There’s always sense of nostalgia in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, growing up with them since the 1980s, in the form of the original comic book series, as well as TV adaptations, films, toys and video games. In “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem” we are delivered a fresh take on the beloved turtle heroes, inviting audiences into a stylishly animated adventure in New York City. The major difference I found in this vision, is for once the turtles are depicted as actual teenagers, which hasn’t been done up until now.
The movie teams up Donatello, Michelangelo, Leonardo, and Raphael with April O’Neil to unravel a mystery surrounding a crime syndicate led by the enigmatic Superfly. This animated superhero film pays homage to the characters’ history while injecting new life into their camaraderie, with lively voice performances by its young cast that infuse the characters with authentic chemistry and modern teen spirit.
The film is spearheaded by the dynamic duo of Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, known for their comedic talents, and they lend their producing and writing talents to this family-friendly flick. By casting young talents like Micah Abbey, Shamon Brown Jr., Nicolas Cantu, and Brady Noon as the turtle brothers, the movie captures a refreshing energy and contemporary charm. The decision to have the actors record together results in engaging and improvised-sounding dialogue, fostering a genuine camaraderie that resonates throughout the story.
The stellar supporting cast, featuring Jackie Chan as the wise Splinter and Ice Cube as the charismatic Superfly, adds depth and charisma to the narrative. The film revolves around themes of acceptance, as the turtles and April seek to find their place in a world that misunderstands them. While the screenplay might feel formulaic, the movie compensates with its laugh-out-loud moments and engaging action.
The music is on-point; Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross produce an awesome score, backed by the welcoming addition of New York hip-hop, such as DMX and Blackstreet.
While the story may follow a familiar path, the fresh execution makes this version a truly exhilarating watch, injecting new life into a beloved tale of mutant heroes.
Release date: 7 September 2023