Film Review: TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES: MUTANT MAYHEM (2023): Seth Rogen’s Hilarious New Take on the Ninja Turtles Will Certainly Entertain Viewers SuperNayr

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Mutant Mayhem

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem Review

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem (2023) Film Review, a movie directed by Jeff Rowe and Kyler Spears, written by Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg and Jeff Rowe and starring Nicolas Cantu, Brady Noon, Micah Abbey, Shamon Brown Jr., Ayo Edebiri, Jackie Chan, Ice Cube, Rose Byrne, John Cena, Seth Rogen, Paul Rudd, Giancarlo Esposito, Maya Rudolph, Natasia Demetriou, Post Malone and Hannibal Buress.

Watching Seth Rogen’s unique vision for the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie come to life certainly makes for a very interesting experience. Now, a new generation of kids can enjoy the Ninja Turtles in all their glory on the big screen. While directors Jeff Rowe and Kyler Spears have crafted a pretty enjoyable movie, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem occasionally takes some bigger than necessary risks to appeal to the parents of the kids who will be going to see this new film. It still has some showstopping scenes of hilarity that overshadow the picture’s flaws making the CGI-animated movie a lot of fun to watch.

The movie opens with the presentation of the creator of the ooze that turned four regular turtles into Ninja Turtles, Baxter Stockman (voice of Giancarlo Esposito). Then, the film skips ahead 15 years as we meet the Ninja Turtles as teenagers. There’s Leonardo (voice of Nicolas Cantu), Donatello (Micah Abbey), Raphael (Brady Noon) and Michelangelo (Shamon Brown Jr.). One of the new movie’s funniest scenes comes when the turtles watch an outside movie event from afar in Brooklyn, New York. The film which is showing is Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and the scene on display is where Ferris (Matthew Broderick) is singing in the middle of a parade. Our four lovable turtles have aspirations to be “regular” teenagers like Ferris but their master, Splinter (Jackie Chan’s voice), shelters them from the world because of a scary past experience which occurred in Times Square.

Perhaps the most intriguing character of the new movie is that of April O’Neil (voice of Ayo Edebiri), a student journalist looking to get a good scoop for a story. She meets the turtles when they toss a star at her by accident and her bike gets stolen by a thug. When the turtles get the bike back for her, April starts to discover a newfound sense of respect for our heroes. April has a history of throwing up (vomiting) during a news segment she did for her school so she’s an outcast at her high school. She asks the turtles if they have ears, and hilariously takes notes that they “think” they have ears.

The conversations between the turtles couldn’t be more banal. They talk about pizza, bacon, egg and cheese sandwiches and more mundane stuff. They create last names for themselves as well. For example, Leonardo doesn’t like to be called Leo Nardo. Instead, he prefers to be known as Leon Ardo. The turtles tease each other and, predictably, there’s some goofball humor that has the markings of funnyman Seth Rogen’s brainpower.

When the turtles meet a group of baddies who were also transformed by the same ooze they were, all hell breaks loose. The turtles want to become heroes to fit into society and defeat the group of thugs headed by Superfly (a terrific Ice Cube). These bad guys are technically their cousins but they don’t have the same values as our heroic turtles.

There’s plenty of entertainment value here when one considers the songs on the soundtrack. “Can I Kick it?” is one such song. These musical selections may, indeed, be Seth Rogen’s own personal playlist but if they aren’t, they certainly feel like favorites of a creator about Rogen’s age. Rogen even enters the equation as the voice of the character Bebop. There’s also Rocksteady (John Cena), Wingnut (Natasia Demetriou), Leatherhead (Rose Byrne) and Mondo Gecko (an inspired Paul Rudd) tossed into the mix for good measure (among others).

There are three outstanding characters here. April O’Neil is a new take on the character completely. April is much different here than in other outings in previous films and Edebiri’s dry sense of humor suits the movie perfectly. April ends up going to the prom in a mid-end credits scene that’s quite humorous as well. April isn’t glamorous like she usually is but has a lot of personality nevertheless. Jackie Chan makes a fun Master Splinter who sends his turtle sons a text telling them to come home immediately. When the turtles go back to their sewer home, there are pizzas waiting for them with cardboard cutouts of stars, including Chris Pine. These cardboard cutouts are supposed to give the turtles an authentic life-like experience. Chan is quite good here and does a terrific job. Ice Cube is predictably fabulous as the voice of Superfly, a villain with such a wild agenda that it needs a no-nonsense actor like Cube to do it justice.

Rogen’s signature stamp of quality humor is intact in the movie at all times. This is a whole new Turtles movie for a new generation of people who will most likely adore Rogen’s warped sense of hilarity which definitely (and surprisingly) fits the characters’ personalities to a tee.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem may take some time to grow on viewers. The later scenes are far superior to the early ones. Ultimately,  the movie’s very diverse sense of humor and characterizations are going to appeal to viewers both young and old. Whether you’ve been watching the turtles since the 1990’s or just tuning in now for the first time, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem is a funny and inspired addition to a series of similar projects that have always had plenty of creativity to them. Check the new movie out.

Rating: 7.5/10

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