Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990 – movie review)

In my review of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III, I refer to this first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie as gritty, funny and interesting. I went on to praise it’s realistic tone and its blend of action, adventure, tragedy and comedy. I stand by that now and forever – this is a great movie.

I don’t think any superhero movie has handled the origin as was as this first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie. It’s all done in just a few minutes in some of the most visual exposition you’ll ever see in a movie. We not only get information about our protagonists, but our villain as well, and it all ties into the climax of the movie nicely. A lot of superhero movies will drag this sort of thing out over a half hour or longer, but here, it’s quick and efficient.

There’s a few minor things about this movie that took me by surprise:
1. Corey Feldman is the voice of Donatello.
2. Sam Rockwell is the thug guy who talks (he’s the only one that talks as I recall)

3. The actor who does Raphael’s voice is the cab passenger when Raphael rolls over the cab’s hood
4. The actor who is inside the Michelangelo costume also delivers the pizza – effectively having a conversation with himself

There’s a bunch of stuff like that in this movie…

This movie came out at the height of Turtle Mania – they could have phoned it in and still made a nice profit, but they didn’t. Instead, we got a great movie featuring an interesting story and populated with fascinating characters who all share a dynamic between themselves. It’s not Shakespeare, but it’s a fun, tight little movie with laughs, action and heart. I give it a 9 out of 10.


About Jamie Insalaco

Jamie Insalaco is the author of, and editor in chief of

Posted on May 6, 2014, in lists, movie review and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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