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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III

BRIEF STORYLINE:The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles return in this second sequel, where their friend April 'O Neill, comes across an odd-looking, mysterious object.They soon think it's some kind of a "Japanese egg-timer". However,after April vanishes holding the unknown object,the turtles,follow through, and are transported to Ancient Japan.This leads to confrontations with samurai, English travellers, the turtles kung-fu kicking in samurai armour and in their place, fish-out-of-water ancient Japanese guards in New York.

TMNT REVIEW HQ COMMENTS: There were very few above-average moments in the film, as there was an obvious lack of quality to most scenes, getting swamped by mediocrity. One of the best scenes was actually way back at the start. It's the film's first taste of ancient Japan, as the sun is setting amongst a red illuminated sky. Four samurai unknown horse-riders are coming towards the camera in the distance. All of this, themed by some edgy, old, Japanese drum music. This sets the standard for a solid opening for what looked good...for a 3rd successive turtles movie. The next moment that equalled this took a while later, this time with the turtles in ancient Japan, fighting off some Japanese guards near a river, which at times had rhythm to it and some great timing played in part by the turtles. That was the first major scene the turtles got their hands dirty, however the rest of the fights ahead were more lacklustre. A good while after the opening scene, you realise this is not as good as the first 2 TMNT films.

There is a whole abundance of worst moments. Firstly, the turtle costumes were distinctly worser than in the previous 2 films, making them look like their going through a period of unpredictable, green, acne. What makes this third film different, is the introduction of the cartoonish sound-effects, which just didn't suit the Ninja Turtles,making parts of the film edgeless. That was part of most of the fighting. The 2 main villains did have their moments but least to say, they were forgettable. The English villain, Walker, had dialogue that was sometimes totally inane, and raised his voice at unappropiate times. Also, his acting was patchy. The finishing-off, of the Japanese Lord came to a unclimaxed finish, which didn't reach to any suspense.The last moment of Walker was a little better, however, the turtles couldn't fight him because he had a gun, which kind of became a symbol of being a spoilsport, as the turtles were helpless. The English villain falls off the roof by a screeching fireball, helped by the Casey Jones actor Elias Koteas, but he played a different guy altogether, maybe Casey Jones's ancestor but for a reason not explained. However,even that finish wasn't as hard-hitting as it could've been. Walker's shouting last words, wasn't exactly dripping of spontaneous emotion, but came off as a much blunted-effect than preferred. The Shredder was a much more intimidating and hateful figure.

This TMNT movie relied even more heavily on humor, than the last 2, with even bosum lady April getting in on the jokes. Some of the humor worked well, and some didn't. The worst humor of the film was a result of getting cheap laughs; the on-going "wet lily" joke. The cartoonish feel extended to this, where one of the turtles would stick a wet finger in an ear of one of the Walker's henchman, to the beat of a cartoon-like sound-effect. Not cutting edge humor. The Michaelangelo hawaiian impression dragged on, becoming tiresome, but was resuscitated with new life by Splinter, to make for an average and quite funny ending to the film. However,the best humor came from those misplaced Japanese guards in New York, along with Casey Jones, who only had a small part in the film. The naive guards dancing at the club and watching Hockey, were all genuinely funny. April accidently losing grip the personal stereo in Japan was a funny section too.

One of the great strengths of Turtles 3 was it's soundtrack. Like the other 2, it gave us quality early nineties music from the like of Ya Kid K, consistantly efficient. Actually, the TMNT 3 soundtrack is of a higher quality than the film itself.

As for the fighting, with the exception of the well-timed fight at the riverside, were sometimes repetitive and tame. The sword fight between Leonardo and the Japanese Lord, tried to look suspenseful, but it just came off with the feeling the full-force sword strike were held back, and should've looked more viscious.

Elias Koteas and Paige Turco performed the best acting, along with the female Japanese Ninja. Koteas got right back into his old role of Casey Jones after missing out on the 2nd film, bonding with the Japanese guards and giving them basic updates of the technology of present-day New York hilariously.

Overall, this is definetely the weakest of the TMNT trilogy,lumbering on with the age-old trend of sequels not as good as the original. Actually, as tiresome the format may be, putting Shredder, Tatsu and the Foot Clan could've been a little better than this. On the contrary, TMNT fans of the cartoon would argue, now that the Shredder had suppoesedly died in the second movie, the makers should've brought in the other major villain, who was Krang, the pink-brained alien, along with the giant Technodrme with advanced weaponry wizardry. Despite most probably having an overwhelmingly big budget, it would've made a much more explosive sequel, and due to the popularity of the villain, bring in more money than this one did. Anyway, let's stop quarrelling about what could've been, as this third turtles movie isn't that bad. The basic storyline is a nice idea, but isn't executed well enough. A sometimes funny but patchy movie. TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES 3 GETS A: 2/5 RATING.

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