I may be a little late to the party here, but I am officially pissed that Michael Bay is even in the same universe as the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie. I didn’t really mind him helming Transformers so much, being more of a Voltron fan, but now he’s fucking with one of my favorite childhood comics. And yes, I meant comics. I understand that TMNT became popular by way of the late 80s TV show and early 90s movies, but my tween years and an awesome older brother gave me the interest and access, respectively, to the source of TMNT.
To summarize, the comic version of TMNT created by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird would have fit right at home in Batman Begins. It was dark, gritty and bloody. Hamoto Yoshi kills a man named Oroku Nagi. His brother Oroku Saki in turn kills Yoshi, whose pet rat gets left for dead and mutated by the same ooze that mutated the turtles. Splinter then teaches these four turtles ninjitsu for the sole purpose of murdering the shit out of Oroku Saki for what he did to Hamato Yoshi. There’s seriously a panel where Splinter explicitly tells the turtles to kill the Shredder.
Oroku Saki is, of course the Shredder, and the head of the Foot Clan. The Foot Clan in the comics, as in the movies, are actual people, not ninja robots. Speaking of robots, Baxter Stockman is black in the comics, but very European in the show. In the 1980s black people still weren’t smart enough to be clever villains, I guess. Oh! Speaking of Stockman, let us not forget his lab assistant, April O’Neil. Bet you didn’t know she wasn’t really a news reporter, did you?
I am willing to accept for a minute that the TV series made the Turtles popular, sort of the same way Adam West’s Batman made Batman popular. This doesn’t translate into big screen success though. Don’t believe me? Go watch Batman Forever, or Batman & Robin! Wait, don’t do that. Everybody who does that dies. Not in a The Ring kind of way, but in a “oh god get the chrome knight out of my head” before they gouge out their eyes with a soldering iron and cut their wrists with a rusty hacksaw kind of way. Campiness works well for half-hour, commercial-interrupted segments, not on the big screen. Consider that the recent comic book movie reboots have been more successful as dark and gritty movies. Even if the lighter, campier movies made money, none receive critical and commercial success the way Iron Man, The Dark Knight Trilogy and The Amazing Spider-Man did.
Back to Michael Bay. Let me just get this out of the way now. FUCK YOU AND YOUR EXPLOSIONS MICHAEL BAY! I don’t actually feel better, but we’ll move forward anyway. This is the guy who gave us a movie about fighting robots which features a one-hour preface of Shia LeBeouf playing the socially awkward but lovable teenager who eventually gets the hot girl, because that’s his only real character, trying to sell his grandfather’s glasses so he can buy a shitty car with a backseat big enough to fuck some desperate chick with braces who’s just trying to fulfill the losing her virginity before prom pact she made with her way hotter friends (actual storyboarded but never shot scenes).
So after 560 words I’m ready to address this fucking movie. After skimming various news articles I’ve come to the conclusion that Kevin Eastman seems to be on board with Michael Gay (that’s how I’m referring to him from here on out, and I literally decided that as I was typing it) whereas Peter Laird seems to be on board with none of this, the casting of what’s-her-name included. It would appear as though Mr. Eastman prefers paychecks for his creation whereas Mr. Laird cares about the preservation of the canon. Both of these are legitimate sticking points for the respective creators, but not having a dollar in this fight, I’m sticking with Mr. Laird on this one firmly (also, Megan Fox sucks, period, end of statement, it doesn’t even really warrant a discussion).
I’ve rooted through a few internet rumors and come up with two that aggravate the dog shit out of me; the turtles are aliens (hence the movie being called Ninja Turtles instead of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) and there will be an appearance of Krang. Of course M-Gay would make the turtles aliens. He probably story-boarded a Pearl Harbor where the Japanese used alien technology to get past Hawaiian air defenses that the United States got from the same aliens. Eastman seems to think this is okay because the ooze that created the original turtles was alien anyway. Dude, I read the comic book that you fucking wrote and I never saw that. It was chemical waste (because it was the 1980s) from TGRI. Eastman wants a paycheck so he won’t argue with the guy who made ArmaGAYddon.
That’s even worse than the appearance of Krang, quite possibly the campiest character possible, which was created by the TV show and later integrated into the comics as part of the Utrom race. He was definitely not part of the original universe, or even an alien. He’s from Dimension X. This isn’t a bad villain necessarily, but if I see a Technodrome explosion, I swear to Christ I will grow Jedi powers to make M-Gay’s head explode.
All of this is moot against the casting of the most relevant human character in the Ninja Turtles universe. April O’Neil is the turtles’ connection to the human world, a source of intelligence and a friend to the turtles. Megan Fox? Are you fucking kidding me? After M-Gay boots her from the third Gayformers for some beef they had with one another, she apologizes to him because she realized that people only cared about her due to her association with his shitastic movies, and M-Gay is apparently retarded enough to buy it. Everything about this screams “are you fucking kidding me” but apparently, he’s not.
Now we’re 1,000 words in, and I now offer up some quick fixes that can actually be implemented to beat the March 2014 release date. I call them issues 1 and 2. Issue 1 involved the turtles killing the Shredder, and the Foot Clan, and Issue 2 introduced Baxter Stockman, April O’Neil and the Mousers. The Shredder has a personal beef with the turtles via Splinter, and Stockman just wants to kill the shit out of New York. I could see many possibilities where the turtles are trying to thwart Stockman, eventually with April’s help, while the Shredder takes personal issue with the turtles. Of course we can get Stockman and the Shredder to be buddy-buddy for a while, but I’m betting we could see the scene where Stockman programs the Mousers to hunt humans and they turn on the Foot. Whatever.
The most important change is still the casting of April. Of those who auditioned that Megan Fox beat out (probably the same way Tonya Harding beat Nancy Kerrigan at ice whoring or whatever is they’re famous for), I’d have to lean toward Anna Kendrick. She’s not my top five though. I made up my top five on the spot to prove a point to a friend, but upon reflection, I haven’t changed it; Kat Dennings, Aisha Tyler, Charlize Theron, Milla Jovovich or porn star April O’Neil.
Kat Dennings is perfect. A redhead with huge tits and a snarky sense of humor. Done.
Aisha Tyler, while granted racially different than every depiction of April ever, she also has a snarky sense of humor and can make the movie less monochromatic than it’s likely to be otherwise. She’s also believable as a badass, or so her voice acting of Archer’s Lana Kane has led me to believe and you can’t tell me anything different because you’re not my supervisor!
Charlize Theron. I don’t know. I can’t name a movie she’s been in that I didn’t like. And fuck you, cuz Reindeer Games was awesome because TITTIES!
Milla Jovovich I’m sure can take a break from filming the 97th green-screen installment of Resident Evil and take on a different project. Maybe one that requires her to, you know, act. Not saying she’s a bad actress but at this point I’m pretty sure they’ve CGI’d her into all the Resident Evil scenes. Add in The Fifth Element and Ultraviolet, and she’s pretty much the go-to gal in terms of saving the world from anything.
Last but not least is porn queen April O’Neil. She already has the name down. She’s a legend, not just for being a porn star, but in geekdom in general. She frequents Comic-Con, plays Xbox, and she chose her stage name in homage to the character. If that’s not love, I don’t know what is.
Of course the most redeeming quality of all these actresses is the one thing they all have in common: they are not Megan Fox.