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"TMNT" takes place after the previous movies. It has been a long time since the turtles defeated their old arch nemesis, The Shredder, and the turtles have grown apart ever since. Fearing for the unity of their team, Master Splinter has sent Leonardo to train abroad and become a better leader. Back home, the other turtles do what the can to get by. Raphael just sleeps all day and nobody really knows what he does all night, Michelangelo works as a costumed children's entertainer, and Donatello does computer tech support over the phone. April O'Neil and Casey Jones live together and even work together too. Leonardo soon returns, but his challenges are just beginning. He must try to reunite the turtles and stop a mysterious new threat – there are monsters loose all over the city, the Foot Clan is back, four ancient stone statues have come alive and something big is about to happen. All signs point to Tech-industrialist Max Winters and a 3000 year old story that has faded into myth and legend. If the story is true, then if the turtles don't stop it, the world will be doomed.
I was very impressed with "TMNT." It stayed true to the other movies and the TV show that I used to love watching as a child. The story was very well done and really captured the true essence and personality of each turtle. I was also incredibly surprised to see who was doing the voice acting for "TMNT"… they had quite the lineup, including stars such as Sarah Michelle Gellar, Kevin Smith, Patrick Stewart, Laurence Fishburne, Ziyi Zhang, Chris Evans and Mako. The animation was very good, but nothing spectacular or ground-breaking. I also really liked the amount of humor in the script. It has some great comedic moments (especially those involving Michelangelo) that had the audience laughing quite a bit. Overall, this is a great movie for any ninja turtles fan… chock-full of nostalgia and fun. However, for anyone who has never seen the other ninja turtle movies or TV shows, I doubt they'd get as much enjoyment out of this movie, so I would strongly recommend getting the other movies on DVD first before seeing "TMNT." For this reason I'm going to dock half a point from my score… it has been 17 years since the original and 14 years since the last movie… that's a LONG gap to make a direct follow-up to and expect folks (especially newcomers) to be able to jump right into the story and understand everything that's going on. Even for me (an old-school ninja turtles fans) it took a hard memory jog to get me fully involved in the story…
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have returned to the big screen, in an all new CGI action adventure. It has been a little over a year since the defeat of their arch nemesis The Shredder; the turtles have since grown apart as a family. Struggling to keep them together, their rat sensei, Splinter (Mako), becomes worried when strange things begin to brew in New York City. A Tech-industrialist Maximillian J. Winters (Patrick Stewart) is raising an army of ancient monsters, and only one super-ninja fighting team can stop them Leonardo (James Arnold Taylor), Michelangelo (Mikey Kelly), Donatello (Mitchell Whitfield), and Raphael (Nolan North). Along with help from some old allies, April (Sarah Michelle Gellar), and Casey Jones (Chris Evans), the turtles are in for the fight of their lives as they once again must face the mysterious foot clan, who have put their own ninja skills behind Winters endeavors.
Overall I found this movie very fun; it has the true spirit of the turtles that I have always loved. The attitude of the turtles (especially Michelangelo) was just as I have always remembered and true to the story. The CGI was amazing and very well done, the story was well written and the acting was great... you could almost tell everyone was having a blast during this movie. I believe it has brought to life the turtles franchise once again, and we will soon see tons of toys hitting the shelves this year. Good job to the writer/director Kevin Munroe for keeping the turtles at the forefront of what started as a slow movie year.
Overall Rating: 4 Stars (out of 5). Re-Watch Value: High (I'm going to purchase on DVD when released.)
Trivia: Oscar-nominated actor Mako was announced as the voice of Splinter at San Diego Comic Con the day before he died. Fortunately, he had finished the majority of his acting... so this was Mako's last film.