And let’s be clear up front: Michael Bay’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are NOT aliens. Megan Fox said so. In the trailer.
While we don’t yet know what to expect of Bay’s next Transformers film, Age of Extinction, starring Mark Wahlberg (it has to be better than the last ones), his interpretation of the heroes in a half shell is looking like something… good? Of course, at the same time, it also bears all the trademarks of a Bay film that we love/hate so much: explosions, wholly CG lead characters/action figures, and a handful of humans to move things along with occasional exposition.
Yes, the trailer does look like a pyrotechnic extreme sports ad for a horrible energy drink featuring green, wisecracking hunchbacks, but I actually think it’s kind of fun. And it’s nice to see characters with facial expressions and the ability to show fear, anger, resolve, joy, and humor without having to resort to broad racist stereotypes to get the point across (see Transformers 2). The trailer actually makes me not fear for this film. Sure, it might be incoherent and filled with inappropriate humor for a film that will widely appeal to children (see any Transformers film). But Nickelodeon is actually supposed to be heavily involved in the making of this film, which will hopefully preserve its secondary stage roots (the original black and white comic on which Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is based is a bit more mature than the kids cartoon version that came afterward, which so many of us grew up with).
Judge for yourself. If you’re a fan, you can go into this movie with heavy doubts in your heart, hating it long before you even get your popcorn. Or you can go in and consider it a whole new interpretation of the characters you love without the fear of it diminishing those memories. Or you can just not go see it at all. What will you be doing on August 8th? Seeing Guardians of the Galaxy again?