In 2014, Nickelodeon, Paramount, and Michael Bay teamed up to reboot Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which was wracked with controversy before they even started filming. The end result is — mediocre at best, as it’s a retread of the 1990 film while managing to do pretty much everything worse than the prior film. The great superhero movie rewatch looks at the 21st-century reboot of the heroes on a half-shell.
The CGI Turtles are hit-and-miss as well. Mostly, the detail work is excellent—I like that each Turtle has a distinct look beyond the color of their mask, from Raphael’s full bandana rather than a domino mask to Michelangelo’s surfer-dude shell necklace to Leonardo’s button that has the old NYC token logo on it to Donatello’s steampunk-ish accoutrements for his gadgets. But the movements are a little too over-the-top. The fight scenes are more like watching a videogame than actual physical living beings jumping and hitting and kicking and swinging. By this point, CGI had evolved to the point where computer-generated images had mass, but the 1990s movies (especially the third one, where the animatronic turtles used actual martial arts moves) felt more tactile.