I don't know what it is, but I'm always going to have a soft spot for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I don't eat everything up, but when something of an event comes along with them...a new movie, a new show...my interest is always peaked. My hardcore time has passed, but it was definitely THAT hardcore that I'm still call myself a fan. One of these days I'm going to get to this new animated series and catch up and I'm actually kind of excited about that. Honestly, when it comes to the Turtles on film, things aren't too strong. They have one legitimately great film and the rest is a mixed bag ranging from awful to merely solid. Let's see how I've placed them:
5. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III (1993)
Yep, easy. This is one lame boring duck of a movie. It's pretty much unwatchable for me. And that's not just because its bad its because I can't stop myself from trying to do something else while this is on. I honestly have no idea what happened here production-wise, but its a complete failure. This is definitely a candidate for one of the worst franchise sequels ever. Yet, somehow it has a higher Rotten Tomatoes score than the new one. Definitely a sign that we live in a time where its either GREAT BEST MOVIE! or it sucks. No inbetween.
4. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret Of The Ooze (1991)
Its not time that hasn't been kind to this movie its the fact that I grew up. This movie was always bad, you just couldn't see it as a kid. There is a load of nostalgia for this movie and that's fine. It may not be a good movie, but its definitely a watchable one and easy to get through with its super campiness. A piss poor follow up to the original, but one that represents the live action version of the cartoon more than any other. Kids will love it though, and that was the important part and goal of this film.
3. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)
I'm well aware I'm in a big minority on this one. Maybe this caught me at the right time on the right day or maybe some older people went to a kids movie with grumpy pants on. While the film does have its problems and some obvious reshoot tinkering, I was able to overlook that with my less personal restrictive guidelines on an obvious kids movie. I was quite impressed with how right their characterizations of the Turtles were and their teamwork was well orchestrated. The slide down the snowy mountain scene was also pretty impressive as well. Its also not very long. Compared to a lot of reboots, this one is a quick hit. Its shallow in the character development and plot department but its making up for it with some fun and quick but not breakneck pace. No, its not a great film, but in this day in age you have to be greatness or you suck. Its a shame something decent just can't get respect. I took this movie and held it up to what came before it and if you can take nostalgia glasses off, this one isn't too bad.
A forgotten, but solid entry. Its a consistent movie from start to finish and pretty good overall. I think there may have been some disappointment with this one initially in the villain department since their was a lack of Shredder. Its just different and I think they do different right. Personally, I take this one as a loose sequel to the live action films of the 90s. The film does sort of feel more like a pilot for a new cartoon series than it does a feature film after these years. Especially with the ending. Its even a little more weird now that nothing ever came after it. This Turtle film isn't going to blow you away and you'll move on quickly after, but its a good view if you've never seen it.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990)
Easy decision. I hold this film up very high both as a comic book movie and just for the film itself. Its costuming job on the Turtles is still impressive to this day. These Turtles look better than the new ones even. Steve Barron's film still holds together after all these years, and is enjoyable no matter your age. The film was so simple, yet really got damn near everything right. A feat that still hasn't been matched with this franchise. I could babble on and on and on about this movie...oh wait...I DID do just that with Aaron Neuwirth, Abe Moua and Scott Mendelson on this COMMENTARY! So listen to that to hear even more about this classic.
NEXT TIME: Back to Back Rankings. A dance off of the Step Up series is up.