Hey gang, Valkor here. The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have had their share of successes and failures in the theater, with more misses than hits. When I heard that Seth Rogan was involved with their latest movie outing – TMNT: Mutant Mayhem – I decided to give the latest, animated film a wait-and-see approach. And having seen Mutant Mayhem, I can honestly state that it lived up to and exceeded my expectations.! Let's check it out, TOV style! Oh, and expect spoilers!
Mutant Mayhem centers on our four favorite ninja turtles – Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello, and Raphael. The foursome spends much of their time creeping through the shadows and avoiding human contact while living their best lives in the sewer with their father Splinter (Jackie Chan). Their lives change when they have a chance meeting with April O'Neil. As it turns out, April is a wanna-be news reporter, hot on the trail of a criminal mutant mastermind Superfly (Ice Cube), who has been going around NYC stealing all kinds of tech. In the end, he wants to build a device that would transform every animal on the earth into a mutant like him and his buddies.
And speaking of Superfly's gang, the dude has a crew filled with TMNT throwbacks you may or may not recognize. We're talking Bebop, Rocksteady, Mondo Gecko, Wingnut, Genghis Frog, Ray Fillet, and Leatherhead; if you've read any of the books, watched any of the shows/films, or bought/played with any of the TMNT toys, then you know most if not all of these characters. When I saw them in the trailers, I wasn't sure how they'd fit into the film. Turns out they fit just right.
Back to the story (it's not hard to find), The Turtles also have to deal with their longing to take part in and be accepted by humanity as a whole. Splinter once tried to give them real-world experience. They were, nonetheless, driven out because humans mistook them for monsters. However, the Turtles believe that if they can convince people that they are friendly, in some way, people will accept them. So, the foursome are all over the Superfly case, with April's backing them up. It ends with a wild face-off between the Turtles and a Super Duper Superfly, who looks to take out NYC Godzilla-style. But this is a family film. So, not only do the Turtles save the day. They're ultimately accepted into the human world. And are even given the chance to attend high school.
TMNT: Mutant Mayhem is its own take on the original tale. The main plot is still the same – the rat finds turtles covered in ooze, and they become anthropomorphic, and learn the ways of the ninja. The movie then takes a turn for the better, giving the story a stronger emotional punch. You certainly feel the Turtles' want to fit into society, which is something rarely addressed in past movies or TV shows. I mean, in this film, they actually get to go to High School. I never saw that in any of the shows. And I totally dig it! Additionally, stay for the post-credits scene because a familiar, shadowy figure emerges. And that makes me crave a follow-up.! And now, on with the TOV Breakdown!
I wasn't sure how I'd feel about Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem. However, after watching the film, I instantly fell in love with it! This one sits well with the first film (1990) and the 2007 CGI film. What makes Mutant Mayhem such a strong film is a) it packs an emotional punch, and b) has a story that throws a lot at you. Yet it keeps things in line, never veering too far off its main course. And c) it's a whole lot of fun! Furthermore, the action is very intense, especially during the last act. But I have one objection to the final battle, which I'll address in the next section. And yet, I was still impressed with the action the film dishes out. Next, the music is a definite plus. And the soundtrack to Mutant Mayhem is similar to that of Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse. It includes some relaxing, well-known beats that go beautifully with the movie. The animation is also similar to that of Into/Across the Spiderverse as it has that framey look, along with some sweet watercolor backdrops. Finally, props to the casting, which features a ton of A-list talent to support the fresh voices. The film has plenty of big names, but it gets huge points for using actual teenagers to voice the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, bringing along all of their teenage mannerisms. Donny (Micah Abby) is my favorite. The raspy voices fits the character perfectly. Other favs include John Cena as Rocksteady, Jackie Chan as Splinter, and Ice Cube as Superfly. And I'll be honest, it felt like Cube was holding back on a few f-bombs moments. I know it's a kid's film. But there were times I felt the f-bombs were gonna fly! And it would just fit! In the end, TMNT: Mutant Mayhem is a shell of a hit! There's more than enough in this film that fans, old and new, can appreciate.
I have one slight objection to the film. And it mainly has to do with the final battle. What concerned me was when Super Duper Superfly had the turtles in his clutches, squeezing them tight enough that their shells cracked. The scene seemed to go on for too long, and it appeared that the turtles ought to have already been killed. Of course, they escaped their demise. And yet it just seems like they shouldn't have.
Super Duper Superfly is just... wow!! He's just an unsightly, awful mess of a character!
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem is making the streaming rounds on Paramount+ as well as Amazon Prime Video and Google TV. But no matter what format you choose, the film is worth watching! It has a great story, tons of familiar and fun characters, and loads of action. I highly recommend checking it out. And out of TOV 5 stars, I'm giving TMNT: Mutant Mayhem a 4.5!