Opinion: Turtles in trouble

Neville Hardman is a sophomore magazine journalism major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater.  Contact her at [email protected].

Neville Hardman

“Chill, it’s just a mask, don’t freak out,” uttered Michelangelo, the infamous orange-masked Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle.

But honestly, I can’t help feeling unusually off-put by this movie reproduction of my childhood heroes, set to be released in early August.

The movie takes place in New York, where rampant amounts of crime and cruelty have seized the city. Some force of evil seems to have taken over, and great corruption has followed. Heroes are desolate, destruction is evident and no one seems to be doing anything about it.

Except William Fichtner, who ironically plays the ruthless villain and ultimate nemesis of the turtles, Shredder.

He famously quotes in the trailer that “heroes are not born, they’re created,” which hints at an interesting backwards plotline that he could be the one who transforms the turtles into human-esque beings in the movie.

This adaptation strays from the origins, which is leaving many fans discontent and angry, and this is where the reboot will start to face many problems along the road.

There are many other small but noticeable changes that add to disaster, the first being that our pizza-loving heroes don’t look very kid-friendly. They actually look quite dark and a little scary, a 180 from their goofy, grinning, vintage appearance.

The second is that the turtles will be called alien-originated instead of mutants, which falls in line with the story of the ooze but negates their title. The third is the overall look, which, especially with full lips, is very eccentric and hard to get used to.

But movies that are converted from comic books never have an easy time, specifically when a nitpicky fan base is ready to dish out harsh criticism of two-minute clips and fight announcements producers reveal to the public.

However, these stories and characters are exploited for a profit, so fans are entitled to be concerned about it, if not act a bit on the defensive line.

Casting also poses a problem, especially since this will not be the first time Michael Bay and Megan Fox have worked together on a film. She will play the role of April O’Neil, a news reporter that eventually becomes friends with the turtles and also invested in their adventure.

There is still a thin string of hope that Fox is not just being used for her looks because she was clothed and not that sexualized during the trailer, so far.

I’m expecting more pizza, sewers and even a bad pun or two to pull off a classic Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie. Splinter better be there, too. Add a few good fight scenes and some extra witty lines and it might be a movie worth seeing to escape the inevitable heat for a couple hours.

The trailer was perplexing enough and Bay might even gift a shocking plot twist that will leave viewers content with his film-adaptation abilities and asking for a sequel.

Until August, cowabunga, dudes!