2 thoughts on “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III (1993)”

  1. I have a reasonably affectionate view of this movie, which is colored by nostalgia and probably would not survive a second viewing. A second viewing I dread from just your clips which look awful. I do, however, think of the movie as having done a reasonably good job of being *memorably different* from the first two movies.

    As Twenty-Two Jumpstreet nicely lampshades, before making all the mistakes a sequel does, most sequels are just the same re-hashed crap only costing twice as much. Sequels that aren’t tend to alienate audiences who want the formula restored (or, as I call it, “What happened with Indiana Jones.”).

    I also never had a problem with, “April O’Neil finds a magic time machine wand at a flea market.” You have pointed out why, you, the viewer have a problem with this but I was able to accept it in that same childish way you poo-pah because the premise of our heroes is they are a bunch of turtles trained by a rat in ninjitsu after a random vial of toxic waste turns them into teenagers. We are squarely in the land of the bat**** crazy so I was prepared to “just go with it.”

    You’re right, of course, that this deserved more lampshading but, again, I think our levels of suspension of disbelief were at different levels from the beginning. Indeed, it was perhaps a misstep to try and ground the Turtles in the first movie even if it worked surprisingly well in a Batman Begins sort of way. Magic Egg-Timer Time Machine was an excuse so I was okay with it.

    The problem was, of course, there really isn’t a damn good reason to BE in Shogunate Japan. As you mention, there’s no history here. There’s costumes, some Western traders who existed BEFORE the Shogunate (and were later restricted to port cities), and they’re pretty good costumes but there’s no HISTORY-HISTORY. Assassins Creed has history-history. You’re a white-hooded ninja killing people for George Washington but it has history-history. Sleepy Hollow: The Series is the same way. This is just trappings.

    But they don’t have any POINT to the trappings. Well, the point of Turtles in period costume but if EVER there was a point to a movie then this one should be having Turtles fight Samurai and Ninja in a time when it would be period appropriate. As mentioned, though, using their weapons is apparently taboo. Also, there’s not much of an evil plot at work. There’s the rebellion, the lovers, and so on but its weird they made it more complex than they needed it to be. I was willing to forgive a lot of this movie but my slack can only cut so far. Why not steal from better movies? Just off the top of my head.

    * April, Turtles, and Casey need to protect a village from bandits. Bonus points for referencing the Seven Samurai, Magnificent Seven, and Last Man Standing for the parents in the audience.
    * The Big Bad Overlord wants to become the Shogun with Western weapons. Turtles want to stop him because he’s bad. Bonus points if you name him Oda.
    * The Turtles find the Foot Clan exists in Ancient Japan and have to fight it because they’re bad.

    I mean, I’m not adverse to excuse plots. This just seems a very lazy excuse plot. It takes effort to forget to add the cartoonishly evil bad guy to a movie adapted from a cartoon.

    1. Similar reasons compel me not t let the egg timer go. In the same way this movie wasted a perfectly good setting, it wasted a perfectly good time machine getting the Turtles there. And we’re in total agreement about the wasted setting.

      Whatever beefs I might have with the AssCreed series (and it’s publishers), at least I understand their choices. If this movie’d set itself just thirty years earlier, a lot of stuff would make…well…at little more sense. The end of the Waring States period is a soap opera of the highest order – with plenty of ambitious young men backstabbing their fathers to go around. Makes Game of Thrones look like goddamn General Hospital. Or Passions. Which brings up something the review was too long to mention: Shogunate Japan is way too heavy a backdrop for your traditional “kids” film.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *