TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES -- yet another incarnation of the legendary sewer-dwelling, pizza-loving reptiles -- takes place in New York City, where a crime wave is unleashed by the evil Shredder (Tohoru Masamune) and his gang of goons, the Foot Clan. Investigating a mysterious vigilante standing up to the Foot Clan, TV reporter April O'Neil () runs in to not one crime fighter but four: masked talking turtles named Leonardo (performed by Pete Ploszek, voiced by ), Michelangelo (Noel Fisher), Donatello (Jeremy Howard), and Raphael (). At first, they make her faint, but later they remind her of an old lab experiment conducted by her dead father and Eric Sachs (), a well-known scientist in the city. As April connects the dots, she agrees to help the Turtles (and break a story about the underground heroes), but they all fall prey to Shredder's master plan to control the city. The only way to save New York is to work together.
Parents need to know that Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is an edgier live-action take on the legendary talking reptiles who emerge from the New York sewers to defend the city. The sometimes-explosive violence includes a lot of martial arts fighting, a flashback to a devastating fire, Turtles being tortured, and near deaths; in other words, it's too intense for younger fans of Turtle toys/merchandise, though it should be OK for tweens and up. And while this /Nickelodeon co-production doesn't have a lot of strong language (just insults like "stupid" and "idiot"), there are several references to April O'Neil's () sexy body (she's called a "hot chick," one Turtle jokes that his "shell is tightening" around her, and her butt is stared at leeringly). The Turtles care about teamwork and brotherhood, and they work hard to defend the city against Shredder.
Anyone planning to pick up Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #62 should prepare for an emotional roller-coaster ride. Waltz takes the story he has crafted alongside Kevin Eastman and Bobby Curnow and molds it into a tightly paced and emotionally taxing issue. Add to it the great artwork by Dave Wachter and Ronda Pattison, and the result is another installment in the best ongoing superhero comic available being published today. This is without a doubt a must-buy.
Families can talk about the popularity of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series. Do you think you have to watch the show or be familiar with the comics to fully appreciate the movie? What are some comparisons?