Thank you Paramount for sending us this Blu-Ray to review!
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was popular when I was a teenager. Despite (mostly) growing out of toys and cartoons, I would still make excuses to watch this show with my brother. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem makes some changes to the characters, but there are many familiar faces. Like Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, April O’Neil is a woman of color. The main villain, Superfly (voiced by Ice Cube) is new to the series.
The movie begins with a scientist, Baxter Stockman working on his mutants in an underground lab. His work didn’t go unnoticed and his lab is trashed. Before his demise, he sends some of his green glowing ooze into the New York City sewers. As luck would have it, four turtles and a rat came into contact with it and grew to be as big as humans.
Unfortunately, these mutants are not accepted by humans and the few interactions with them have been scarring. Splinter (voiced by Jackie Chan) has taught the turtles martial arts so they can defend themselves if needed. He also taught them that humans are “demon scum” and should not be interacted with. The turtles stealthily rob convenience stores on a regular basis to sustain themselves. There’s a bit of brand placement as they have some peculiar tastes.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem has an overarching theme of acceptance. That’s what most of these mutants want. Sadly, some are misguided on how to get it. I love how many of the bad guys are swayed against annihilating the human race (despite their flaws). Prejudice is shown in a negative light, which is a good thing. Language is present in this film including words like pee, hell, d*mn, and OMG is spelled out numerous times. Lastly, there's a pride club poster displayed in the local high school that April O'Neil attends.
The art style is really unique with a gritty 2.5D feel to it. The voices and mannerisms of the turtles are different than the animated series. Whether you’re new to the series or a veteran, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem is worth watching. Just keep in mind that it has more language than the TV show. Be sure to wait for the after credits scene which reveals the next villain!
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