Old School Review: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

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1990

The 4th film I have seen in theaters…

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The first live action, and most faithful, adaptation of the comic.

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A villanous gang of Ninjas called “The Foot” are causing a crime wave to sweep NYC. 4 Mutant Turtles, trained by their Mutant Rat Sensei, fight ninja battles against them, trying to stop their evil leader, Shredder, from taking over.

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Judith Hoag played April O’Neil, reporter for channel 3, who discovers and befriends the Turtles. She was an okay April, but was not perfect in the role.

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Elia Koteas, an actor that went on to have a prolific career is Casey Jones, the hockey masked vigilante. He was a great choice, and does an excellent job.TMNT1990-14

James Saito plays Shredder, quite physically imposing as well. The voice was David McCharen. This film has the best version of Shredder to date.

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Toshishiro Obata is Tatsu, Shredder’s second in command. Not a lot of vocalization here, but he cuts quite the figure.

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The real stars of this are the Jim Henson workshop who bring these turtles to life. Also playing a huge part was the voice cast. Josh Pais was both in the suit, and the voice, of Raphael. Robbie Rist (Cousin Oliver in Brady Bunch) is Michelangelo. Brian Tochi (Nogata in Police Academy) is Leonardo. Rounding out the turtles is the incomparable Corey Feldman as Donatello.

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The sequels were not as good. The 2014 reboot was not as good. Nothing seems to be as good as this first outing. It was the closest of them all at adapting the original Mirage Comics. I went nuts over this as a 10 year old.

 

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