After A Long Absence From The Big Screen, A Successful Revival Of This New Authentic-Style Film
Published: August 5, 2023
By: Katherine S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15
After years of being sheltered from the human world, the Turtle brothers set out to win the hearts of New Yorkers and be accepted as normal teenagers through heroic acts. Their new friend April O’Neil helps them take on a mysterious crime syndicate, but they soon get in over their heads when an army of mutants is unleashed upon them.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem
KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem is a breath of fresh air and certainly the best Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie so far. This animated rendition of everyone’s favorite turtles is “oozing” with distinctive and eye-catching graphics and upbeat music. The movie dives deep, expands on the personalities of the characters we know, and introduces new mutants I love. Although it has a predictable plot, it’s enjoyable and appealing to kids, teens, and adults.
After many years of hiding from the human world in the sewers, Leonardo (Nicolas Cantu), Raphael (Brady Noon), Michelangelo (Shamon Brown Jr), and Donatello (Micah Abbey) want nothing more than to be accepted as normal teenagers. They find that the only way to do this is to save New York City. They plan to take down the notorious villain, Superfly (Ice Cube), and be hailed as heroes. Easy enough, right?
This movie “milks” the franchise’s strengths with an updated view. It’s great for all ages, but I feel it caters the most to a teenage audience. It uses current slang (such as “sus” and “rizz” – which made me laugh), music, and pop culture. Director Seth Rogen’s creativity in this movie elevates it. Compared to other turtles seen in previous installments, the turtles here feel way more like teenagers. Even Master Splinter (Jackie Chan) feels more genuine and like a dad. Some of the best performances in this movie come from Nicolas Cantu (Leonardo), Brady Noon (Raphael), Micha Abbey (Donatello), and Ayo Edebiri (April O’Neil). The dynamic of the Turtle brothers is one of my favorite parts of this movie. April (Ayo Edebiri) is very realistic because she wants acceptance and to get through high school. She is also very relatable to me personally because she is a journalist trying to make it in the world. This movie also has some big star power, represented by Ice Cube, Maya Rudolph, Giancarlo Esposito, Rose Byrne, John Cena, Paul Rudd, and Post Malone! Master Splinter, voiced by Jackie Chan, is my favorite character because he is endearing. Make sure to stay for the post-credits scene.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem displays that love for friends and family overpowers even the worst evils. This movie also deals with acceptance and bias and demonstrates the importance of not judging a book by its cover – or shell. Another idea demonstrated is don’t let the haters get to you because you can’t hide from the world in a sewer for the rest of your life. Some mild profanity and actions are risky for children (like being ninjas).
I give Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 8 to 18, plus adults. This movie comes out in theaters on August 2, 2023.