I don´t know about you, but i can easily buy myself a large pizza, with lots of cheese, and have a great meal. In all the years that i have travelled across the world, i like to try pizzas in different locations, because you never know if you might find a pizza restaurant that is fantastic. One of the cities i remember had really good pizza, is the city of Prague in Czech Republic. Speaking of pizza, how many of you are reminded of pizza when you hear the name Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles ? I know, it is hard not to think about a connection. The mutated turtles from New York really game my childhood a great start back in the late 80´s with their cartoon show. Rafael, Donatello, Michaelangelo and Leonardo, these ninja turtles delivered some fun moments in their classic cartoon TV series, and i must have seen a lot of episodes back in those days. It would not be long until we would see the first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles own full feature film, released in 1990. I remember when this film came out, because me and my school friends used to play as Ninja Turtles, and we had their official toys. Of course i also had the Nintendo game as well, that i played every weekend when i was off from school. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles became a hit worldwide in cinemas, and you could tell that these turtles are here to stay. And they did, bringing in more seasons of their cartoon show, and two more sequels to the original film. The sequel Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret Of Ooze was released just one year after the first film, and the third film was released in 1993. I always felt that this franchise was a fun part of my youth, since i grew up with their cartoon show. It would take 21 years until we had a remake, with the same name. But to be honest, this updated version from 2014 does not feel as charming as the classic films. This year the original film of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles turned 30 years, so i decided to do a 30 years anniversary review, to see if this film still holds up today. Are these turtles even more fun to watch after all these years, or should you watch the 2014 remake instead ?
As a crime wave rises in New York City, reporter April O´Neil ( Judith Hoag ) correctly theorizes that the mysterious ninja Foot Clan may be behind the rising chaos. The Shredder ( James Saito ), the Foot Clan leader, orders April silenced. She is attacked by the Foot Clan, but these soldiers are attacked soon by Raphael ( Josh Pais ), one of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, carry down April to their hideout. Here she meets the rest of the turtles known as Leonardo ( David Forman / Brian Tochi ( voice ) ), Donatello ( Leif Tilden / Corey Feldman ( voice ) ) and Michaelangelo ( Michelan Sisti / Robbie Rist ( voice ) ). Their leader and father figure Splinter ( Kevin Clash ) tells April the story of how they used to be ordinar animals, until they were mutated by toxic waste, and trained by Splinter in the art of ninjitsu. After the turtles escort April home, their hideout is ransacked by the Foot Clan as they kidnap Splinter. The turtles prepare to bring their master home, no matter what they have to do to complete their mission.
If you are a fan of these films from the past, i seriously doubt that you will change your mind about this film. This is a trip back to the days, before CGI effects took over and they were still using real actors in costumes. Watching a film like this today, does not only bring back a nostalgic feeling, but it also reminds me of how simple some of the 90´s films felt. You did not need a complicated plot, or serious acting. This was all about having fun, and you can still get that feeling today with this film. Let´s get into the characters. Actress Judith Hoag ( who have been in the TV series Nashville ) plays April O´Neal, the TV reporter. I have to say that Judith manage to bring her own version of April, and she does a good job portraying this character. One of my personal favourite characters in this film, is legendary actor Elias Koteas ( who you must see in the horror film The Haunting In Connecticut ) as the character Casey Jones. He is loud, confident, and he loves to kick ass, just about everything you need in a character to fit into this film. Then of course we have all the turtles, who are played by four different actors, but their voices are also from four other actors. Instead of presenting each one, let´s just get into their performances in costumes. I think that they actually work pretty well, considering they are fighting in pretty big costumes. Another thing that this film manage to do well with these four turtles, is giving them a lot of space with their comedy timing. If you are in the right mood, i guarantee you will have a good time when these four turtles bring on their fun personalities. I have to mention legendary actor James Saito ( who i will always remember from TV series Eli Stone ) as the evil character The Shredder. James manage to make Shredder exactly as bad as we wanted him to be. Does the martial art scenes still work in this film ? I would have to say yes, and there is plenty of fighting to enjoy. Sure, the dialogue can be cheesy at times, but that´s the whole meaing with a film like this, not to take itself too serious. Director Steve Barron manage to find the right tone for a film like this, and bring out the comic book feeling as well in a positive way. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is an action comedy that knows what kind of audience it wants to please, and that is why this film still works well. If you are planning a pizza night, why not do it while watching this film on DVD or Blu Ray ? In this combination, you are guaranteed to experience a nostalgic trip back to the 90´s.