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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem (2023)

The Story

After years hiding in the sewers, Leo (Nardo), Raph, Donny, and Mike crave acceptance from the human world. Their opportunity arrives when they team up with their new friend April O’Neil to take down a mysterious crime syndicate. April is an aspiring high school journalist, if only she could get past the puking stage of delivering the news. But things get gnarly when an army of mutants is unleashed upon the city to source the last part needed for mastermind Superfly’s machine that will bring him the power he wants. Will the Turtles rise to the challenge, win the hearts of New Yorkers, and prove they’re more than just teenage reptiles? This 2023 reboot has everything viewers want in the 20s: epic battles, quick action, witty banter, vibrant colors, favorite tunes, and tons of mutant mayhem.

Initial THoughts

The storyline of this 2023 TMNT movie is very similar to the 2014 live-action movie. The newer movie is made for a younger audience influenced by shorts and reels, with its fast action and soundtrack full of ear-candy soundbites of popular tunes. The turtles are still teenagers, but these teens re more approachable. Remember the 2014 mutants? They’re like how high schoolers in 80s movies look like 30 year olds — the 2023 turtles look and sound like kids, and they make decisions like teens do, too. The 2023 storyline revolves around the turtles (rather than April), and Shredder is teased for the sequel and not the cause of the drama. The characters — even the villains — are very emotionally aware, apologizing, overexplaining, and genuinely trying to be kind. Splinter always showed the boys that he cared about them, but can you imagine any previous rendition of Splinter actually saying “I love you”? The story moves quickly because you’re enjoying the animation and music, but the dialogue and story is delivered in easy to bite chunks. Graphic novel enthusiasts will enjoy the establishing scenes that break up the action, not unlike the panels in a graphic novel. Viewers aren’t overwhelmed with any aspect of the film, making it a fully enjoyable experience for everyone in that 13-to-39 age demographic (and below and beyond).

The Deets

Rating: PG
Concerns: Language, Impolite Material, Sequences of Violence & Action
Runtime: 1h 39m
Genre: Kids & family, Comedy, Adventure, Animation
Original Language: English
Release Date (theaters): Aug 2, 2023  Wide
Release Date (Streaming): Sep 1, 2023

Main Cast

Micah Abbey as Donatello
Shamon Brown Jr. as Michelangelo
Nicolas Cantu as Leonardo
Brady Noon as Raphael
Ayo Edebiri as April O’Neil
Jackie Chan as Splinter
Ice Cube as Superfly
Maya Rudolph as Cynthia Utrom
John Cena as Rocksteady
Seth Rogen as Bebop

Production & Crew

Distributor: Paramount Pictures
Production Co: Nickelodeon Movies, Point Grey Pictures
Director(s): Jeff Rowe
Producer(s): Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, James Weaver
Writer(s): Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, Jeff Rowe, Dan Hernandez, Benji Samit; Based on Characters by Peter Laird and Kevin Eastman
Cinematography: Kent Seki
Music: Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross
Editor: Greg Levitan

Memorable Quotes

Leo: Master Splinter has given us a very important mission for tonight. … We must use stealth, and cunning to infiltrate the human world, and retrieve…Go-gurt.

All: Humans are the of the demon scum of the earth. Avoid them. Don’t say hi. They lust to murder that which is different from them. To interact with them is to die.

Leo: Hey, look. I know that’s objectively prejudice, but that’s what Dad taught us.

Turtle: You ratted us out.

Splinter: Hey! Don’t use that word that way.

Splinter: You forgot, huh? You don’t remember why human are disgusting monsters? Why they are dangerous? Why they’re gonna milk us for our blood?

Turtle: We don’t even have nipples!

Splinter: I have one friend. He was a cockroach. We got along very well. His name was Kevin. And then, I ate him.

Splinter: Because I was older, I became older rat man. You guys was babies, so you stayed baby turtle creatures. If you think about that, it couldn’t make more sense.

Turtle: Oop. He’s getting away.

Ralph: We tried to warn her. Nothing more we can do. You guys want to grab pizza?

Donny: I don’t know if you noticed, all I’ve got is a big stick. How did I end up with a big stick?

April: Maybe you’re not the only ones who want to be heroes so people like them, okay?

Wingnut: Superfly’s almost here, and he’s not going to be as nice about this.

Leo: You’re not being nice!

Wingnut: He’ll be less nice.

All: She’s gonna milk us!

Rocksteady (about Superfly)This guy’s making me angry. 

Bepop: I think this guy’s been making me angry my whole life. 

Rocksteady: My gosh, I think he’s the reason we’re angry.

Bepop: We gonna do something about it?

Rocksteady: [Roars]

Superfly: Rat man! Come on! Help me out! Look, man. We’re basically the same. We both hate humans. I’m just not a punk about it like you.

Splinter: Don’t you say that!

Mondo Gecko: Hey. When the machine that turns a bunch of animals into mutants goes off underwater, um, and then there’s animals in the water. um, like what do you think that does?

Splinter: I love you.

The Trailer

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