Friday, 23 October 2015

Pan (this time by the Australians)

Warning! Contains spoilers!

I grew up watching the Peter Pan cartoon. Frankly, I thought he was a bit of a dick. Team Wendy was far more interesting. Those Victorian children gave us a counter to the chaotic world of pirates, fairies, Indians and crocodiles. Come to think of it, it was all a bit diet 'Hunger Games'. 'Pan' is a prequel to those adventures. In film terms it has to weigh in against the excellent 1991 'Hook'. Robin Williams and Dustin Hoffman gave the franchise a hefty revamp. Big shoes to fill, 'Pan'. Think happy thoughts.

Life is pretty grim for Peter (Levi Miller). Stuck in an orphanage during war torn Britain, the most excitement he has is cleaning gutters and not getting beaten. Because this orphanage is run by the most evil nuns a PG rating can get. While on an 'adventure' from his brutally harsh life he discovers the Sister Superior (Kathy Burke) has kept personnel records and tones of rationed food all for her self. Turns out his orphan buddies haven't been evacuated to Canada but rather sold to pirates from another world. If there is one thing that doesn't surprise me about nuns, its that they have criminal connections with multidimensional child smugglers. Anyhow, Peter ends up being nabbed by these jolly sky corsairs and ends up in the mystical realm of Neverland. Only its not so much a mystical realm as it's a hell hole mine run by the Pirate Blackbeard (Hugh Jackman). Thanks to the scheming of hook happy cowboy (Gareth Hedlund), Peter escapes into the wilds. With help from the indigenous people of Neverland, he searches for the lost fairy kingdom before Blackbeard can destroy it for drugs. Or fairy dust. Basically drugs. There's even a crocodile.

I have to give credit to 'Pan' for its balls out rendering of Neverland. The trip there was just as impressive. The flying pirate ship battled past Royal Air Force Spitfires until it reaches orbit. From there Peter is able to lightly high five Jupiter (the size of a basket ball) before plunging into an endless vista of oceanic spheres populated by a wondrous display of aquatic life. I don't know what the writers had been smoking but it was potent stuff. The jungles of Neverland are a CGI nightmare of green mixed with the added terror of giant necromantic birds. When we meet the locals they appear to be a mad mix of every tribal peoples that five minutes on the National Geographic web page could pull up. As I said, its mad. Please enjoy a pint or two before delving in. Don't take this as a one sided endorsement. Madness doesn't always mean exciting. The comparison to drugs was not made lightly. This is intended to be a kids film but Neverland has a weirdness that boarders on the insane. When the pirate ship enters the mines and the new slaves are treated to a rousing song from the workforce I almost started tapping my feet and joining in. Its like I new the words to this dirge, this chant of the damned... wait a minute. Are they singing Smells like teen spirit by Nirvana? They bloody well are! Neverland is unsettling and claustrophobic rather than a realm of adventure. Swing and a miss.

Without a setting I can love the rest of the movie slowly lost my good will. It brings out my petty side. The accents are terrible (with the exception of Jackman who gives us a perfectly rendered pantomime bad guy). What actors I do know are underused. Rooney Mara has to hash through mediocre lines and a preposterous love story as Tiger Lily. The up and coming Cara Delevingne (who was fantastic in this years 'Paper Towns') is relegated to perform as a trio of none speaking mermaids. Future canon elements are forced in with almost cringing predicability. There is a crocodile. It's big and scary! I hope Hook never gets close to it (wink, wink, the story bleats). Tinker-bell gets unceremonious shoved in at the last minute just to say she was there. Just like here. One cant help but postulate on how it was put together is such an uninspiring way. The whole point of a Peter Pan prequel hinges on the faithfulness and playfulness of the directors use of the original material.

Second exasperation on the left and straight on to boredom. Two Brian faces out of five.

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Sicario (not a demented Italian plumber)

 Warning! Contains spoilers!

How can I turn down another trip to the US drug war? While overwhelmingly depressing in real life, it does provide great fodder for thrilling fiction. The trailer for “Sicario” looked slick. But all was not well. A 'serious' film calls for serious snacks – I went with Galaxy Minstrels. Somehow between purchasing my ticket and taking my seat, this bag of chocolate joy disappeared into thin air. Frantic searching and retracing my steps turned up squat. Bugger buying another bag of the expensive blighter's. My mood during the opening credits is usually optimistic. Not this time. Good luck, “Sicario”. I'm fucking livid.

Agent Macer (Emily Blunt) is the leader of an elite FBI hostage rescue team. While on an operation in Arizona her paramilitary unit discover dozens of bodies hidden in an innocuous house. The situation worsens when further searching activates a booby trap, killing two local police officers. Despite expert training and millions of dollars of equipment, Macer rails against her organisations inability to curb the growing cartel crime activity in the Southern United States. Matt Graver (Josh Brolin) offers her a golden chance to make a difference. Volunteer to join his inter-agency task force and she will strike a decisive blow in the fight against organised crime. But what is the plan? How will they strike back? What makes her so perfect for this role? Who is Gravers ominous Columbian companion? The idealistic agent is about to go on a journey that will challenge her FBI training and moral code to breaking point.

It would be too easy to say that the acting in “Sicario” was excellent. Rather, it was delicious. The combination of a prime script and artful direction has resulted in a gorgeous coco treat with a hard crispy exterior of grit. We witnessed the action star potential from Blunt in “Edge of Tomorrow” and now that feather in her cap is confirmed with this performance. Brolin is the charismatic planner who's cheerful demeanour hides brutal determination to see the job done and a clinical coldness towards the taking of human life. Benicio Del Toro plays the mysterious Columbian. He says little for most of the film but when he does it is almost unanimously quotable. And the awkward suspense! He exudes an energy of suppressed violence; murderous potential just waiting to snap forward. When he does its so disturbingly proficient that we enjoy it the same way one enjoys stolen chocolate.

The director manages to maintain a mood of constant tension throughout the flick. Our disquiet is mirrored in Blunt as she delves into the world of the cartels. “Your American eyes will not understand” warns Del Toro as they cross the Mexican boarder to collect a prisoner. Macer has left the world of clear boundaries and jurisdictions. Decapitated bodies hang by wire just five minutes drive from the United States. Police travel in convoys, cover their faces and carry heavy machine-guns for protection. Its a world turned upside down. You will be forced to drink it in. The camera lingers in many scenes at a wide angle, forcing the eyes to take in everything but wait for the drama to burst. Everyday settings like a traffic jam or a family meal become almost uncomfortable as our minds create a thinning fuse. I cant stress enough how griping this was to be involved in! Thanks to Blunt, you will be involved.

“Sicario” could have dropped out a cliché any time it wanted. There was no boy meets girl (well there is but he tries to strangle her like some kind of dirty Minstrel thief), no heroic fight against evil. Its all rather pedestrian when compared to something like a Tom Clancy novel. Why are we here? Because the CIA want to draw out a cartel leader in Mexico so they can kill him with a private hitman (Del Toro). To work both sides of the border they need a federal agency to approve their activity. Macer is there to sign a form. That's all. America has spent over a decade perfecting counter insurgency in Asia. This film asks frankly what happens when those skill sets come home. Its an escalation without trying to solve the problem. By the end of the movie, Macer has transformed from confident crime fighter into a quivering wreck unable and unfit to take part in the coming war on Americas southern boarder. We feel her fear and frustration.

I'm still thinking about “Sicario.” It nails itself five Brian faces out of five.  

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Solace (a film so good you didn't even know it was out)

Warning! Contains spoilers!

Solace was one of those quiet releases where you see only a few TV slots before it hits the screen. With nothing better to do on a Sunday it was an easy choice with its big names and thrilling premise. Before I get started there is one thing I want to get clear – Anthony Hopkins is a superb actor. That's not saying much. We know this just by seeing his name. Its gone past reassuring to become just plain standard. Cows go moo, dogs go woof, Anthony Hopkins is a great performer. So lets not go on about it.

FBI agents Merriweather (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and Cowles (Abbie Cornish) have a serial killer on their hands. But with no clues as to the assassins identity they have to turn to the one thing that can help. Not a multi billion dollar CSI lab. A psychic. Not just any psychic, but one played by Anthony god dam Hopkins. As the body count rises he gets to walk around crime scenes touching things with his hands. Unable to get a read on the killer, our heroic spoon bender realises that this is no ordinary case. How can the murder stay seven steps ahead of the cops? Why is each crime perfect with no contamination? How does he have information on the victims that no one else knows? The realisation is chilling – the killer also possesses psychic powers of his own but ones he has chose to use for evil. Or has he...?

Yes, he has. Well kind of. Maybe not now I think more about it. Its complicated. You see "Solace" isn't really a serial killer film. Its not even that much of an action or supernatural flick. Quite timely it toys with the subject of euthanasia or specifically if the death of a terminal patient can provide solace to the aforementioned family and friends. Our serial killer (Colin Farrell) is painlessly killing people before they suffer from a long, drawn out and agonising deaths. As a psychic he precisely knows what pain they and their families with go through over months or even years. Once confronted, the dialogue between Hopkins and Farrell simply asks over and over again if he right to do this. That question can stir up quite a discussion even amongst chums. But don't let the debate get out of hand or you and your friends might get dragged from Burger King still clutching your ketchup stained movie review note book. I digress. This question is at the very heart of the film and I would even say is its very premise.

Be careful when asking to borrow the sugar in America

"Solace" maintains a creepy “Se7en” like vibe throughout. There was one shit your pants jump scare early on that made me think the film was going to play hard ball with my fears but it never really came to anything. The whole process by which Hopkins could 'see' alternate possibilities unfold was interesting but no particularly ground breaking. The same thing was used in a White Stripes music video. That said I like the 'cool bits' of a film, that first scene you and your mates bring up as soon as the credits role. In “Solace” at one point Farrell leaves a recording for the FBI. As Agent Cowles paces the room taking in the message she suddenly realises that the killers eyes are following her footsteps. Once again, not ground breaking but the intensity from Farrells eyes and that dawning moment in Cornish's performance when her character realises helps keep it rather spooky and memorable.

A mild niggle comes from the directors choice of pacing. “Solace” divides into two half's with the slower more thoughtful beginning and the sped up action filled (kind of) ending. The water shed moment is the introduction of Farrell who doesn't appear on screen until mid way. Its like someone fired a gun in the air and cried “Twice the number of psychics now at twice the speed!” A tense ending doest come just because you introduce some gun play and a mild car chase. Also, this is a cop film. After being burned by many a Hollywood detective story our minds are subconsciously searching for clues on screen. This heightened state of awareness that you have induced doesn't cope well with spinning cameras. Its enough to make a man spill his M&M's.

Solid performances from Morgan and Cornish frame the card counting duo of Hopkins and Farrell comfortably in this low carb thriller. A stout three Brian faces out of five.

Thursday, 1 October 2015

The Martian (Now in 3D! Sigh)

Warning! Contains Spoilers!

We are back to space with another epic. After the success of “Interstellar” and “Gravity” its a journey I'm glad to take. I wouldn't be surprised if any of this generation would want to be astronauts at all. Hollywood has latched onto the fact that space is a shit place to live. Now Mars gets the treatment. This film is based on a book. I have not read it. With my expectations limited to “its in space”, Matt Damon and Ridley Scott, excitement was justified. This Scott chap seems to know a thing or two about space movies. I was lucky enough to see an advanced screening so a celebratory ice cream was in order. One small step.

Things are going well on Mars. The latest batch of intrepid explorers are currently doing science things with rocks and stuff while banter flows back and forth over the radio to show us just what good mates they all are. Things couldn't be any better for our little house on the prairie (of Martian death rock!) Things get worse. The crew must have been planning a game of cricket cause a massive storm front is moving in and threatens to tip over their escape rocket. The mission commander (Jessica Chastain) believes its time to bale and orders everyone onto the mini missile. In the dust and confusion, botanist Mark Watney (Matt Damon) is struck by debris and presumed killed. Hours later he wakes to find himself abandoned with a bit of metal sticking out of his gut. With dwindling resources, low oxygen and limited condiments to spice up dinner our hero must “science the shit out of this” to survive.

What a ride! We can safely pencil in that I loved this film. “The Martian” manages to be both exciting and tension filled. While the resourceful Watney does his best to ingeniously survive, the support crew on Earth race against time and distance to help him. Its impossible to not get invested. Watney decides to keep a video diary and this is an ingenious story telling device as we actually get to see into his eyes and hear his thoughts on each obstacle he over comes, we get to celebrate each triumph and we get to dread each disaster all along there with him. Because Mars is a shit place to live. And beautiful! Scott doesn't bang our heads against the screen screaming “look what I can do with CGI!” instead Mars just is. Its right there, both real and vast. We are treated to long panoramic views that could be from any wildness (except we know just how alien it is out there).

Although his action credentials are solid I have never been sold on the idea of leading man Damon. “The Martian” quashes those doubts with a thousand pounds of thrust. He is wonderful and naturally puts a surprising elements of humour (try not to laugh if you had been left on Mars!) into the film. The rest of the cast is as star studded as the background. Chastain plays the driven mission commander who has to weigh up the responsibility for her crew as well as the crushing guilt for having leaving Watney behind. Jeff Daniels, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Sean Bean all nail small but crucial roles as heads of NASA. These are only a few. There will be a few “isn't that her from...” moments when you sit down to enjoy.

"I don't think they are coming back..."

I cant let “The Martian” off Scott free. For a movie about abandonment on Mars and the inevitable struggle to survive there is remarkably little peril or friction in the film. On Mars, Watney is not a marooned visitor. He is an astronaut. Specifically he is an astronaut who has been selected by NASA to go to Mars. Our budding botanist (that was a pun) is an outstanding human being before the rocket even takes off. Any resourcefulness and determination is suffixed by the fact that we expect (not hope, but expect) a person selected as one of six out of seven billion would have such qualities! Back on Earth we almost have combustible fiction between the head of NASA, the head of Mars missions and the head of the mission crew but once again their outstanding professionalism shines through. I may be pining for melodrama but a heated debate just doesn't get my rocket boosters firing.

“The Martian” touches down with a solid four Brian faces out of five.  

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Hitman: Agent 47 (don't worry if you missed the other 46)

Warning! Contains spoilers!

A superhuman hitman? How can this not be a great flick!?! Those not in the know, Hitman is a series of mostly successful computer games with one previous (poor) movie. Hours of sitting in front of a Play Station while assassinating targets in hilarious ways has left me with fond memories that mostly forgive the 2007 film. Well played move makers! You have me in a good mood before I even fumble through opening a pack of snacks in the dark.

After decades of tests, a Soviet scientist has perfected the ability to make better humans. When the small army of genetically superior killing machines he has spent his life creating start being used to kill people our scientist gets cold feet. He shuts down the program and legs it. Years later, others are trying to replicate his work but with little success. Now his daughter has appeared back on the scene and they want her in custody to lead them to her farther. But a super assassin from the program has been hired by someone else to also find the scientist. He's smooth, he's baled, he's unstoppable. Its Agent 47.

I don't like to think of myself as a film critic. I don't see everything and I have to pay for what I do see. If anything I'm a film optimist. My natural good nature combined with a mild financial investment in ticket and M&Ms means I'm inclined to be on the side of the movie before the opening credits. So when I start to sigh in the first ten minutes, you can bet your bottom dollar sometin' aint going well. Why? Tech wank. That's why. What is it? Its the first resort of the oxgen-starved-in-the-womb script writer. Why have an interesting story when a piece of fabulously absurd technology can solve everything for you. This isn't stuff that has been MacGyverd up but rather specific items that explode cars or shoot drivers remotely without a shred of pace or sense of threat. In other words – bull shit. Not a good start.

This is an action film and guess what – there is some! But its all been done before again and again and again. One chapter in a German aerospace factory stands out for all the set piece kills using timing and industrial machinery. That's about it. Can we please stop spinning the camera and changing angle? I want to actually see the fight scenes, not have an interview for NASA test pilot. “John Wick” managed to focus on the action and the actor to let us revel in the killers art. Don't get me started on slow motion, I'm just going to skip right to random goons. Several times in the story bad guys just turn up. Just like that. Why? Because some alarm has gone off in the directors head saying we need to have a gun fight now or the audience might have forgotten how cool Agent 47 is.

Agent 47 is played aptly by Rupert Friend. Frankly, I could watch him in other action movies. Rather than the unendurably dower computer game Agent 47, he has the cold dead eyes of a killer. He has all the credentials to join the long list of British born Hollywood baddies. The excellent Ciaran Hinds plays the said Soviet scientists and seeing such a well established actor introduced mid movie helped keep my pulse above flat lining. But then the script. When farther and daughter reunite after decades of separation I wanted to bang my head against the wall. Who the hell wrote that? I would rather they had just thrown knives at each other. It would have been less awkward and bloody more appropriate! It was like they were talking at each other and not to each other. The John Smith character (Zachary Quinto) adds a half measure of sugar to this wall paper paste porridge and the little shimmy he makes from helpful good guy to antagonist is worth a half hearted gold clap.

This is an action movie with barely a blip of excitement or originality. At best it should be enjoyed on a TV in the background of your compound where you and the others live by the 'true' constitution, polishing your rifles and waiting for Obama or the other communists to come and take them off you.

“Hitman: Agent 47” manages to score one and a half Brian faces out of five. Just.  

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Legend (look America! We can gangster too!)

Warning! Contains spoilers!

The Kray twins divide the opinions of the British public. On the one hand these gangsters ruled through fear and violence but on the other they liked drinking tea. There have been many reproductions of their life and I'm sure they are all wonderful to that particular fan base. But I'm here for Tom Hardy. And Tom Hardy. All will be explained. M&M's will have to take a week off. This is a serious film about gangsters in the sixties. Minstrels will have to step up instead.

'Legend' is a 1985 film directed by Ridley Scott and starring Tom Cruise. Psych! 'Legend' (2015) follows Reggie Kray (Tom Hardy) as he expands his criminal empire in the east of London. He is respected at feared in equal measure. Everything looks pucker until his mentally unstable brother gets out of prison. Ronald Kray (also Tom Hardy) is a certifiable nutter. If that wasn't bad enough, Reggie has fallen for Frances Shea (Emily Browning). He now has to keep all these plates spinning - building and empire, controlling his brother and falling in love. Can he keep his love life separate from work? Will the laughably inept police get wise to his naughty shenanigans? What could possibly go wrong? Turns out, quite a lot!

I'm going to jump on the band wagon – Tom Hardy is wonderful. Twice. He brings bother characters uniquely alive in very different ways. Reggie is the cool headed, sure footed, silver tongue wagging classic British gangster. Ron is a sociopath who could do anything in the next five minutes. Its wonderful to witness! When Reggie is on scream he just oozes charm and charisma while there is that constant quiet dread when Ron does... umm.... well, anything. Hardy just keeps getting better. He is a wonderful character actor made all the more impressive by his imposing size. Just wait for the scenes where Ron and Reggie are sitting together and not even talking. Great stuff. I have to give a big shout out to the wonderful Emily Browning. I like to focus on an actors performance (and she is brilliant) but it would be remiss to point out that throughout the film she is the personification of all that was beautiful and sexy about the sixties. I cant believe her filmography is so small! More from the future please Miss Browing. There are lots of other big names (and medium) names attached to the film. Each does there part well with not a note out of place.

'Legend' is a period flick. Credit has to be given to everyone who built this film from the ground up. Two points stood out for me. The sixties are so honestly and naturally portrayed that the director must have had access to a time machine. 'Legend' dodges the feeling of being shot in a green room or on restored location. The realness of the setting is so genuine that you stop looking for the edges. One can almost smell the docks and eel pies. Secondly, I have to praise the soundtrack. I usually only notice the score when its off tone but 'Legend' raps itself in the warm blanket of kick-ass tunes from the decade of soul. Try not to tap your feet. Or sing along a little under your breath.

I don't want to give the impression that 'Legend' is a flawless epic, far from it. Despite enjoying myself I did have the nagging feeling that I didn't quite know who the protagonist was. The film is narrated by Frances but we experience the film from the perspective of Reggie. This causes another blip. Are were watching a gangster film or a love story. I still don't have an answer. For all the hard work that Hardy put into the twin roles its a little shame that on a few occasions the CGI looks like it was done by the work experience kid and we can laughable see the superimposed head of Hardy on another actors body while in the next shot it becomes flawless. Its also a little on the chunky side, the middle drags and I started to wonder where all the gangstering had gone. I have kneecapped a film for mucking around with tone and pacing but I find myself making excuses when it comes to 'Legend'. If that isn't a testament to how much I was enjoying myself then nothing is.

'Legend' scrapes past with four Brian faces out of five. Go and check it out me ol' china!  

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Warning! Contains spoilers!

Remember the days when news of a cherished childhood franchise getting a movie wasn’t met with a mixture of scepticism and excited expectation? Those were good times. But since then many a fandom has been burned on the altar of cinema while the unwashed masses were left clutching shattered dreams of what could have been. It’s all about big money. It’s not personal. But when Darth Bay washes away your pristine action figures and first edition comics in a tsunami of Hollywood cash it bloody well feels personal. You have to grow some thick skin and remember that you have gone to the cinema to be entertained, not to have your ego placated. Now that that baggage is out the way – show time!

April O’Neil (Megan Fox) is a Channel Six reporter with nothing going for her except a shaky camera phone and super model level good looks. She is desperate to break the story on a group of illusive outlaws calling themselves ‘The Foot’. As the Federal government shows no sign of helping the nation’s largest city deal with a paramilitary terrorist group acting with impunity, it falls to big business to assist the NYPD. Eric Sacks [Warning! Obvious villain alarm!] steps forward to pledge support from his bioweapon and cybernetic warfare company. But before he has to sign any cheques the Foot Clan suffer several unforeseen setbacks. Four unknown vigilantes have scuppered the baddies on several occasions while leaving nothing but some anime inspired graffiti as a calling card. Turns out these masked heroes are none other than four mutated turtles, raised in the sewers by a ninja master rat. Realising April to be the young girl who saved them from a burning lab, they team up to defeat the Foot Clan and save New York from a robot samurai called Shredder. After that it all goes a bit CGI and big budget with inevitable links to a future sequel.

The movie title promises four things so let’s work through the list;

Turtles – Probably. I couldn’t tell you the difference between a turtle and a terrapin but I will give the film makers the benefit of the doubt.
Ninja – Yes. Splinter the rat taught himself Ninjutsu thanks to a handy booklet thrown into a sewer and from this he instructed his adopted children. If it had been a Queensbury boxing pamphlet, things could have been very, very, different.
Mutant – Hell yes. Our protagonists are eight foot tall, bipedal, talking turtles. What is interesting here is that the chemical used to cause this transformation is key to building a super bio weapon. For reasons.
Teenage – most defiantly. Although this Turtles movie breaks our heroes down into high school stereotypes rather than actual characters. Leonardo is the parents favourite and jock. Raphael is the rebellious Kevin and Perry type. Donatello must therefore be the nerdy computer geek. Finally, that leaves Michelangelo to be the one with ADHD.

But was it fun? The movie isn’t so much action packed as it is action smeared. Don’t get me wrong – lots of bad guys get messed up, but I’m struggling to remember a particularly impressive fight scene. It does that block buster thing where most of the action is too fast to follow or takes place in semi-darkness. Partly this is caused by robbing ‘The Foot’ of their ninja heritage. Rather than set piece melees, the Turtles must dodge between mussel flashes and machine gun fire. Paradoxically, this removes all sense of threat as bullet holes are a lot harder to shrug off than the odd kick or punch. Despite this the matchup between Shredder (the robot samurai) and Splinter (the ninja rat) is pretty sweet. It’s a classic old vs. new with Splinter delicately tidying away his geta and reverently unsheathing a katana while Shredder powers up Stack industries newest suit of knife throwing robot armour. Why would Stacks industries even build such a thing? I bet there were a few marines in the audience wishing they had had suits like that in Fallujah.

Now that I have brought up the subject of violence it might be time to add a fifth descriptive note to our heroes. They might be teenage, mutated, ninjas and or course turtles but they can now pull off psychopathic. While they mostly smack up and knock out ‘The Foot’ in each encounter, on several occasions the Turtles flat out murder some of the villains. This even happens on one occasion when the heroes realise the baddies are using none lethal weapons! I’m not opposed to the idea of whacking hoodlums but it’s a little disconcerting that our teenage protagonists don’t even bat an eyelid (do turtles have eyelids?) at taking human life.

Giant turtles and talking rats wouldn’t be weird if there wasn’t anyone to point and scream. The human characters do a fine job of helping/hindering the heroes. Arguably, April O’Neil is actually the main character and Megan Fox carries it well. Will Arnett nails the part of funny cameraman side kick and William Fitchner rocks it out as the evil Eric Sacks. Fundamentally, the human characters ground the movie in a vital way – they constantly remind us that the entire premise of the film is ridiculous. This could have been managed inappropriately. It’s a little inconsiderate for a movie to become a roast of its source material. Rather, its handled quite fittingly with enough gags to be funny and not discourteous.

‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ is as fun as a 99 cheese pizza. Enjoy it with friends for a significantly better experience.

I give ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ three Brian faces out of five.