Wednesday 9 August 2023

REVIEW: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem - Starring Micah Abbey, Shamon Brown Jr., Nicolas Cantu, and Brady Noon

Review by Jon Donnis
"Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem" bursts onto the screen as a thrilling and dynamic reboot of the iconic franchise, delivering a nostalgic nod to the past while introducing exhilarating new elements. Directed by Jeff Rowe, this seventh instalment in the theatrical Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series captures the essence of the beloved characters while breathing new life into their adventures.

The voice cast is the film's beating heart, with each actor embodying their characters with flair and dedication. Micah Abbey's Donatello radiates wisdom and resourcefulness, while Shamon Brown Jr.'s Michelangelo injects the film with charisma and humour. Nicolas Cantu as Leonardo effortlessly portrays the leadership and honour of the group, and Brady Noon's Raphael balances strength with impulsiveness. Ayo Edebiri as April O'Neil ticks all the diversity boxes and keeps Hollywood happy.

The story kicks off with a bang as TCRI executive Cynthia Utrom (Maya Rudolph) sends her strike force after the rogue scientist Baxter Stockman (Giancarlo Esposito), setting off a chain of events that leads to the Turtles' emergence. The film skilfully blends action, humour, and heartfelt moments as the Turtles navigate their identity as mutants and their desire for a normal life. The tension between their longing for acceptance and their duty as heroes provides a compelling emotional arc that resonates with audiences of all ages.

Jackie Chan as Splinter was a good choice, even if the character has changed a bit from the original.

The introduction of new characters adds depth and complexity to the plot. Maya Rudolph's Cynthia Utrom and John Cena's Rocksteady stand out as compelling adversaries, while Seth Rogen's Bebop brings humour and camaraderie to the gang of mutants. Natasia Demetriou's Wingnut and Rose Byrne's Leatherhead provide an eclectic mix of personalities, and Giancarlo Esposito's Baxter Stockman adds a layer of intrigue as the genius scientist with his own agenda.

The Good
The animation style is decent. Did you know they were going to make Splinter gay! But it seems like they redubbed some scenes to change this, and make the monster he falls for a female. 

Considering how bad I thought this film was going to be, I was pleasantly surprised, I guess the low expectations worked in the film's favour here.

The Bad
There isn't a great deal of depth to the characters, and the film is full of cliches, so the older audience, of which I am one, might remember the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990) film, and you will roll your eyes quite a bit.

Whereas the classic 1990 film gave all four turtles really unique characters, I felt like this new imagining has made them all a bit homogeneous. Yes, there are differences, but not enough to make them stand out.

They also changed the April O'Neil character, she is no longer this experienced knowledgeable reporter, but more of a young inexperienced one. I guess this was done so she would fit in better with the Turtles. Oh and of course instead of being an attractive slim white red head, she is now a fat black girl, with terrible hair. 

As much as I like Jackie Chan as Splinter, they have fiddled with the character somewhat, he is no longer called "Master", instead he is now just "Dad". Gone are the classic Wisdom quotes.

Also, the animation style although cool, is obviously a rip off of the Spiderverse cartoons. I would have much preferred a live action remake.

And finally, the film despite being directed for families and kids has a lot of adult jokes, and far left propaganda. It sticks out like a sore thumb and really spoils what should be a fun family film. There is also some 

The film's pacing will keep viewers engaged from start to finish, with some exciting action sequences. The animation is top-notch, seamlessly blending the vibrant world of the Turtles with the urban landscape of New York City.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem pays homage to the franchise's history while paving the way for a new era of Turtle adventures.

The film is not without its faults, and I was expecting it to be terrible, but it was way better than i thought.

I score Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem a generous 7.5/10

In Cinemas Now!
And you can pre-order the home release now at