review for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie on AllMovie

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie (1990)
by Andrea LeVasseur review

This live-action film version of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is more like the satiric black-and-white comic book by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird from the early '80s than the wildly popular syndicated cartoon show, which broadened the humor from the original's dark tone. However, the bleak pseudo-noir production design and turtle body suits didn't keep away the audience; it became a box-office hit for New Line Cinema, becoming one of the top-grossing films of the year. The story concerns the origin of the turtles and their teaming with reporter April O'Neil to beat the Foot Clan along with some flashbacks of Master Splinter's past, but the plot is really just an excuse to bring the quick surfer-speak and ninja action to the big screen for Turtles fans. The work of Jim Henson Productions, the latex animatronic costumes were well-constructed and worn by stunt men doling out the turtle power in some effective action sequences. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie was followed by a few sequels, a video game, and numerous other media before Turtlemania was quickly overshadowed by the coming popularity of the Power Rangers.