Super Duper Breakdown – TMNT Trailer #2

A new feature for my little slice of the internet…trailer breakdowns and reactions!

I’ll work my through the footage, pointing out anything of interest whilst theorising on what it all means. To finish I’ll give a pros and cons overview. When the film itself comes out I’ll compare the two and find out just how far off I was.

To kick off I’ll share my thoughts on the latest trailer for the newest incarnation of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. If you’ve visited this place before you’ll have noticed my monthly reviews of the comics, so to say this is of interest to me would be an understatement.

So shall we……break it down?
Now I’ll admit, I’ve got a bone or seven to pick with Michael Bay. After the Transformers trilogy burnt me badly I said the only way he’ll get me back is if he uses the Dinobots. He has, but only needed a also only one trailer to completely piss me off with his depiction of Grimlock. Like Toho Group’s official recognition of the 1998 creature as ‘Zilla’, and not a true king of monsters, I have christened the horned T-Rex ‘Grim’. In every way.
So to see Mr Bay plastered over everything up to this point, even though he isn’t the director, had me worried. Rumours of the turtles coming from an alien race and ‘Colonel Shcrader’ upset me. Then the first trailer shocked me with the appearance of the turtles and a crazy looking Shredder who didn’t appear too faithful. Mech Super Shredder? That sounds like a Digimon.
But time has a funny way of working, and I’ve become accustomed to their design. If some sort of ooze or device has anthropomorphised the turtles, why wouldn’t it also give them more human facial features? This is a very different approach to their design (I think I’ve only seen it here before), but with a successful comic, TV show, and the previous incarnations, I’m glad they are trying something different. So now I’m used to them, I was in a good position to see more.
This trailer gives me just that, and plenty to ponder.
It seems that the turtles have set up an extensive monitoring system and may already have themselves set up as a crime-fighting team. Seeing a hostage situation evolve, the brother gear up (including Batman-esque weapons pick up) and take out the mercenary looking force. The new Foot Clan perhaps?

Some handy pausing shows us the back of Raphael as he takes out an enemy, and his shell is scarred. Maybe they’ve been at this a while? This scene also shows the strength they possess, easily throwing around the soldiers, into the ceiling, and also into a train! All of this is handily recorded on April O’Neil’s phone (oooo modern reporting!). She soon gets caught out by the turtles as they celebrate their latest success. Notice that Leo remains out of the celebrations, no doubt trying to remain above it and do his leader thing.
I particularly appreciated the joke about Raphael’s ‘Batman voice’, with it being a nice dig at the ‘grim and gritty’ approach many assume this film is taking. From everything I’ve seen so far, the film may look grittier, but it still has plenty of humour, as evidenced by Mikey joining in with Leo’s mild threat to April, before backing off and showing his more empathic side.
Splinter! Providing a nice piece of exposition for us. Hopefully he’s more than that. Anyway, he talks about how he trained his sons for the purpose of protecting the city. We then get not only a view of William Fichtner as Eric Sachs, but also a larger chap covered in shadow. Oroku Saki perhaps?

Since Fichtner was announced and it became clear that he was the bad guy, I’ve been worried that they were bastardising The Shredder. But here we see Fichtner talking to the shadowy guy, and discussing ‘upgrading your armour’. Only time will tell if the real Shredder is being set up and this Eric Sachs character is just an imposter, but for now I’m feeling pretty chilled out about it. Bar the colouring and oriental patterns it’s looking  like a decent take that I can get on board with. Perhaps Sachs has taken the idea of The Shredder and built upon it?

At this point the sewer lair is attacked, and our heroes are tazered and captured. Splinter isn’t looking too hot. But at least Raphael is on hand (not with the others for some reason) to save him and vow to rescue his brothers! Oooo yeah! We get a nice view of some skills, particularly from Donnie and his staff. I do hope that Leo can actually his swords this time around. It always seemed pitiful that he could only ward enemies away, or throw them into the ceiling to grab hold onto and kick out like a child.
Turtles in the snow? Not something you see generally. But it makes for a nice aesthetic change, and though the turtles crashing into Humvees and trucks is a little jarring at first, with the strength they’ve already displayed it makes sense. The jet-propelled skateboard is pretty cool though….

A head on attack on Mecha-Shredder doesn’t seem the wisest move on Raph’s part, but is fitting for the character. If you look closely you can see the Foot Clan insignia on Shredder’s chest as he displays his own strength, easily pushing Raph back before throwing him high.
Will Arnett gives me hope. I like him (Check out this video, as well as his turn as Batman in The Lego Movie), and I’m hoping this is more 30 Rock than The Millers. Arnett and Fox will in all probability be our ‘in’ into the world of ninja turtles, and with my faith in Fox extremely lacking, my hopes are resting on his shoulders.
Cue shot of architecture collapsing. Need some city destruction or it wouldn’t be a summer movie right? Moving on. Then…..dubstep! Wub wub wub wub wub. Possibly ridiculous but far from offensive. We have to remember that this film probably isn’t catering for life-long turtles fans and has to target a wide range of people.
What is Woopi Goldberg doing in this? Don’t get me wrong I’m happy to see her. Just didn’t expect it. There’s a nice point made here when Will Arnett questions April. Aliens? No that’s stupid. Yes it is, and I’m pleased that this ridiculous idea didn’t make it into the final product. Hopefully I’m not proven wrong on that!
With an awesome comic by IDW (Here’s my review for #35), and the first live action film being one of my favourites, I don’t feel as though I have much to lose here, but what I saw I liked. I don’t feel the hate that some have already displayed, and whilst I’m not expecting a masterpiece, I think I might get what I want from any decent turtles story – action, humour, and a strong family bond between four turtles and a rat.

Cowabunga dude!
  • Each turtles character is clear and as I’d expect. Even Johnny Knoxville as Leo isn’t turning out to be the train wreck I thought it would be.
  • Some cool looking weapon/gadget sequences.
  • Not just limited to NYC.
  • Some funny lines, especially the Batman voice joke.
  • More to Shredder than first thought. Might explain a lot, especially Fichtner’s involvement.
Ugh, anchovies.
  • Megan Fox.
  • Jonathan Liebesman doesn’t fill me with hope.
  • Excessive accessorising?

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