I loved Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles when I was a kid. When I was six years old, I watched the animated TV series every day, and had to own every action figure and play set, including the Technodrome. I had a favorite turtle (Raph), but I liked them all because they had distinct personalities, a sense of humor, a well-defined world, and in retrospect, the gleeful insanity we’ve come to expect from kids’ TV shows of the era. Shredder’s boss, Krang, was an alien from another dimension who looked like talking brain inside of a robot’s tummy. Kids went with it.
By comparison, Jonathan Liebesman‘s new live-action adaptation is nothing but apologies and excuses. Loaded down with worthless exposition, coincidences, clichés, ham-fisted product placement, and lame jokes, the movie rarely uses its heroes for anything more than set pieces. The 90s TV series and the new movie are both targeted at kids, but at least the Ninja Turtles of my childhood wasn’t ashamed of its existence. [Note: If you're someone who freaks out because of spoilers, don't read this review because I don't want you whining in the comments section]