TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES Footage Review: It’s Action with Far More Comedy Than You Might Expect

     July 15, 2014


Jonathan Liebesman’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is only a little over three weeks away, but we haven’t seen a single full clip from the film yet.  There have been a few trailers and a couple of TV spots, all of which offer up a nice chunk of action, humor and some very detailed shots of the turtles, but it’s still tough to get a good handle on the tone and overall potential of the project through the montage format.

However, next week, Paramount Pictures will be at San Diego Comic-Con for a Hall H panel and they’re bringing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with them.  The Comic-Con crowd will have to wait until Thursday, July 24th for the studio’s 3:00 to 4:00pm slot to check out what they’ve got, but we were lucky enough to get an early look at some material this afternoon in New York.  Hit the jump for our Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles footage review.

teenage-mutant-ninja-turtles-footageIn an effort to steer clear of spoilers, we’re going to keep this description a bit vague.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles producer Andrew Form was on hand to introduce the material, which was actually being fed in from LA as he spoke.  He prefaced:

“The movie comes out three weeks from Thursday. We’re still working like crazy right now to get it done.”

And it’s no wonder they’re still working at it; this movie has a total of six CG characters – Splinter, Shredder and the four turtles.  Right now, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles VFX crew is working away up at ILM in San Francisco, readying the film for its August 8th debut, however, what we saw today still looked pretty good.

We began with an eight-minute chunk of footage that’ll pop up towards the beginning of the film.  Form offered this as background:

“It’s 2014, it’s New York City, there’s a lot of crime in the city and Shredder, the leader of the Foot Clan, they are responsible for all the crime.  The movie opens, Megan Fox who plays April O’Neil, she is investigating a crime that has happened at the docks at the Brooklyn Navy Yards, and you think she’s this, you know, journalist and then you see the trail who is her cameraman and he yells at her and says, ‘April, we’ve gotta go.  We’ve gotta get to work!’  And then you cut and you realize that April O’Neil is a lifestyle reporter who wants to be a journalist.”

“She is covering a gala that we shot – you guys are all from New York so we can say our locations, at Cipriani’s – and Eric Sachs who’s played by William Fichtner is giving this big speech, and Eric Sachs and April O’Neil’s father worked together 15 years ago.”

“This is the scene right after the speech Eric Sachs has given that really inspires April to really try and work harder at her reporting because she just doesn’t want to do the lifestyle stuff.  She really wants to be a journalist.”

teenage-mutant-ninja-turtles-megan-foxAgain, we’re not going to give you a play-by-play, but you know the fight scene that goes down on the subway platform from the trailer?  We saw that full battle plus some of what comes before and after it.

There were two standout elements of this portion of the presentation – the humor and the incredible detail on the turtles.  It isn’t just about having a certain color mask and a particular weapon anymore.  As you’ve seen in the character posters, these guys are loaded with personality-appropriate accessories, and not just items that you get a quick look at and think, ‘Oh, that’s cool,’ and forget about.  Sure, we only saw a fraction of the full feature, but every single second the turtles were on screen, they were downright fascinating to look at.  It never got old.

The Ninja Turtles franchise always had humor, but the extent Liebesman takes it to here came as a nice surprise.  Yes, we had that scene in the trailer with Michelangelo teasing April with his mask and the other where she tries to explain to Whoopi Goldberg’s character that the guys are both turtles and ninjas, but seeing the jokes in context, right alongside a major action scene, really shows how far that humor goes – and how successful it is, too.  Noel Fisher, in particular, is priceless as Michelangelo.  The way he moves, his facial expressions and the intonation of his dialogue makes his material remarkably natural and truly laugh-out-loud worthy.

teenage-mutant-ninja-turtles-noel-fisherIn between clips, Form told us about the one thing that really shocked him about the final design of the turtles:

“Now that you guys see the turtles, if you looked at the actors, like if you took a picture of each actor, like Noel Fisher who plays Michelangelo, you put him next to his turtle, like, I see Noel.  Like, literally.  It’s him.  He comes through that turtle.  It’s crazy how much the guys come through in the turtles if you do side-by-side.  And I don’t think any of us expected that, that you’d really see their faces inside these turtles.”

From there it was on to another scene that you probably caught in the film’s promotional campaign, something Form dubbed “the snow chase sequence.”  Admittedly, I’ve picked on this material quite a bit when assessing the Ninja Turtles trailers, not because it doesn’t look good, but rather because, out of context, what they’re doing doesn’t make much sense and that takes the thrill out of it.  However, that’s certainly not the case when you watch the whole thing through.

There is a lot going on in this sequence, but it’s actually really easy to keep track of everyone because the turtles are so strong on an individual level.  In addition to different posture, shell sizes and accessories, the turtles also have very different attitudes and those attitudes are impressively well woven into all the combat.  And the same goes for the humor here as well.  The laughs aren’t relegated to quieter, talk-driven moments.  This is a full-blown race down a mountain yet the turtles are constantly dishing out zingers, and that’s a big part of the reason the material is fun to watch.

Really, that’s probably the biggest takeaway from this presentation.  Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles isn’t just another combat-driven, CGI-heavy hero film.  It’s a true action comedy, and that lighter tone could wind up being what makes it stand out.


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  • DEADP00L

    I despise it when people simply cannot structure a coherent sentence without adding ‘like’ into everything they say.

    “Now that you guys see the turtles, if you looked at the actors, like if
    you took a picture of each actor, like Noel Fisher who plays
    Michelangelo, you put him next to his turtle, like, I see Noel. Like,
    literally. It’s him.”

    That is not even average speaking English and in one breath apparently too.

    THIS is why Hollywood has degraded and degenerated so far from the Planet of the Apes era. Because producers of today have the intellectual capacity of a cliche.

    Shameful really. It literally is an epidemic at this point when it reaches the producing level.

    • james


      • DEADP00L

        No. Relaxing standards is what got us all into this mess.

      • blahblahblah

        You’re a disservice to your name.

      • DEADP00L

        Look at the GREAT English going on in here!

      • chen leikehmacher

        Normal people don’t think like you. You are a mutant. Go away.

      • DEADP00L

        I am THE mutant!

        And NORMAL is BORING.

      • LAME

        The “likes” mean he was excited. Come back to reality, Mr. Pool.

      • LEM

        Don’t do it

    • gar216

      Wow, you’re a pompus douche bag!

      • DEADP00L

        See, we can factually have awesome dialog that is English!

    • Grendal Sven

      “Like,” “umm,” and “yahknow.” 3 words I would love to see work themselves out of mainstream culture.

      • DEADP00L

        Get one and the rest will follow.

    • Chad

      If you’re going to nitpick on someone else’s grammar…

      It’s “average-speaking” with a hyphen.

      Not to mention, this awkward sentence — “All that is not even average speaking English and in one breath apparently too.” — is missing at least 1 comma.

      You’re welcome. Jeez, commenters these days…

      • DEADP00L

        But I wasn’t referring to grammar. I was referring to what was SPOKEN.

      • ruthwlandrum

        before I looked at the check of $8543 , I accept
        …that…my neighbour woz like they say truley earning money parttime on their
        apple labtop. . there sisters neighbour has done this 4 only 19 months and by
        now cleared the debts on their house and bourt a gorgeous Ford . visit this
        site C­a­s­h­f­i­g­.­C­O­M­

      • DEADP00L


      • Pernell Whitaker

        I checked and that is a fake website. Fucking tease.

      • Nuke_The_Shark

        “But I wasn’t referring to grammar.”

        Um…what do you think it’s called when it’s spoken? A: Still grammar, dude.

    • Buttons

      You despise what?? LOL Do you realize how ridiculous you are with all these long rants…..about TMNT. You’re that fat bald guy combing the isles of the Walmart Toy section aren’t you.

    • LEM

      Yeah…well… you know,that’s just like your opinion man.

  • Manuel Orozco

    Sounds like it’s gonna be an exciting show

  • http://www.beyondhollywood.com/ Dedpool

    I’m in!! Looks like a blast

    • DEADP00L

      Wow, I am highly amused. I have a bizzarro version of myself. Keep it up this is factually an amusing concept.

      • Grendal Sven

        He’s kawaii!

      • http://www.beyondhollywood.com/ Dedpool

        Bound to happen. Not everyone hates just to hate. Or hates without actually seeing the finished product. I play devil’s advocate until I see something. If it sucks I admit it sucks. But if I still like it while others don’t I am entitled to my opinion, and unlike most I will actually back up why I like something. And what’s with using factually for actually Mr. Grammarpool?

  • Monkey D. Luffy

    Sounds awesome! I knew this movie would be great since it got announced. :)

  • Gao

    It sounds horrible to me. Completely overblown and charmless affair and I’m speaking as a fan that has found something to appreciate about every version and given the franchise a lot of my money.

    • Grendal Sven

      You liked Turtles 3, your argument is invalid.

      • Mezmero

        LMMFAO! Why do they still try?

      • Gao

        Or it shows how bad this looks to someone with a very open mind

      • Buttons

        You have the mentality of a child.

      • Grendal Sven

        Still, you liked Turtles 3, that movie was terrible and completely tanked the movie franchise. This one can not be worse than that one. They didn’t even let them use their weapons in either the 2nd or 3rd movie.

  • PumpkinBomb

    I was hopping it would be much darker..yeah keep the jokes..but I need to believe that they are mutants they are not humans….Transformers was fun to watch but still not a good movie..

    • Grendal Sven

      It’s a Nick movie, it’s gonna have jokes, the 1st Turtles was an indie film, and I liked the grittiness of it, but I’m down for a lighter tone, at least in this movie they get to use their weapons.

  • Mezmero

    If you don’t like this movie by now your not a true TMNT fan. Your just Bay hater or wanabee film critic who hates everything that’s not based on a true event/story. You have no concept of imagination or fun because you want it to be your movie and not appeal. Your stuck in the 90′s loop and you thought everything was a good idea but sadly your Tomogotchi is dead and your dreams of seeing a guy in a turtle suit again are also dead. Go complain about the new Power Rangers reboot and blame Robert Oric for your dead childhoods and heads up he’s not directing it.

    • K.D.

      Not really hate for Bay, I could care less who produced or directed it. I’ll hold my judgement until I see it, but I just love that first movie. Guess I was expecting an updated version of the first one. It wasn’t too over the top. The whole sunglasses on Mickey which don’t even fit his head, the reading glasses on Donnie, and the sunglasses stuck to Raphs head is a little wack imo. The 1st movie just had something natural to it. Rebellious teens, dark look, it always looked damp and rainy, Shredder was great, April was mediocre in looks haha I dunno. I do think the guy from Shameless is a great actor, but guess we’ll have to wait and see movie until credits roll to pass full judgement

    • milo

      “If you don’t like this movie by now…”

      How the hell would anyone “like this movie by now”? It doesn’t come out for three weeks, they’re not even done making it yet, so nobody has seen it.

      Anyone who decides they like a movie before seeing it is an idiot.

      • Ashtalon

        Exactly. Also, I don’t like the new Turtle designs. Am I stuck in the past? I don’t think so. I just think the new designs are too complicated and not aesthetically-pleasing.

  • herpderp

    I want this film to fail mainly because I want Guardians of the Galaxy to win big the first box office and keep it going in week #2.

    • Dikls

      GOTG looks terrible…

      • DEADP00L

        Because it actually has a plot, characters that speak English instead of cliche one liners, is produced by a really great company of old school professionals; who know what works and what doesn’t from actual experience?


      • Dikls

        No because the plot sounds cliche, the jokes are terrible, and the characters are uninteresting. It looks like some kind of space balls ripoff. And Marvel isn’t that great of a movie maker as you guys make it out to be.

      • Dikls

        No because the plot sounds cliche, the jokes are terrible, and the characters are uninteresting. It looks like some kind of space balls ripoff. And Marvel isn’t that great of a movie maker as you guys make it out to be.

      • DEADP00L

        “Why do you want to save the universe?!”

        “Because I’m one of those idiots who lives in it!”


        “Oh! Now THAT’S WuT IAM Talkin about!

        “This is OUR turf!

        If you tell anyone – we will find you…

        ‘And Marvel isn’t that great of a movie maker as you guys make it out to be.’

        …I think you’re maybe just a little bit touched

      • Dikls

        “I am Groot”
        “What a bunch of a-holes”
        The middle finger scene…
        Chris Pratt giving an terrible performance about someone touching his headphones, while throwing in a few pop culture references in the mist of being electrocuted.
        That “Hooked on a feeling” song being so cheesy and out of place in the movie.
        and Groot sticking his fingers up a guys nose..

        Seriously that 17 minute preview killed all hope I had for this movie. People will eat ANYTHING up with the Marvel label being slapped onto it.

      • DEADP00L

        Dude TMNT has Megan Fox playing April O’Neal you don’ get much worse than her when it comes to terrible performances.

        She was cringe worthy just saying ‘ they’re ninjas’ Pratt on the other hand looks like a prick here and that’s exactly the point of his character.

        Pretty much everybody hated the first trailer and if you noticed the new TV spots ‘ what a bunch of aholes’ isnt what he actually says.

        The GOTG trailers are voiced over to mislead everyone.

      • Dikls

        I am talking about the 17 minute preview I saw at IMAX, not the trailers or the TV spots.
        Im sorry but the trailers were over-hyping this movie, by ALOT. I wasn’t planning on talking about this film in the first place since this article is about TMNT. But no, you guys always have to come over with a bunch of bull-crap implying how much you want this movie to fail or how superior GOTG is going to be by looking at a few misleading trailers.

        Seriously both tmnt and GOTG are not perfect, they certainly have it flaws. But none of guys seem to acknowledge that since its a movie made by marvel.

      • DEADP00L

        I want TMNT to fail for one reason only – Shredder is Edward scissorhands on steroids. Once I saw that I was done.

        Marvel stays loyal to its characters and don’t BS the fans or audience when they try new angles. I judge a hero movie by how it treats the fans and audience. If you pull BS and then get called out just to pull more BS and worse treat the audience las though they were demented – I don’t like it.

        Shredder has a fanbase too not just the turtles. What this movies done to him is just like taking Darth Vader and putting him in Alpha-One robot suit with instead of the iconic breath he goes ‘aye yie yie!’ as he talks and walks like an elephant.

        He doesn’t look cool, it’s NOT something new, and it’s not the Shredder that is remotely worth going to the movies for.

      • Dikls

        Im okay with you guys not liking it, but when you are insisting that you want the movie to fail because you necessary don’t “love” what you see, is just plain retarded. You don’t like Shredders design? Fine, its your opinion, but there are others who do. And just because it doesn’t fit your personal taste doesn’t mean that the movie deserves to bomb. I don’t like anything about GOTG, but I have NEVER said that I wanted the movie to fail.

      • DEADP00L

        No it’s not whether we don’t ‘love it’ we HATE it. We work for our buck and if you ask us to give up that hard earned cash, what we ask for is NOT much. When we want a movie to fail – that’s how FED UP we are of the same old antiquated BORING formula being shoved in our faces. There is nothing ‘retarded’ about that logic.

        All this is is a TF movie, Mikaela has poor mans redhair dye and instead of TF’s we get one TF which is shredder and turtles.

      • Dikls

        You wouldn’t be saying this if I commented that I wanted Guardians to fail..

      • DEADP00L

        And you know that how?

      • Dikls

        Judging by your attitude, im pretty sure you wouldn’t.

      • DEADP00L

        Wrong. Factually wrong. I have been unimpressed with GOTG since I saw the first trailer. It’s only been resently that I’ve found myself actually looking forward to it. It was the OPOSITE for me with TMNT – I started out looking forward to it. Now I won’t be seeing it. I don’t have a reputation on here for being a happy sci fi fan- I’m not gullable I don’t just dive in. In fact it’s very very rare that I look forward to one without finding something wrong with it. Ask anybody. So you are very wrong in your assumption. Also I am one of those people that when I say I won’t be paying to see a movie – I don’t. Not I say I won’t pay but do – I don’t.

        So when I say I want a movie to fail that’s me reaching my threshold of tolerance. I can only suspend so much before calling BS what it is – BS.

      • Dikls

        I’m not referring to when you were when you were unimpressed with Guardians, I am talking about now.

        What is really irritating is that your previous comments are implying that its okay to bash this flick, but it’s not okay to have to the same feelings towards Guardians?

        I don’t care if you’re not going to see TMNT. You don’t want to see it in theaters? That’s completely fine with me, it’s your decision. But I don’t see the point of you guys coming over to an article, concerning a film you obviously don’t want to see, only to talk about Guardians or how much this movie is going to suck. That makes no sense to me…

        Anyways, It’s been the complete opposite with me. I was so hyped for GOTG ever since the first trailer came out. I assumed that since this movie was important in expanding the Marvel universe, the people invoked in making this film will try to make it as spectacular as possible. But I didn’t see any of that when I went to go see actual footage.

      • DEADP00L

        Because people are not robots. Why does that make no sense? If you want to be around people that agree with you and just post praises go to a TMNT 2014 forum not an actual website dedicated to opinion and critiquing.

      • Dikls

        When did I ever say that you have to see this movie? I don’t mind differing opinions and criticism. Like said before, if you don’t like what you see than that’s fine with me.

        And when is this: “I want this film to fail mainly because I want Guardians of the Galaxy to win big the first box office and keep it going in week #2.” ever an opinion?? He didn’t see it nor is he planning to. He just came over just to post some pro-guardian crap. I bet If I had did that on tmnt on a GOTG-related article that wouldn’t have been taken to lightly.

      • DEADP00L

        That’s his opinion he wants GOTG to do better and TMNT to fail. Mainly because he feels GOTG is more deserving – again his opinion.

      • Buttons

        Deadp00l’s a virign. You can totally tell. Lol

      • DEADP00L

        Sure hon you’re the expert on it aren’t you. Yes you are.

      • Buttons

        Well, it’s just that you sound like one. You’re so pint up with Turtle Hatred and Love of talking Raccoons. Are you one of those Furry dudes? Would you do a talking Raccoon?

      • James Franco

        We’ll he has a picture of Chloe moretz so he must be a pedo

      • Buttons

        You sound like a Tard. Are you a Tard?

      • DEADP00L

        Blow me.

      • Buttons

        Where’s your penis at? I can’t see it.

      • DEADP00L

        That because I’m behind you.

      • Buttons

        Ahhhhhh. Is that the way your mom likes it? From behind?

      • Buttons

        He looks better then 90s skinny glitter suit Mumu dressed shredder with the mussel. Lol

      • milo

        “I am talking about the 17 minute preview I saw at IMAX…”

        Why did you go if you thought the movie looked terrible, and generally aren’t a fan of Marvel? I don’t get it.

      • pow

        DEADFOOL you are a pathetic troll because there was nothing wrong with Megan Fox’s performance.Sadly you are a dumb hater who is so incredibly desperate to hate this movie you are pathetically making stuff up.You are a sad retard.

      • Matthew Coury

        yeah seriously…who wants to see a talking raccoon from outerspace?? :D COWABUNGA!

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  • Marissa Evans

    I’m very excited. I was before, but now even more so. I’m so glad they’re keeping the humour and personalities intact.
    One day a masterful writer will come around and write the perfect script that captures the darker, ancient-Japanese-custom-honour-driven, gritty intent of the original comics (and I do look forward to that day). But until then, let’s keep the light-hearted spirit up. :)

    • Gao

      That’s not going to happen as long as the Bay formula keeps making money.

    • jask

      Darker, ancient and Japanese? TMNT is far from any off that. It’s not manga, it was created by two white guys from NY.

      • trikuza

        It WAS darker. Have you read the mirage comics? Shredder got stabbed and blown up with a grenade in the first issue, lol.

    • YodaRocks

      But, DAT NOSE!

  • Ryan

    Because it’s not like the new cartoon makes it incredibly easy to tell the four apart without a bunch of stupid bullshit all over them and also keeping them as they should be, teenage mutant ninja turtles. And not 20 something monster ogre warriors.

    • Buttons

      20 something monster ogre? Stop talking about your mom like that.

      • DEADP00L

        Generation X retort. No wonder I’m getting sleepy. A few more of these and I can start marketing an insomnia therapy technique.

      • Buttons

        Can’t get enough sleep in your moms basement?

      • DEADP00L

        Smartphones hon. Smartphones.

      • Buttons

        You know you can’t afford a smartphone. You need a job first son.

      • i AN LEGEND

        Bro. Take your ass outside or something. Get some fresh air.

      • DEADP00L

        Samsung Galaxy 5 bro.


    Getting excited.

  • Golden Graham

    do people still think William Fichtner is Shredder? Or, like me, do they believe Oroku Saki is in this and playing Shredder with Fichtner just creating the armour. judging by that theatrical trailer, this looks like the most plausible……

    • http://www.collider.com/ DNAsplitter

      Yea I think the reshoots was to include the real shredder (Oroku Saki) and not let Fincher take the mantle as a robot shredder. They probably did a screen test and got negative feedback – hence the 6 month delay and major reshoots that occured.

      • Grendal Sven

        Looks to me like Fincher will be more of a Baxter Stockman type character. And I’m thinking from the trailer’s I have seen that The Shredder will appear 1st in his classic outfit and have his ass kicked at some point, then have a new outfit made. I like his new duds, can’t be worse than “Super Shreder?” can it. Because remember boys and girls, mutagen mutates your clothes as well.

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  • http://www.beyondhollywood.com/ Dedpool

    Well the fun got sucked out of this comment thread pretty fast! Have fun people

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  • T_Toughnuts

    Terrible CGI…check
    Loud annoying screaming…check
    Megan Fox…Check
    Well…I may see it…wait…
    MICHAEL BAY!?!?!


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  • appolox

    I’m sure the guys playing the turtles will do fine. What I’m concerned about is an entire film being based around Megan Fox’s acting abilities (or should I say lack of).

    • radar326

      Megan has talent. She was excellent in Friends With Kids.

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  • Grendal Sven

    Anyone else get the irony that they are called “Ninja”, and talk about the way of the “Ninja” and the honor of the “Ninja” even though ninja were for the most part assassins who did the dirty work and pretty much considered honor-less by Japanese society at the time.


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