Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3 (1993)
Plot: After April (Paige Turco) buys an ancient Japanese artifact known as the scepter, it transports her back in time to Ancient Japan. The turtles use the scepter to go back and get her, but get in the middle of a war between a royal clan and small village.
As a regular run of the mill movie, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III is passable entertainment, but as a ninja turtle’s movie, it’s fricking atrocious. There are so many things I can bitch about as a turtles fan, but I’ll try and incorporate normal film problems as well. First of all, the look of the turtles is horrendous. They look so seamless and bad ass in the first two movies, but here, they look like four big silly turtles. Why the hell do they have so many spots! Did they get the fricking measles? The worst is Splinter. They completely took a big dump on his character. He looks terrible, the voice is terrible, and he barely does anything. Where’s the classic Splinter wisdom! I hate April in the leather jacket and jeans. I think they went a little overboard on trying to make her part of the turtle gang. Give me a break. Also, I get this is a kid’s movie, but they offer no explanation for the scepter having these time traveling powers. They just say “magic.” Really? Come on; put a little effort into this. The worst part about this movie is the dialogue and jokes. The turtle humor in the first two is legitimately funny. 95% of the lines and jokes here miss horribly. Wet Willy time. “What did you expect, the Addams Family?” Michelangelo putting a Hawaiian lamp shade on his head. Splinter doing the same at the end. It’s just cringe worthy. The biggest turtle complaint I have though are the fricking villains and story. Come on! There are so many great turtle villains like Krang that they never tap into, and instead they do generic pirate #4 and evil ruler guy #7. What a bunch of crap! This isn’t ninja turtles! I don’t want to see a fricking turtle movie take place in Japan, 1603! Okay, so the good things. The spirit of the turtle characters is still there. There’s some solid fighting. And I got to admit, bringing Casey Jones back as a comic relief was actually pretty damn funny. A lot of this is cliché crap, but the characters are at least likable, and there are some decent heartwarming turtle moments. Like I said, it’s a passable movie, but an atrocious turtle adventure, so I’ll meet the film halfway and just say it’s simply bad.
Rating: 4.5 out of 10 (Bad)
Category Rankings (Spoilers Throughout)
Best Performance: Elias Koteas as Casey Jones
-Good ole Casey Jones. Like I said, he’s really funny in this movie. Even though he doesn’t do any fighting, I appreciated him back at the Turtle lair cracking jokes and getting into hockey.
Worst Performance: James Murray as Master Splinter (voice)
-This is not the same guy as the first two films, and boy does it show. This guy should be ashamed. What a slap in the face to a great character. It doesn’t help that the Splinter puppet looks like crap too, but still, he gave no effort to this voice.
Best Line: “You have that effect on people. Don’t you Master.” –Donatello to Master Splinter after Kenshin passes out when seeing Splinter
-This was actually a pretty funny delivery. If I saw a giant talking rat, I’d probably pass out as well.
Worst Line: “Shwiiiiiiiiing!” –Leonardo and Donatello
-Every time I hear this line, I want to break things. Come on, a random pop culture reference. Man, I hope Mike Myers got a fat pay check for that. This line managed to piss on two things I love at the same time; Ninja Turtles and Wayne’s World. What a disgraceful line.
-There’s a decent sword fight between Leonardo and Lord Norinaga. Leonardo ends it in a pretty bad ass way when he cuts a huge bell down and encases Norinaga in it. Not bad.
-Michelangelo falls in love with Mitsu. Look, I get that Michelangelo is humanlike, but what’s the plan here? She’s a human, and you’re a turtle…Let’s just move on.
-Casey Jones calms down the crazy time traveling Japanese guys by turning on a hockey game. I love how all of them suddenly gravitate towards the TV and start focusing on the game. And then Casey has a hysterical line: “Can you believe this. We aren’t even in playoffs yet.” Awesome.
-It’s fricking Splinter grooving and dancing to the Turtles work out music. Come on! He should be training the turtles or meditating or something. I don’t need to see Splinter dance. What a bunch of bull shit.
–This is kind of part two of my favorite scene. Casey attempts to teach the Japanese guys hockey after watching it and they just start fighting. That’s pretty damn funny. Once again, Casey has another brilliant line; “I can work with that.” Seriously, as much as I hate this movie, I wouldn’t mind seeing an entire film of Casey Jones hanging out with crazy Ancient Japanese guys.
Bad Ass Moments:
-The crop of bad ass moments is pretty shitty, although in one of the fights, Raphael triple kicks three guys. I guess that will do.