In Defense of “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III”

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III-a

Before I make my defense of the third Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie, I would like to ask why people are so quick to defend Secret of the Ooze, the second movie in the original Turtle Trilogy. Where was Casey Jones? Why wasn’t Corey Feldman voicing Donatello? Why in the fuck did a keytar defeat the Shredder? You can say what you want about the third movie, and I’ve probably said it too using a few more “fucks” to give it some razzle-dazzle. But the power of rock n’ roll literally defeats the leader of the Foot Clan.

Now that I’ve had my rant against Secret of the Ooze, I will try to defend Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III. Somewhat. The biggest issue I had was that the creatures looked like crap. I’m not sure why Jim Henson’s Creature Shop wasn’t used, but it is pretty noticeable. Like, “this should be the B-movie straight-to-video rip-off” noticeable. And this movie was in theaters! And I saw it in theaters; first movie I ever saw in theaters, actually. I could have done a lot worse, but that’s for another time. Anyway, the Turtles and Splinter looked like crap, but there was something this movie had that the second one didn’t: fighting.

No matter how bad you think this movie is, you have to admit the fight scenes in this movie are better than the second. For one, the Turtles actually use their weapons. In the second, Mikey uses a yo-yo. And a keytar. Also, I thought the Turtles traveling back in time was kind of cool. For those that disagree, let ask you, do you hate the Back to the Future movies? Do you only enjoy time travel movies where technology is the cause of it, not some ancient wizardry? I liked the change of scenery, especially since the last time the Turtles were in New York, they ran into Vanilla Ice.

I know my defense is kind of weak, and there’s a reason for that. The second and third movies were nowhere near as good as the first. The first, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, was the perfect blend of comic herbs and cartoon spices. The sequels had a little too much spice and, for my taste, the second lacked the salt of violence. I’m not trying to say that the next Turtles movie needs to be violent, it just needs to be made by someone not named Michael Bay. That’s all.

The second and third movies are a lot closer in quality than many seem to think. I know a lot of people who think the third movie was absolute shit, and I can see that, along with thinking that about the second one. They each have their good parts and are clearly missing some key parts, but if you combined them you would basically get the first movie, which I watched so many times on VHS that the tape got wear and tear and the cover box was completely destroyed. Point is, this isn’t comparing Batman Forever to Batman & Robin; I’ve never heard somebody argue that the latter is better than the former, but I welcome it.

One more thing: the line “We’re turtles, of the teenage mutant ninja variety” needs to be put on a T-shirt so I can buy it.