A company called TGI is disposing of a toxic chemical substance
in a cleanup programme. The last canister is stolen by Turtles
nemesis Shredder (sporting a rather fetching circular saw
hat), who has miraculously survived their last encounter.
He creates two creatures to take on the Turtles, using the
same ooze that accidentally mutated our heroes. Chaos ensues
as the Turtles, guided by their master Splinter, a mutant
rat, take on the bad guys in a bid to explain their own origins...
Surprisingly Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret
of the Ooze was a lot less painful to watch than the Power
Rangers twin pack DVD also released by Fox this month.
There's the same wisecracking, arse-kicking display, but at
least the main characters are individuals and possess their
own nuances. Nobody can stay serious for more than two minutes,
and those that try ham it up terribly. I suppose any attempt
to make a thought-provoking plot is immediately shot down
in flames when four plastic-coated bandanna-wearing turtles
leap into the scene. Even Yoda didn't get away with it in
Attack of the Clones.
I have to give credit where it's due. The fight scenes are
pretty well choreographed, but you can just hear the sound
of true Ninjas from the ancient past turning in their graves.
The one-liners, of which there are plenty, range wildly from
the genuinely amusing to the outright cringe-worthy. It's
just unfortunate that all but the tiniest percentage fall
into the latter category. There's a monumental chasm between
being funny and being silly; the Turtles, despite their martial
arts, never manage to leap the gap.
The second disc in the collection sees Michaelagelo, Donatello,
Raphael and Leonardo return when friend April picks up a lamp
standard from a junk shop only to discover it is a time link
to the ancient past. April disappears, leaving a confused
Japanese warrior in her place, so the Turtles must utilise
the lamp to travel to the Japan of the 1600s in a bid to get
her back. But an Englishman has aspirations regarding the
lamp, the only link to their own time...
training/dancing scene to ZZ Top at the beginning of Teenage
Mutant Ninja Turtles III gave me high aspirations. This
sequel borrows heavily from Shogun. The costumes are
fantastic, the settings beautiful, the acting pretty good...
and then there's the Turtles! If this film had been played
straight or parodied the genre, it would have perhaps turned
out one-hundred percent better. However, it does neither one
nor the other, instead opting to scuttle about somewhere in
between. The Turtle speech is straight out of the Bill
and Ted films, with "Awesome!" and "Dudes!" all over the
place. Bill and Ted pulled it off, the Turtles don't.
films, part of a huge fad a few years back, will still be
entertaining to young children now. Anyone over the age of
10 will probably want to fall into that metaphorical hole
in the ground five minutes in. Reviewing this package was
like a visit to the dentist: I put it off for as long as was
feasible, but finally had to submit and agree to be put out
of my misery. One phrase sums up these movies: Cowabunga!!
Does that mean bad?
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