept, but one day it would NEED us,” it’s pretty easy to just roll your eyes at the obvious Dark Knight influence. Nonetheless, that sort of thing is actually in keeping with Leo’s traditional self-serious mentality - and we’ve already seen that his brothers are all too willing to mock Leo whenever he does “his Batman thing” in the movie. (That the Turtles would be making such widely-known modern pop culture references in the reboot, was never exactly something in question.)
Similarly, in each of the new motion posters included below (hat tip to Total Film), we get a snippet of dialogue that nicely sums up the tendencies and motivations of each respective Turtle – be it playful Michelangelo’s “snapping turtle” line, nerdy Donatello expressing his desire to stand up and “be the badass for once,” or angry Raphael… uh, yelling angrily. (Okay, so maybe they’re not all the most complex masked heroes around.)
In short, so far it looks as though Liebesman, Bay, and the film’s screenwriters - André Nemec and Josh Appelbaum (Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol) along with Evan Daugherty (Divergent) – has done well enough, when it comes to modernizing and re-inventing the TMNT live-action movie brand for the 21st century. That might not be the consensus once everyone gets to see the actual movie, but in the meantime we might as well try and keep a level head and hope for the best.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles opens in U.S. theaters on August 8th, 2014.