Rise of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie (2022) is an animated movie of the popular franchise of the same name, directed by Ant Ward and Andy Suriano. When Casey Jones, a student of Leonardo from the future is sent to the past to undo the Krang takeover of the planet earth, they find themselves at odds stacking against them as retrieving the key to the portal proves to be a more serious affair than they expected it to be.
Continuation of the animated series of the same name, the movie starts in 2044, when the Krang has total control of the Earth, with Michaelangelo, and Leonardo remaining the last remaining forces of the famous band of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The earth which is no longer the earth once known is now turned into ashes, devoid of any joy, with the human civilization now taken over by the mighty Krang. Amidst the vulnerability, sensing defeat, Leonardo sends his trusted disciple Casey Jones into the past, as Michaelangelo casts the spell of the mystic arts and Leonardo holds off the lines. Back in past, Casey is tasked with intercepting the portal key, which would be stolen shortly, which becomes the gateway of Krang’s entry into the planet from the prison dimension. Things become messier than ever, as young Leonardo’s recklessness and overconfidence lead to the robbery of the artifact as his unserious mindset complicates Casey’s visit.
It is a kid’s movie, so I understand the thought process behind not keeping things too dark, but this had the potential to impose the franchise in different hindsight on a darker theme, as it plays safe and doesn’t gauge the PG-13 territory. I wish that the lawless imprisoned future narrative would have been discovered more since it was a different type of experience to see the masters of the band in Michaelangelo and Leonardo as older heroes struggling in a one institution fight which they very well have lost already.
It is also a subject to forced liveliness, as the humor is not that good. The goofiness of the turtles themselves is expressed in generic ways with the script continuously guilty of sliding in jokes at odd moments that just don’t do the job.
The animation style between the two timelines shifts understandably, but I am not particularly a fan of the animation in both art forms. It ignores the human component of living on the planet earth, with a disappointing description of all life forms and the environment itself, resorting mainly to the vague self-imposition of thoughts to do the trick back in 2014, the past.
It was always good to see the fab four front of Super Turtles in action, alongside the other members in action together as Casey begins to reflect upon his ‘family’ that once upon a time had everybody. There are moments of self-growth within the characters, but subpar, there is not really much in this generic flick with out-of-character emotional revelations, and the feel for lack of adverse consequences that downplay the threat, despite appearing dangerous.
Final Score – [6/10]
Reviewed by - Devyansh Anand
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