Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem 2023 Movie Review
Okay I’m not the biggest TMNT fan, and I wasn’t super hyped for this movie at first, but the reviews were coming in really good and one of my best friends was super pumped, so figured why not, should be a good time. A good time it was not…
I’ll start positive, the animation is gorgeous. Beautiful blend of hand drawn aesthetics with 3d. The color, lighting, details, they were all spot on and created an instantly unique vibe. That’s what I liked.
The rest, where do I even begin? The humor was juvenile and felt like it was made basically for 12 yr old boys and only 12 yr old boys. It was just cringy and trying so hard to be cool for the kids (painfully hard).
The action unfortunately completely failed the animation. It felt chaotic, choppy, no real weight to any of it, and for a movie with “ninja” in the title, there was shockingly little action as a whole, and when it was there it didn’t feel like ninja stuff, just people and stuff getting tossed around.
The characters annoyed me so much too. The turtles, don’t get me wrong, the voice cast worked well together and did solid jobs, but they just felt like annoying teenagers. And sure, that’s kind of the point, but it didn’t make them any less annoying to watch. They also lacked individuality. The film focused so much on them as a collective that you rarely got much time with them as individual characters.
The story actually had some potential to be pretty deep, especially with splinter. The first 15-20 minutes even set up some pretty heavy themes, but they didn’t really give those themes the space to breathe and develop, and in the end it just felt bland and cliche.
Most of all though, the film was just boring. It clocked in at just over an hour and a half, it felt twice as long. Scenes dragged on, jokes really dragged on, there were no stakes. I mean sure, there was a big global level threat, but the jokes just constantly undercut any real tension, and the finale felt very rushed, while also being too long. If I compare this to across the spiderverse, that film is like 45 minutes longer, but feels half the length.
Also, for how beautiful the animation was, the human character models were incredibly odd putting. April was fine enough, but almost every other human character was just unpleasant to look at. An odd complaint, but one that stood out nonetheless.
I could go on, but I know this review is already way too long. In short, the film felt like it was made for 12 yr olds, and even the one in my theater barely seemed to enjoy it, and my buddy who was so excited to see it was the most disappointed I’ve ever seen him. If you enjoy this movie, so happy for you, but it did absolutely nothing for me and I’ll be happy never seeing it again.