The heroes in a half-shell are back.
The ninja turtles are one of those guilty pleasures for a certain generation – the cartoon series (featuring hero turtles, none of this ninja nonsense thank you very much), the toys, the comics… and the movies. Little boys would wear out videotapes (and their parents’ patience) watching them over and over. And now that generation has got kids of its own, and it’s time for the tables to be turned – they can experience the fun of watching four grown men dressed as turtles in bandanas being given instructions by a giant rat. (Yes, the concept was devised as a parody of superheroes – why do you ask?)
The first movie, originally released in 1990, was one of the last projects worked on by the fantastic Jim Henson, whose Creature Workshop brought Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird’s creations to life. It’s sometimes surprisingly dark and violent, something which was tackled in the lighter sequel, The Secret of the Ooze, which followed the following year. The third film – sometimes subtitled Turtles in Time – moved away from the Henson creations and much of the established Turtle universe, sending the Turtles back to Japan at the start of the seventeenth century. Fans argue over the relative merits of the first two; the third is not on a par with them.
The Turtles are heading back to the big screen, courtesy of Michael Bay next year. There’s a certain innocence to these three 1990s films which may well not be transposed into that multi-million dollar extravaganza so grab the chance now to duck down into the sewers for a cowabunga-ing good time!
Verdict: Who can resist a spot of turtle? 6/10