I don’t know about you, but I’m a big TMNT fan. Well, not big enough to make me collect the comics and have Turtle-themed pillowcases to sleep on every night (that honor is reserved solely for Batman), but you get my drift. I did, however, wear TMNT sneakers (it’s green, with the soles pattered after their shells and it’s got a freaking pump!) and I ate that cereal that turned the milk green. Yes, I thought it was a good idea back then.
Anyway, what I really mean to say is I saw the much-awaited made-for-DVD movie, Turtles Forever. And I fucking loved it.
I have to warn you though: I’ll be putting in spoilers at this point.
We’re all clear then? Ok.
Man, what a ride it was. Basically, it’s all about the Turtles from the current TV show meeting their counterparts from the goofier 80’s cartoon.
So the plot goes a little something like this: the 80’s Turtles somehow land on the 2003 universe and are quickly captured by a ninja gang. They are rescued by the 2003 Turtles, and as they figure out a way to return home (which involves 80’s Shredder, Krang and the Technodrome), their plans are suddenly thrown awry by the return of the 2003 Shredder.
At this point, I’d like to stress something: even though I love the 2003 cartoon for actually focusing on character development, plot and action, the 80’s cartoon has a special place in my (sex) heart. No matter how goofy or silly it can get, the old show introduced me to the awesomeness that is TMNT.
Which is why I find it dismaying that 90% of the time, the movie does nothing but to lampoon the old show. I know, it’s just being played for laughs and it’s a way to contrast the differences between the old and new Turtles, but I felt like the creators wanted to say “You liked this shit? Look at how stupid this show is! It’s got mutant bananas running around New York, for crying out loud!” Sure they can get giggly and probably won’t survive a fight in the real world, but those are my Turtles. Contrary to their actions in the movie, they won’t go out into the streets to grab a pizza without putting on a disguise. Also, stop being mean to them, 2003 Raphael.
And for the record, mutant bananas are awesome and 80’s April O’ Neal has huge gazongas.
On the other hand, it looks like the movie’s creators had a lot of fun with 80’s Shredder and Krang. I swear, they could’ve eaten up a lot more time in this film and it won’t ever be enough. I find myself laughing my ass off whenever they appear on screen.
I don’t even know what my favorite scene is. There’s the one where 2003 Shredder reveals the Turtle Multiverse and we get to see a glimpse of the different incarnations of the Turtles in TV, movies and comics. I recognized only a few of those versions, but I geekgasmed anyway.
And who could not love the scenes held in Turtle-Prime? We see the Turtles from the very first issue of the comic, all black and white and brooding and rasping Christian Bale-like that even 2003 Raphael thought that they needed to lighten up.
There were lots of great moments too. 80’s Raphael, true to form, often broke the 4th wall and talked to the audience, much to the dismay of everyone else around him. At one point, Hun even asks who the hell is he talking to. Turtle-Prime Leonardo even gets into 4th-world breaking mode and gives out a Frank Miller-esque internal monologue ripped from the first issue of the comic itself. I had to laugh when 2003 Leonardo asked why the hell is he monologuing.
As for the final battle? I thought three sets of Turtles weren’t enough. It was great, but I wonder what would’ve happened if those other Turtles in the multiverse were able to join in the battle against Shredder. Now that would be epic. Also, the 80’s Turtles sort of redeemed themselves in the end by being the ones who actually did something against Shredder, while the 2003 Turtles just got their asses handed to them. Bebop and Rocksteady also figure in the climax, which made me laugh so loud and loved this movie to bits.
I may have found a lot of bones to pick with this movie, but I consider Turtles Forever one of the best things I’ve watched this year. I love it so much that I’m actually giving it a score of 5/5 Turtles!