I spent the weekend doing something I have wanted to do for quite sometime: having a midnight pizza party while watching the early 1990s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle movies with the Jim Henson turtle costumes. Yes, the turtles were a thing when Vanilla Ice was still household name, but what other franchise could sell green ooze filled pies to children with the tagline, “Fresh from the Sewers to You”?
One criticism people have about trilogies is that the second film or even third has a difficult time competing with the original. Sometimes, the third installment is the strongest of the three films (Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King earned more Oscars than The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers combined.) In the case of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles I/II/III films, it might be best to watch them in the reverse order so they get progressively better overtime.
Here were noticeable characteristics I picked up in order from the older film to the more recent ones:
The first film showcased martial arts skill with additional weapons. Some people complained and said the use of weapons and martial arts was way too violent for the young audience that was watching. By the later movies, weapons were adapted to a yo-yo or even very slapstick cheap shots that did not even involve hand to hand combat.
In the first film, one of the turtles (Raphael) repeatedly used the word “damn”, much to the dismay of parents in the audience. The language was more kid-friendly in the later films, however, the word “bummer” had to be censored from audiences in the UK.
The first film was very motivated to reach a true moviegoer's expectations. The plot had many layers: one of the turtles rebels and is separated from his brothers; a teenager runs away from home and joins a street gang in exchange for a walkman; (the turtles home is destroyed and they must find a new home in a country side; the mentor of the turtles faces against an old nemesis. I can say, for what it's worth, the first Ninja Turtles movie was a great film. The plot of the later movies dwindle quite a bit and I was left figuring out the overall conflict in Turtles in Time.
Now that there is an option to watch movies out of order since they have all been released. I would recommend the best order to watch the TMNT trilogy would be: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: Turtles in Time, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: Secret of the Ooze, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie. Watching it backwards does not disappoint and it saves the best for last!
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kawaiidaigakusei at 12:00AM, July 16, 2018
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