Hey guys, Tony from Toned in Entertainment from here and growing up the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were by far one of the hottest properties. The action figures would fly off the shelf and the cartoon was so radical. I couldn’t wait to rush home after school to see what mischief my favorite 4 green heroes would find themselves in. And when a live-action movie was announced I was pumped! And I’m glad to say that not only in 1990 but here, 30 years later in 2020 this movie still kicks major shell!
The movie stars
- Judith Hoag … April O’Neil
- Elias Koteas … Casey Jones
- Josh Pais … Raphael (voice)
- Brian Tochi … Leonardo (voice)
- Corey Feldman … Donatello (voice)
- Robbie Rist … Michaelangelo (voice)
- Kevin Clash … Splinter (voice)
- David McCharen … The Shredder
- Toshishiro Obata … Tatsu
- And was directed by Steve Barron.
Crime is running rampant in New York City. And it’s up to a group of mutated turtles who are now teenagers and have learned the art of ninjutsu from there master rat to take down the crime lord knows as The Shredder. Makes perfect sense.
Now in the cartoon the foot clan were a bunch of useless wack-a-mole robots. In the movie they’re mostly misfit teens who Shredder manipulates first to commit petty crimes. The ones that excel then earn the privilege off becoming members of the foot clan and then will earn the right to get there but kicked by the turtles.
Kick Some Shell
Speaking of kicking but, the costume design is top-notch here. Not only do the turtles blend into the human world, but the fight scenes are also very well done. The actors in these costumes are able to pull off there stunts and fight scenes flawlessly.
I’m willing to say that most people knew more about the lore of the Turtles from the cartoon then the comic they were based on. In the cartoon the story goes that a man named Hamato Yoshi became splinter after coming into contact with the ooze and a rat. The movie however, takes the comics origin story that splinter was originally a rat who learned how to fight from mimicking the moves of his master Hamato Yoshi and when he comes into contact with the Ooze that’s when he then mutates into Splinter.
In the cartoon the Turtles dealt with many unique and popular enemies like Krang, BeeBop, and Rocksteady but none of them are present here. The director Steve Barron does a wonderful job with creating a world where the Foot Clan, Master Tatsu, and The Shredder pose enough of a threat for the Turtles to overcome.
And while the Turtles were known to have plenty of zany enemies the same can be said for there allies. But here they go with just the vigilante Casey Jones and of course the turtle’s number one ally news reporter April O’Neil.
The Dark Side
The cartoon was full of vibrant colors and campiness. But this movie kind of feels the way Tim Burton took the Batman series and made it darker, director Steve Barron does the same here with the Turtles. Especially in the scene where The Shredder has Master Splinter as his prisoner.
Why I recommend TMNT
This movie really did the TMNT license justice. It took the source material and gave us a movie that has action, comedy, and suspense all at once. And most importantly this movie is still a lot of fun to watch even 30 years later!
Where to watch it
While currently not available to stream for free you can rent it on YouTube and Amazon Prime for $3.99
What do you think of my pick of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie released back in 1990? The directing and acting are great. The turtles themselves are very funny and believable. And I loved the story this movie tells. The movie has an ending and yet at the same time left it opened for a sequel which did come out almost one year to the day of this release on March 22, 1991.