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Film / Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)

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"Crime, violence, and fear have run rampant. Our great city is being destroyed. People want justice restored to this world. People want heroes.
But heroes are not born. They're created."
Eric Sacks

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is a Continuity Reboot film of the eponymous franchise produced by Michael Bay and directed by Jonathan Liebesman (Battle: Los Angeles), released by Paramount, making TMNT the second film franchise to have entries released by both New Line Cinema and Paramount, after Friday the 13th. It's a live-action movie with the Turtles generated through Performance Capture CGI.

The story goes right into the origins of the Turtles as reporter April O'Neil (Megan Fox) finds herself involved in a secret group called the Foot Clan, led by the Shredder (Tohoru Masamune). But opposing them are unlikely heroes, four teenaged mutated turtle brothers — Leonardo (Pete Ploszek, with voice dubbing by Johnny Knoxville), Michaelangelo (Noel Fisher), Donatello (Jeremy Howard) and Raphael (Alan Ritchson) — who are skilled ninjas trained by a mutated rat named Splinter (Danny Woodburn, with voice dubbing by Tony Shalhoub). It turns out the Turtles and the Foot have a distant history and their conflict reaches a boiling point.

The film also stars Will Arnett as Vern Fenwick, William Fichtner as Eric Sacks and Abby Elliott as Taylor.

As expected with any adaptation, there are some changes. The turtles are quite tall and bulky in comparison to other sources note  and the Foot is modelled off of modern military, probably because masked or not it would be expensive to send the turtles up against 20 trained martial artists at a time as they have been in past.

The movie was released on August 7, 2014. It managed to gross half its production budget back in one weekend, also taking in more in one weekend than the last Turtle movie did in its entire theatrical run. A sequel, subtitled Out of the Shadows, was released on June 3, 2016.

See the teaser here and the second trailer here.

People want tropes. But tropes are not born. They're added:

  • Absurdly Sharp Blade:
    • Shredder's throwing knives cut through the supports of his metal tower.
    • Leo's sword cuts Shredder right through his armor.
    • April does the same to Shredder with Raph's sai.
  • Adaptational Badass: While the Turtles have never really been wimps, this movie turns them all into hulking monster trucks with Super-Strength and heavy armor, a very noticeable contrast to their usual portrayal as unpowered ninja. Noticeably, Raphael is much, much burlier than past incarnations. Correspondingly, the Shredder has a Powered Armor suit to even the playing field.
  • Adaptational Heroism: Vernon. In the 1987 cartoon, he is a Jerkass and a Dirty Coward. This film takes away much of his jerkassery and makes him an Action Survivor and something of a Badass Bystander along with April. This arguably makes him closer to the way he was originally portrayed in the '87 cartoon before he turned into April's rival.
  • Adaptation Distillation: April's a reporter, like in the 1987 cartoon. She also knew the turtles and Splinter before they mutated, like in the IDW comics. The Shredder is also a lot more imposing, like his Super Shredder form in Turtles II, and wears an armored suit like in the 2003 cartoon.
  • Adaptation Origin Connection: Here April O'Neill's father worked in a laboratory with the man who would become Shredder and Splinter and the turtles were animals they experimented on.
  • Adapted Out: Hamato Yoshi is nowhere to be seen in this story, with Splinter a mutated rat (neither Yoshi himself, nor Yoshi's pet) who learned ninjitsu from reading books on it. Oroku Saki is not named on camera, but the character himself embodies the name of The Shredder. Casey Jones is not in the film as well, despite being in the parallel first movie. He was later introduced in the sequel.
  • Advertising by Association: The film put Michael Bay as the most prominent name in the marketing, despite being only one of a half dozen producers, because his name was also the most high-profile and recognized.
  • All There in the Manual: Paramount released a trailer and website about "The Legend of the Yokai", which told of four kappa Yōkai who once defended Japan against a horde of fellow monsters, were also trained as ninja, and passed into legend saying they would come again. Though the film itself doesn't elaborate on this further than Eric Sacks displaying a scroll illustrated with kappa.
  • Alternative Foreign Theme Song:
  • Anachronism Stew: In the flashback scenes to 1999, April is seen shooting footage of the lab with a Bluetooth-enabled MicroMV camcorder. While Bluetooth existed in 1999, Bluetooth camcorders and the MicroMV format would not exist until two years later in 2001. Worse, the exact camera model she uses was introduced in 2013.
  • Artistic License – Animal Care: Juvenile April feeds pizza to the baby turtles, even though cheese and dairy products can make turtles very ill.
  • Artistic License – Biology:
    • Given, they are mutant turtles, however in the case of great blood loss as the turtles experience, giving them adrenaline would definitely give them short-lived pep but it shouldn't give them more strength than they already have; it would be short-lived and not last through the end of the movie. The amount they receive on their dangerously low blood pressure should also give them heart failure within minutes. It's somewhat justified because when April administers the adrenaline the computer monitor warns her that an overdose is imminent, but then nothing bad happens to the Turtles afterwards.
    • The turtles are identified as box turtles, which they bear no resemblance to, though this may have just been a mistake on Sacks' part (who called them such) as April identifies them as red-eared sliders (what they are in most incarnations) earlier in the movie when she realizes they are the turtles from her dad's lab and as pre-mutagen turtles they do appear as such.
  • The Artifact: Eric Sacks was originally intended to be the Shredder in this film, with his name being an anglicization of Oroku Saki, the original Shredder's true identity. Fan backlash forced the filmmakers to drop the idea and rewrite him as Shredder's accomplice, although his name was left intact.
  • Avoid the Dreaded G Rating: Raph's handful of swear words in a Nickelodeon film.
    • Raph complains to his brothers in pain during the battle against The Shredder
      Raphael: We're gettin' our asses kicked out there!
    • When Mikey thinks Leonardo, April and Vern are dead, there's this exchange from Raphael.
      Raphael: (sliding by Michelangelo) They ain't dead, numb-nuts!
  • Badass Longrobe: Per tradition, Splinter sports one, contrasting nicely with the Turtles' mishmashed street attire.
  • Badass Normal: April and Vernon went after Sacks and retrieved the mutagen despite neither being remotely skilled and Sacks having a gun.
  • Big Fancy House: The Sachs Estate is pretty large.
  • Blade Below the Shoulder: He wouldn't be "The Shredder" without 'em. The Shredder's Powered Armor has several per arm, and he can even pull them out to make a double-edged blade. The suit can also fire the blades, and safely bring them back with magnets. He looks like a Swiss army knife.
  • Brooklyn Rage: Raphael, as usual, has the strongest New York accent and the shortest temper.
  • Broken Pedestal: April starts the film admiring Eric Sacks for publicly opposing the actions of the Foot Clan, until it is revealed that not only is he a member of the Foot Clan, he is the Shredder's right-hand man. That pedestal is completely obliterated by the end of the film when it's revealed Sacks killed April's father after the later discovered the true purpose of Project Renaissance and tried to stop the former.
  • Buffy Speak: April, when she complains about doing "froth" journalism. Oddly enough, there are actually proper terms for what April is describing: puff pieces or fluff pieces.
  • But I Read a Book About It: Given that the Hamato Yoshi backstory was adapted out for the Project Renaissance experiment, Splinter teaches ninjitsu from a book he found, instead of getting their Italian renaissance names from one. Shredder lampshades this during his fight that it might not be the best way to learn. Not that it stops him from actually putting up a good fight.
  • Car Chase: The start of the climax has the turtles, April and Vernon trying to reach a sewer hatch at the bottom of a snowy mountain that'll lead them back to New York in a semi while being chased by Karai and the Foot Clan in Hummers. The turtles end up sliding down the hill on their shells through most of it.
  • Cardboard Box of Unemployment: April carries one out after being fired from the news station.
  • Cassandra Truth: April's account of mutant turtles fighting the Foot Clan. It's no surprise no one believes her, especially when she presents the idea after little to no sleep.
  • Casual Danger Dialog: Often in the film, but particularly on April and Vernon's part as they slide down a snowy mountain in a truck cab — their conversation does not match their dire situation.
  • Celebrity Paradox: Mentioning Raph's "Batman voice" somewhat qualifies, considering that William Fichtner (Eric Sacks) appeared in The Dark Knight. There's also Will Arnett (Vernon Fenwick) as the Caped Crusader in The LEGO Movie.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • Michelangelo's "Buck-Buck" game which actually comes in handy during the final battle with Shredder.
    • Eric mentions the regenerative powers of the mutagen in his conversation with April. These properties are what save Raphael and Splinter.
    • The ha-shi punishment Splinter puts the turtles through becomes more of a training exercise for when they have to hold up the tower near the end of the film, with Shredder beating on Leo and trying to make him break focus. Good thing he doesn't have a cheese pizza on hand.
  • Chivalrous Pervert: Mikey has April on his mind in pretty much every non-action scene where they interact. He even apologizes for how creepy his "We will find you" line sounded when she first meets them.
    Mikey: Oh, and we're teenagers. But we can still conversations.
  • Chronically Crashed Car: The Fenwick Express. No matter the incarnation, whenever one appears it will always be destroyed before the film is over. Even if Vernon just got it brand new.
  • Color-Coded Characters: The brothers, naturally. April is also codified by her Yellow jacket.
    • Leonardo: Blue
    • Raphael: Red
    • Donatello: Purple
    • Michelangelo: Orange
  • Color Wash: The movie has a filter that gives it a very green tint. Considering the stars of the movie are green, this was very much intentional.
  • Comically Missing the Point: When April sees the turtles for the first time, Michelangelo thinks she was more scared by their bandanna masks than the fact that she sees giant talking turtles standing before her.
  • Composite Character: Eric Sacks is actually not the Shredder, instead effectively a stand-in for long-time Turtle foe Baxter Stockman, mixed with Oroku Saki's philanthropist/businessman persona from the 2003 series.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: The Turtles dread the ha-shi, where they have to perform balancing acts while simultaneously doing another task for hours on end.
    • Leonardo: doing the splits on cinderblocks while balancing eggs on single chopsticks and on his head.
    • Raphael: maintaining a crane stance on a tricycle while knitting.
    • Donatello: standing on a balance board while keeping ping-pong balls in the air. He's starting to get nauseous.
    • Michelangelo: doing a handstand on a swivel chair. He's actually starting to enjoy himself until Splinter brings out a pizza and starts listing off the impossible list of ingredients.
      Michelangelo: Guys! I'm in the zone! There is literally nothing that can break me right now!
      Splinter: throws a box of pizza onto a table in front of Mikey
      Michelangelo: Starting to break.
  • Cool Board: Mikey has a jet-propelled skateboard.
  • Cool Car: The one and only Turtle Van appears at the end of the film.
  • Cool Old Guy: Splinter, if his speech about how family is the strongest power of all is anything to go by. If not that, then going up against the Shredder alone definitely makes him qualify, even if he does get beaten.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Per canon, Michelangelo, who even manages to kick ass by accident. It's Mikey who suggests playing a game of "Buck-Buck" on Shredder. Vernon also qualifies due his driving skills and confrontation with Sacks.
  • Curbstomp Battle: Each of the turtles promptly get their asses handed to them when facing Shredder, even as a team. Splinter is the only one able to really give him much of a fight.
  • Cut Lex Luthor a Check: Sacks has a building in downtown Manhattan, a mansion home outside of town, a helicopter, resources to have labs—but he's evidently not rich enough. He wants to be "stupid rich", by poisoning the city and selling the cure.
  • Deadly Gas: Eric Sacks plans to release a powerful toxin his company created into New York. After wiping out a good percent of the population, he plans to rise up as a hero with an antidote he created with mutagen.
  • Decomposite Character: The traditional Shredder roles are split between Oroku Saki/The Shredder, and his pupil, Eric Sacks. Sacks leads the Foot Clan openly and is the mastermind of the plans, while Saki largely functions as a bruiser who keeps threats like the Turtles at bay. This is largely due to the fact that the film originally intended Eric Sacks to actually be the Shredder, with reshoots and edits used to insert Saki back into the story after the backlash the film received over making the Shredder into a white guy.
  • Demoted to Extra:
    • Karai finally transitions from the comics to live-action, but her role is much less prominent than in other versions like the 2003 and 2012 shows.
    • The same is true for Baxter Stockman (also his first appearance in a live-action Turtles film).
  • Disney Death: Splinter and Raphael are both beaten to within an inch of their lives by the Shredder, then saved by an injection of the mutagen.
  • Distinctive Appearances / Divergent Character Evolution: The individual turtles are much more visually diverse than in any past incarnation. It goes beyond color-coding their masks and weapons, to major clothing differences and physical stature.
    • Raphael is incredibly muscular compared to the other three. On top of that, his mask is a bandanna fashioned like a do-rag, he's covered in training bandages, and is the least clothed of the four. He also has a character scarred onto his right shoulder.
    • Leonardo sports shoulder guards and other samurai-style armor garments. He's the most "average" build of the four.
    • Donatello is decked from head to shell in various gadgets, including goggles mounted on his forehead and stereotypically taped Nerd Glasses, and wears jika-tabi socks. He's the tallest and thinnest of the brothers.
    • Michelangelo has a puka shell necklace, sneakers, and a hoodie around his waist. Even when he's serious, his general facial composition still makes him look dopey. He's the shortest and roundest turtle.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Vernon when struggling to control a speeding 18-wheeler down a steep mountainside. April leans out the window to try and capture footage of the Turtles fighting the Foot Clan, with her butt prominently displayed.
  • The Dragon: Eric Sacks
  • Empowered Badass Normal: The Shredder is introduced by beating up a Foot ninja while his arms are tied behind him. Then he gets a suit of Powered Armor.
  • Everyone Is Related: April, Eric, and Shredder are all directly tied to the turtles' origin.
  • Faint in Shock: True to more than one previous animated incarnation of the character, April O'Neil faints upon meeting the turtles for the first time. Unlike them, however, she does not stay unconscious for very long.
    April: [hyperventilating, already in great shock from seeing the turtles]
    Michelangelo: [suddenly jumps to right behind her] No, no, no, no. Whoa. Whoa. Chill.
    April: [hyperventilates even harder]
    Michelangelo: It's just a mask. See? Don't freak out. [takes off bandana, making it even more undeniable that they're turtles] Right?
    April: … Haah. [eyes glaze over and roll back]
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: To demonstrate the effectiveness of the poison gas to the captive Turtles, Karai forcibly gasses one of the Foot soldiers nearby. The poor guy's skin basically starts melting off as he convulses on the floor!
  • Fanservice: April tends to wear a lot of skintight pants, with camera angles that feature them prominently. Lampshaded in a chase scene when she leans out the window trying to catch the Turtles fighting the Foot Clan with her phone, leading to Vernon being Distracted by the Sexy.
  • Fastball Special: Donatello uses his staff to throw Raphael into a Humvee. The Humvee loses.
  • Food Interrogation: When the ha-shi fails to make the Turtles confess what they were doing when they sneaked out, Splinter whips out a 99 cheese pizza and brings a slice tantalizingly close to Mikey while listing the ingredients. This finally gets Mikey to spill the beans.
  • Funny Background Event:
    • When Splinter is explaining how April is their hogosha (guardian spirit), Donatello lowers his goggles and scans April as if trying to verify Splinter's claim.
    • When Splinter is lamenting April's involvement during the Turtles' ha-shi punishment, Mikey's hand can be seen reaching for the pizza slice Splinter used to break his concentration. At the end of the scene he can be seen happily munching away on it.
  • Gender Flip: April's boss Burne Thompson is now an African-American woman named Bernadette Thompson, played by Whoopi Goldberg.
  • Generic Doomsday Villain: The Shredder wants to rule New York City by means of a biological toxin that would instantly gain recognition from governments all over the world when they learn about it on the news. New York would just been his first step; he plans on expanding from there. Sacks, on the other hand, is just looking to make a profit.
  • Goggles Do Nothing: Both Raph and Mikey have sunglasses as part of their clothing, but both never use them. Mikey's don't even seem to be the same size as his face! Subverted with Donatello's high-tech scanners.
  • Gratuitous Japanese: The Shredder's early scenes. He speaks to Karai and Sacks in Japanese. However, it's established pretty early that he can understand and speak English just as well.
  • Highly-Visible Ninja
    • The brothers may have ninja training, but they're still huge green turtles in brightly-colored masks.
      Raphael: Like shadows in the night! Completely unseen!
      [April takes a picture, flash and all]
    • The Foot are portrayed less like the typical portrayal of ninja and more like an urban commando group with terrorist tendencies. Their name is known to the general populace of New York and most of their Foot Soldiers rely heavily on firearms, with martial arts generally being a resort used for close proximity. This however, is basically what Shredder wants. He wants people to know and fear the name of the Foot Clan, implying that they used to remain discreet, but he views that as society reducing them to mere myths, and wishes for them to rise up and take control.
  • Human-Focused Adaptation: The film still centers around the turtles but there's a heavy emphasis on April.
  • Idiot Ball: April picks this up when she goes to her editor with a bizarre account of mutant turtles and absolutely no evidence to back it up. She actually did have evidence, but was too sleep-deprived and probably jacked on caffeine to remember that she had the photo on her phone.
  • Immune to Bullets: The Turtles' shells are bulletproof, which they are quite delighted to learn.
  • Interspecies Romance: Michelangelo has a crush on April O’Neil. However, it is not acknowledged by April. Michelangelo tells his brothers that he has dibs on April after they meet her and he refers to her as his girlfriend when he realizes that she is the hogosha. Mikey is always trying to flirt with her and be romantic, though her safety is his biggest concern when they are in danger.
  • Jive Turkey: Mikey talks in a more "urban" slang style than the "surfer" slang he's usually been associated with. Interestingly enough, this is not only a modernization but a Development Gag from the '87 show before it was ultimately decided they should be Totally Radical.
  • Jump Scare: Played for Laughs when Vern is talking to April in the van and dismissing her "Eric-Sacks-estate-vigilante-turtles" speech, causing Raphael to pop out of nowhere from the back of the van and commanding him to drive.
    Vernon: [To April] That's what I'm talking about! O'Neil, the Sacks Estate with the vigilante turtles—
    Raphael: [pops out from the back of the van] DRIVE!!!
  • Lightning Bruiser: The greater size and weight these incarnations of the Turtles possess don't seem to do much in slowing down their traditionally acrobatic abilities. Special mention goes to Raphael, who has shoulders bigger than truck tires but is flipping and ninja-ing with the best of them, and even manages to sneak into the back of the Fenwick Express without April or Vernon hearing him. The Shredder's Powered Armor also allows him to retain his swift fighting style.
  • Live-Action Adaptation: The first for the Turtles since 1993.
  • Lovable Coward: Donatello is showing hints of this. He has an Oh, Crap! reaction to the Foot soldiers having guns and he declares that he wants to be badass for once.
  • Ludicrous Precision: Donatello's various calculations and distances; most have the help of his wrist computer, but this is calculated in his head:
    Donatello: If the spire falls and the toxin makes ground impact, it'll contaminate a 10-block radius!
    Leonardo: What are the odds of us stopping that from happening?
    Donatello: Uh, 0.00000000003%!
    Leonardo: I'll take it. Nobody moves, no matter what.
  • Made of Iron: The Turtles are shown to shrug off such things as getting shot with tranquilizers and repeatedly zapped with high-powered stun weapons. Bullets don't even faze them, to their delight. At one point, Raphael gets his shell cracked when Shredder stomps on him. His response?
    Raphael: My shell's cracked. Just duct-tape it up, I'm fine. note 
  • Male Gaze: Played with in the scene where Vernon is frantically driving the truck and trying to see what April is doing. The camera pans over to reveal her shooting video footage with her phone by leaning out of the window with her ass right in the camera. Vernon is fine with this, but taking his eye off the road causes them to crash.
  • Malevolent Masked Men: The Foot Clan. They've switched out their fabric masks for silver face masks with sunglasses.
  • Meta Origin: In this version, Eric Sacks' experiments lead to the geneses of both Shredder and the Turtles, as he apparently designed Shredder's armor in addition to synthesizing the mutagenic chemicals that mutated the Turtles.
  • Mid-Battle Tea Break: In an out-of-nowhere moment after fighting off some of the Foot, the Turtles decide to do a beat-box in the elevator before going to fight the Shredder.
  • Mook Chivalry: Inverted. While the Shredder is both skilled and powerful, the main reason why the last fight drags on as long as it does seems to be because the turtles are courteous enough to attack him one by one at first. Perhaps they were worried about Conservation of Ninjutsu?
  • My Friends... and Zoidberg:
    • The film's tagline is: "The Leader. The Brains. The Attitude. And Mikey."
    • Also in the movie, Mikey keeps forgetting Vernon's name and keeps calling him "Other guy."
      Michelangelo: They're gone... Leo... April... that other guy...
  • Mythology Gag:
    • From Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Mirage):
      • The authors of the book on ninjutsu Splinter found in a flashback are Eastman and Laird, the original comic's creators.
      • One of the characters is named McNaughton, a reference to Jim McNaughton, a very obscure character from the original Mirage comics who reported the explosion of the T.C.R.I. building in the sixth issue of the original comic book.
      • At one point, Raph says "We strike hard and fade away into the night," a line from the first issue of the original comic.
      • Young April, in a flashback, makes a comment about the mutagen being from outer space, in a nod to it being created by aliens in the comic as well as the 2003 series.
    • Much like in the IDW comics, April knew the turtles and Splinter before they mutated, and was even the one who named them. The turtles and Splinter being lab experiments before they mutated is also from the IDW comics.
    • From Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987):
      • When the Shredder's new armor is revealed, he says, "Tonight I dine on Turtle Soup," a popular line of his from the 1987 series.
      • When April is trying to describe the Turtles to Vernon, he skeptically calls them "Heroes in the Half-Shell?"
      • The Turtles' new car plays a part of the 1987 theme song as its horn.
      • Before the final fight with the Shredder, Raphael asks Mikey to repeat something he said when they were kids. "COWABUNGA!"
    • Sacks mentions that Project Renaissance almost used rabbits, meaning we were a small decision away from Usagi Yojimbo, which has had several TMNT crossovers.
    • From Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990):
      • A flashback shows Leonardo slicing up a pizza with his katanas, only for a slice to land on Splinter's head, like in the 1990 film.
      • Also from the same movie is Mikey's crush on April.
      • Also like the 1990 movie, Shredder holds a beaten member of the Turtles' family at his mercy and orders them to drop their weapons and surrender if they want them to live. The Turtles do so and he rewards their compliance by following through with his threat.
    • Mikey mentions finishing a hip-hop Christmas album, which may be referencing one of the most infamous moments in Turtle history.
    • Shredder's armor seems to be similar to that of the incarnation depicted in the 2003 series. It even has the same three-toed dragon emblem used by the Foot Clan from that series on the centre of the chest.
    • At one point Raphael uses a chain as a weapon, referencing his weapon of choice as the Nightwatcher in the 2007 CG film.
    • What little we see of the real Shredder shows he is bald and scarred, very similar to the animated series that was airing at the time this film was released.
    • Subverted with Eric Sacks, which sounds like an Anglicization of Oroku Saki, a.k.a. the Shredder.
    • Three of the four Turtles take design cues from the proposed fourth live-action movie that never happened, including Donny's glasses/goggles and modified bo staff, Leo's overall ninja/samurai warrior look, and Mikey's street clothes look. TMNT co-creator Kevin Eastman did have a hand in writing that movie and was a consultant for writing this one, so it may not be an accident.
  • Neck Lift: Splinter briefly does this to Raphael with his tail after catching the turtles trying to sneak back into the lair.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: April just had to endanger the Turtles by telling The Dragon about them.
  • Not Now, Kiddo: April is brushed aside by her superiors when she attempts to get a camera crew sent to a Foot Clan robbery in progress.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • When all four Turtles run through the parking garage and come face to face with hundreds of Foot soldiers.
    • Also when Donatello scans a Foot soldier and discovers they're heavily armed.
      Donatello: [high-pitched voice] Oh my gosh they have guns!
  • Old Master:
    • Splinter, considering he lasts longer against Shredder one-on-one than the turtles do four-on-one.
    • Shredder himself has got to be at least in his 50s (considering he raised Sacks since Sacks was a child), and he's able to fight off all four of the turtles at once.
  • Ominous Walk: Shredder pulls one of these as he approaches the turtles, who are desperately trying to hold the structure on top of Sacks' tower steady.
  • Oral Fixation: Raph has a toothpick in his mouth in several scenes.
  • Parental Bonus: At the end, Mikey plays the song "So Happy Together" for April, which is obviously yet another example of his crush on her. The band that performed the song: The Turtles.
  • Please Wake Up: April to the turtles when they are in the cages.
  • Poison and Cure Gambit: What Shredder and Sacks' Evil Plan amounts to; they will unleash a lethal biotoxin upon New York City, and profit from selling an antidote derived from the mutagen in the Turtles' blood.
  • Powered Armor: The Shredder wears a nifty set of it designed by Eric Sacks. It allows him to go head-to-head with the Turtles, sports several retractable blades per arm, and the blades can even be launched out as projectiles and drawn back with magnets.
  • Precision F-Strike:
    • While they're not anything bad per se, it's a bit jarring to hear Raphael drop both "numbnuts" and "asses" considering who this is marketed to.
    • Donatello saying "badass" was even in some of the trailers!
  • Prehensile Tail: Splinter is able to extend his tail and use it like another arm. Seeing him fighting the Foot Clan with it is pretty neat.
  • Product Placement:
    • Pizza Hut: The restaurant even used the movie as a reason to bring back Cheesy Bites pizza. A commercial showed the turtles breaking and entering into a Pizza Hut to make Cheesy Bites (to inspire the chain to bring them back).
    • Mikey's Orange Crush: In the middle of a fight scene.
  • Race Lift:
    • It was initially suggested that Eric Sacks was a new incarnation of the Shredder/Oroku Saki. However, this proves to have been a Red Herring, as Sacks is seen speaking to a man shrouded in shadows, evidently Oroku Saki himself, about developing a new suit of armor for him. Interestingly, Sacks is the Shredder in the 3DS version of the movie, as well as in earlier comments by Fincher himself, leading some to speculate that Sacks was originally Shredder but was changed to avoid any further fan backlash.
    • April's boss Burne Thompson is now an African American. Also an example of Gender Flip, since Thompson is now a woman and her first name is Bernadette.
  • Rummage Sale Reject: Those new outfits are not haute couture, to put it mildly. Donatello has a computer's cooling fan stuck to the back of his shell, and Michelangelo has a hoodie tied around his waist, among other things. Flashbacks show that the turtles dressed that way since they were children, probably from what they could scrounge from the sewers.
  • Running Gag: Mikey's crush on April.
  • Sand In My Eyes: As the Turtles are falling to their apparent doom, Raphael gives a heartfelt confession only to be stopped by Donny informing him they've landed safely. Then the following takes place:
    Michelangelo: Raph, are you crying?
    Raphael: Nah, ding-dong... [sniffles] It's just a little dusty out here.
  • Saved for the Sequel: Early drafts featured Casey Jones, Beebop and Rocksteady, but all three characters ended up being written out for the sequel.
  • Self-Deprecation/Take That!: Vernon asks if the Turtles are aliens, only for April to reply, "No, that's stupid. They're reptiles." This is poking fun at an old draft of the script in which the Turtles are aliens from outer space, which was scrapped due to a massive backlash from fans.
  • Sequel Hook: The Shredder falls nearly sixty floors to street level and is captured by the police, but he's seen taking a bit of mutagen on a fingertip and hiding it in his fist.
  • Serkis Folk: As opposed to the original films' usage of animatronics, this film uses Motion Capture for the turtles, as well as Splinter and the Shredder's Powered Armor. The turtle’s Mocap suits had the addition of what looked like couch cushions stuck to the back, though.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Something Else Also Rises: Mikey's first reaction to April.
    Mikey: Dude, she's so hot I can feel my shell tightening.
    Raphael: We can hear you!
  • Super-Strength: The Turtles have this here. As stated under Fastball Special above, Donnie is able to throw Raph with enough force to bash in a Humvee and send it rolling down a hill, and flip another truck over with only his bo staff himself. Earlier, when hyped up on adrenaline, they all break through their unbreakable glass cages,which Raphael had been unable to even crack.
  • Super Wrist-Gadget: Donatello's wearable computer. Most of the components are on his back, but the interface is wrist-mounted, complete with a miniature holographic projector.
  • Supporting Protagonist: It has not gone unnoticed that in a movie with a family of mutated turtles trained in the ninja arts, April O’Neil, played by Megan Fox, was written as the Protagonist.
  • Talking Is a Free Action: Played with. When clinging onto a structure falling from a 54-story building, Raphael makes a long-winded speech to his brothers about how he loves them despite being hard on them... while the structure and accompanying debris falls in slow motion. Right as he's caught up in the speech, however, he discovers that they have made it safely to the ground in the time that he's taken to make the speech.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • After April learns of the mutant turtles' identities, she tries to tell Bernadette about the situation. However, since she has minimal evidence to back up her claims, April understandably gets fired. That would get you fired in real-life. She doesn't miraculously get her job back at the end either, choosing not to expose her new friends.
    • Splinter and the Turtles are self-taught from a karate book that got tossed into the sewer. Though competent against mooks due to their size and speed, Shredder is out of their league since he's better-trained and wearing Powered Armor that makes him a physical equal.
    • The sewer-surfing scene is getting to be a tradition for this franchise, but then a slight mis-timing causes all of them to reach the narrow drain at once instead of one after another. At least it's Played for Laughs.
    • In other adaptations and incarnations, April's first meeting with the turtles goes relatively well. In this film, they're a lot less friendly towards her. Why? Because she took their picture and had every intention of exposing them. Naturally, they wouldn't be very happy about that.
  • Take That, Audience!: When Vern mistakes the Turtles for "aliens", April shoots that theory down as "stupid" and corrects him because they're actually giant turtles.
  • Terrible Pickup Lines: Vern always uses these (even in times of danger) in an attempt to win over April. It doesn't work.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: Taken to the apex with the Shredder Powered Armor. Not only does it have at least 3 massive blades on each arm, it is designed to launch those blades in a fanning motion and has a magnetic return system, letting him recover "ammo" almost instantly. Although towards the end it starts backfiring, as the Turtles start deflecting those blades back at him. Played straight with Leonardo, who chucks a katana at Shredder and impales his shoulder.
  • Title Drop: Played with:
    Leonardo: We're ninjas.
    Raphael: We're mutants.
    Donatello: Technically we're turtles.
    Michelangelo: Oh, and we're teenagers, but we can still have "adult conversations."
    April: Ninja, mutant, turtle, teenagers?
    Donatello: When you put it like that, it sounds ridiculous!
  • Toilet Humor: Just as getting stuck in the same drain all at once was bad enough for the guys, Mikey makes it worse by letting out a fart that disgusts his brothers (and the audience as well). Was he holding it in for years?
    Donatello: Argh! Mikey, was that you?!
    Michaelangelo: Pepperoni!
  • Totally Radical: Lampshaded. When Mikey uses his Character Catchphrase "Cowabunga", he says that he's been "holding it in for years" since it's something he used to say when he was a kid.
    Raphael: You got one more in the tank?
    Michelangelo: I've been holding it in for years.
  • Trailers Always Spoil:
    • The second trailer shows Leo, Mikey, and Donnie getting kidnapped by the Foot Clan, with Raph having to go rescue them.
    • And Splinter getting beaten by Shredder, being put into critical condition.
    • The second trailer also gives away that Eric Sacks is not the Shredder; he's just working for the guy.
  • Truer to the Text: The film had an interesting deal with this behind-the-scenes. An early version of the script had the Shredder be the alter-ego of an American businessman named Eric Sacks, who adopted it from the stories of an ancient Japanese warlord. This is actually in line with the comics mythology as many different characters have taken on the name of the Shredder (replicated in the '03 series), but was not present in the '87 tv show or the 90's movie series. Fan backlash to the idea of a "Whitewashed Shredder" lead to reshoots to have a more traditional Japanese Shredder included in Sach's Evil Plan.
  • Uncomfortable Elevator Moment: Subverted. When the Turtles board an elevator to take them to the top of Sacks's tower, they stare ahead awkwardly at first, but then loosen up when Mikey starts beatboxing.
  • Villain Ball:
    • Sacks and his mentor the Shredder pass it between them, possibly due to one raising the other, with Bad Boss tendencies (most notably killing a loyal mook to explain a nefarious plan to the turtles moments before they plan to exsanguinate the lot), and a penchant for just stopping mid-fight, perhaps out of pride.
    • Let's discuss the evil plan: use a chemical weapon on New York so you can sell them the cure you haven't tested yet, with a 15-year-old chemical disbursement system that comes directly from your headquarters in the biggest and most modern metropolis in the world. So you can make money. No trials, no production set-up, and no one stops to think that everyone would notice that your skyscraper is at the heart of all of it.
  • Visual Innuendo: In the end credits, when the Turtles are hiding from people in broad daylight, their shells blend in with the boobs of a Victoria's Secret billboard and Mikey is smiling and giggling because of where they're hiding.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Raphael is constantly at odds with Leonardo, hates being told what to do, and mentions that he's leaving the group the first chance he gets. However at the end, he defers to Leo's leadership and tells the others to do the same, as well as confessing that he threatens to leave because he's really just scared that he's not as good as them, and he only says that to make them bond harder when it feels like things are driving them apart.
  • Walking Armory: The first thing that Raphael does before going to rescue his brothers is gather up their weapons and take them with him. Doubles as a Chekhov's Gunman since it also gives the brothers their weapons back for the final battle.
  • Wham Line:
    • Leonardo delivers one to April O'Neil as she took a picture of them and it threatens to expose them to the human world:
      Leonardo: Do not say a thing about this to anyone. If you do, we will find you... April O'Neil.
    • Later, when April looks through her old childhood videotapes, confirming what she thought when she heard those names (Leonardo and Raphael):
      April O'Neil: They were my pets! They were my childhood pets!
    • Sacks delivers one to April as he's trying to kill her in his lab.
      Eric Sacks: This is history repeating itself. Your father walked in on me, April! Just like you did! It took a few less bullets to take him down, though.
      April: You killed my father?
  • Western Terrorists: The Foot Clan in this movie are portrayed as gun-toting pro-American terrorists instead of being a Far-East Asian Terrorist ninja cult as in the original source.
  • Where Does He Get All Those Wonderful Toys?: One has to wonder how mutated lab animals who spent years underground managed to find so many ninja weapons, not to mention the equipment Donatello has, including but not limited to: retinal scanners, thermal goggles, and a wrist-mounted computer with a holographic display.
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: Shredder passes up opportunities to kill April, Splinter, and Raphael when no one could stop him. He also decides at a pivotal moment to attack the only person capable of resisting him.
  • Worthy Opponent: Shredder is actually impressed by Splinter's skill during their fight, although he doesn't think much of his students.
  • Would Hit a Girl:
    • While the attacks aren't like full-on punches to the face or anything, Raphael does slam Karai into a wall in their first encounter, and is the one that takes out the jeep she's in.
    • Likewise, Shredder clearly has no problem killing April, attempting to do so repeatedly, though the Turtles keep distracting him.
    • Additionally, Sacks, having killed April's father, has no qualms about killing April when she shows up to foil his plans in the climax.
  • You Have to Believe Me!: April actually seems to go out of her way to look like a raving nutcase when she first tells her boss about the Turtles. Actually mildly justified as she said she was up all night going over everything. Nerves + lack of sleep + the sheer nuttiness of the tale = not being at your best.
  • You Killed My Father: Said word-for-word. Eric Sacks was the one who killed April's father.


Video Example(s):


The Elevator Scene

In the 2014 film, the turtles beatbox in an elevator on their way to face the Shredder, a scene that would be referenced in the 2012 series episode "Tokka vs. The World".

How well does it match the trope?

4.91 (22 votes)

Example of:

Main / MythologyGag

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