Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is an uneven movie. It has an epic story with high stakes as the Ninja Turtles face their greatest threat yet. However, the character designs and the use of mystic powers for the Turtles are a huge disappointment.”

Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is getting its own animated movie on Netflix. The continuation of the TV series was released today on Netflix. So, is this a worthy adaptation of the classic Ninja Turtles?

STORY

Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie. Cr: Netflix © 2022

This new movie sends the Ninja Turtles on what I would describe their biggest adventure yet. We have never seen them face such a threat before. Yes, they have thought Krang before but not this version of the Krang. They are three and they can recreate an almost infinite army. This is a threat with high stakes. And to show you how devastating the Krang can be, the movie opens with an apocalyptic world where they have conquered Earth. This sets you in the mood right from the start.

This is a pretty dark movie at times. Our heroes are even separated. In this version, Raphael is the leader of the group and this leaves Leonardo to become the leader. Throughout the movie, he has to learn how to lead his brothers. It is a powerful development of the character leading us to the Leonardo we know from the other versions.

Not everything is doom and gloom. There is still the usual humor that you have with the Ninja Turtles. It is also quite hopeful. Plus, you get some incredible action scenes. This is an action-packed movie!

Despite only being 82 minutes long, it never feels too short or too long. It is fast-paced but it also leaves some time for the story to breathe and delve into the emotional side.

A DIFFERENT VERSION

Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie – (L-R) Michelangelo (voiced by Brandon Mychal Smith), Leonardo (voiced by Ben Schwartz), Splinter (voiced by Eric Bauza), Raphael (voiced by Omar Benson Miller), and Donatello (voiced by Josh Brener). Cr: Netflix © 2022

In this version, the Ninja Turtles have mystic powers. It very much feels like Doctor Strange from the Marvel Universe. Thus, it feels weird seeing the Turtles like this. And honestly, it is quite unnecessary. Indeed, the Turtles already have power – they are mutants with enhanced strengths and skills. Why add mystic powers? Ninja Turtles are their own kind of superheroes, they do not need to be like the heroes from Marvel or DC Comics. Plus, these powers make them way too powerful which considerably lower the stakes.

They do lose their powers at one point. And without them, they are so good. For most of the movie, you see the Ninja Turtles we love and know. They are already badass with normal swords, fighting sticks, and nunchakus. But once they get them back, it is annoying again.

Furthermore, there is Splinter who does not feel like Master Splinter. He is not wise nor imposing. Instead, he is goofy and not so strong. It is a wonder how he was able to teach the Turtles martial arts. Surprisingly, it is April O’Neil and Casey Jones who feel the most faithful to what they usually are. These two sure do not disappoint.

VISUALS
Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie. Cr: Netflix © 2022

The animation style used for this movie is something you can find in many American cartoons. It is a good style. However, my problem is with the character designs of the Turtles and Splinter. There is no way to sugarcoat it. It is bad. For the Turtles, you can tell they took inspiration from the movies produced by Michael Bay and they took that concept even further. But it does not work. Raph is so huge compared to the others. And Mikey is so tiny. Visually, it is not the Ninja Turtles I knew. Add to that their truck. It is basically a tank with a taxi on top of it. It is one of the worst designs I have seen in years.

Moreover, the design of Splinter is not any better. It feels like a missed copy of Master Shifu. Undoubtedly, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles had several problems over the years with their different adaptations but their character designs were never the problem. So it is a shame Nickelodeon keeps trying to change them.

However, I do love the redesign of the Technodrome. When I first saw it, I thought yes this is something that feels like it belongs to the Krang. It is big, imposing, and has an alien feel.

SOUNDTRACK

Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie. Cr: Netflix © 2022

Matt Mahaffey has composed the score. Unfortunately, it is quite forgettable. There are no themes that really pop. It is simply flat. There is no powerful music to enhance even more the great action scenes.

VERDICT

Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is an uneven movie. It has an epic story with high stakes as the Ninja Turtles face their greatest threat yet. However, the character designs and the use of mystic powers for the Turtles are a huge disappointment.

Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie is streaming on Netflix right now!

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