Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990)

Posted in Reviews by - April 11, 2013
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990)

A petty crime wave hits New York City. Troubled youths are pinching possessions as an offering to an evil master and his army of foot soldiers. Shredder (Saito) is the man behind it all. He’s a steel-plated cartoon nemesis whose only opposition, it seems, appears to be coming from beneath New York’s busy streets.

A group of adolescent, slang talking, pizza eating, human sized mutant turtles occupy the sewers, trained in the ways of ninjitsu, taught to them by their ageing sensei Splinter – a giant rat. The turtles take to the streets when Splinter is kidnapped and kick back in a carnival of slapstick tom foolery.

The film also includes a love/hate set up between TV reporter April (Hoag) and martial arts enthusiast Kacey (Koteas), but the subplot is rightfully marginialised in favour of a more childish, universal adventure. Jim Henson’s Creature Shop work their magic with the animatronics and the dubbed turtles retain a certain level of superficial attitude and charm, lacking in character what they more than compensate for in design.

Surprisingly, the result actually pays off, and the film is an endearing live action debut for the spunky comic book heroes. Cowabunga, dude.

This post was written by
Editor and creator of Kung Fu Movie Guide and the host of the Kung Fu Movie Guide Podcast. I live behind a laptop in London, UK.

1 Comment

  • Haha, most fun martial arts movie of the 90’s, period! Good original idea for it’s time too. Ah, I miss my childhood!

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