TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES: MUTANT MAYHEM – A Review by John Strange
I was not sure that it was going to be worth my time to see Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem. There have been so many versions and storylines over the years that I doubted I would see anything new. I didn’t count on the minds of Brendan O’Brien, Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, and Jeff Rowe.
These minds came up with a re-imagining that is at first, due to the style of animation, a bit jarring to watch. But the animation style gets less jarring as we get used to the visuals and become engrossed in the story.
And it’s a good story, one that gives a well-thought-out origin for the teenage turtles and their rat guardian. And some interesting heavies that made me smile.
Superfly (voiced by Ice Cube) is the first mutant created by scientist Baxter Stockman (voiced by Giancarlo Esposito) who has gone “rogue” from Techno Cosmic Research Institute. Superfly and his “father” are attacked by a strike force from institute (Cynthia Ultrom) who succeed in killing the scientist but miss the young fly.
Cynthia Utrom (voiced by Maya Rudolph) is a perfect villain for a story like this. Visually, she has a well-designed look that screams villain, and her scripted lines confirm that feeling! And Superfly’s plans for the world are as diabolical as any I have seen in all of my decades as a filmgoer or a film critic.
The film even manages to pass along a message about acceptance amidst the action!
In the end, I found that I had watched a great franchise restart. I think this one has legs! I think Master Splinter (voiced by Jackie Chan), Leonardo (voiced by Nicolas Cantu), Raphael (voiced by Brady Noon), Donatello (voiced by Micah Abbey), Michelangelo (voiced by Shamon Brown Jr.), and April O’Neil (voiced by Ayo Edebiri) will be back on our screens (as will Cynthia Utrom)! A 5-star film!
Directors: Jeff Rowe, Kyler Spears
Screenplay: Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, Jeff Rowe, Dan Hernandez, Benji Samit
Story: Brendan O’Brien, Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, Jeff Rowe
Based on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles characters created by Peter Laird and Kevin Eastman
Cast: Ayo Edebiri, Rose Byrne, Natasia Demetriou, Jackie Chan, Seth Rogen, John Cena, Paul Rudd, Giancarlo Esposito, Maya Rudolph, Ice Cube, Nicolas Cantu, Brady Noon, Post Malone, Micah Abbey, Hannibal Buress, Shamon Brown Jr.
MPAA Rating: PG (for sequences of violence and action, language, and impolite material)
Selig Rating: 5 Stars
Runtime: 99 Min.
Release Date: 08/02/2023
WIDE Local Release
The Selig Rating Scale:
5 Stars – Excellent movie/show, well worth the time and price.
4 Stars – Good movie/show
3 Stars – OK movie/show
2 Stars – Well, there was nothing else…
1 Star – Total waste of time.