Requested by Lenton Lees

I haven't done a request in awhile.  Probably because of being busy and dealing with all sorts of other real world things, it is much easier to review things I have already put on tap to review or just rely on my slowly dwindling bank of reviews.  I plan to make it up to you all very soon.  But that's neither here nor there.  Let's talk about a CGI action movie sequel to a live action kung fu kids franchise, made 14 years after the last film in the franchise.

TMNT is a direct sequel to the 90s live action franchise.  The 90s film franchise, by the way, is so incredibly varied on skill and how good each film is.  Eesh.  That's neither here nor there, though, as we are talking about the fourth film in the storyline.  Yes, the fourth film, despite being 14 years removed, having a plot that is incredibly different, and taking a small leap forward in the timeline, and being a different film medium as animated instead of live action, is indeed a sequel.  Do you need to have seen the other four to know that?  Nope, in fact most people didn't know it while watching.  Many probably didn't after watching.

Ok, so plot.  Enormous war in the past, time travel, immortality, monsters, all of that is around.  But the real story is about brotherhood.  The turtles, after the events of the third movie, have all gone their own ways, doing their own thing: Leo has left the country to meditate and become a better leader, Donny is focusing on his technology and more interestingly a career, Mikey is trying to find something to do, and Raph is going out solo, refusing to take a back seat.  Much as the first film is mostly about Raph, the second mostly about Donny, and the third mostly about Mikey, this fourth film really emphasizes on Leo and what it means to be the "leader" and how that is different from being a "brother."  Leo tends to be good at leadership, but bad at remembering to be a brother.

That's kind of deep, kids movie.  I wish you had focused on it more, but still, nice for doing it at least some.

The pacing is fun, the animation is really good looking (for the non-humans), and the entire film is enjoyable.  Since time is limited in film, we do have some gaffs in storytelling that lead to skipping things that would have been more interesting to watch and watching things I wish we had just skipped, as well as focusing a little too much on Raph than the other turtles.  It isn't a perfect film, but hey, the other three aren't either.  I think it fits in perfectly fine with the others in its franchise, and in fact makes a pretty fun closer.  Not great, but definitely underrated.

Grade: B

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