I know the standard reaction every time Michael Bay so much as looks in the direction of a movie camera is to blow one's rape whistle and fall to the ground weeping and rending one's garments. This happened in full force when it was announced that not only was Bay attached to a new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot but, despite the glaring presence of the word "mutant" right there in the title, he was adjusting the origin story to make the turtles aliens. No less than original live action Michaelangelo voice-actor Robbie Rist chimed in right on cue to accuse Bay of "Sodomizing the franchise".
I'm not going to buck the conventional wisdom. Michael Bay is awful. No debate to be had there. His success is an affront to everything great and good about the cinema. But when it comes to him putting down his moneybags long enough to manhandle the TMNT franchise my reaction is this: Fine by me.
Seriously, make them goddamn hedgehogs for all I care. Better he muck around with the Ninja Turtles than something, you know, good.
Now, no doubt my nine-year old self would be appalled to read this, but let's be honest, shall we? The Turtles, in every incarnation I've seen, are terrible. I'm talking unambiguously fucking dreadful. The cartoon? A toy commercial, and a bad one at that. The first film? Worthless. Secret of the Ooze? Garbage. The other sequels? Who the hell cares? I've never read the comics, of which many speak highly, but if they still involve pizza-eating, martial arts fighting, sewer-dwelling turtles and their giant rat friend I doubt they would change my opinion favorably.
I say all this as a person who had the toys, the VHS tapes, and both the original Nintendo game and the arcade version. I read the friggin' novelization of the first movie, for Chrissakes. But guess what? I'm in my thirties now and I have no hesitation in admitting that the whole franchise was a pile of crap and the countless hours I blew watching it would have been better spent learning to throw playing cards or play the harmonica or pretty much anything else.
|And while I'm at it: Screw This Level|
So if the reigning King of Shit wants to take on this shitty franchise I say, "Have at it Buddy!" Knock yourself out. And if nostalgia still has you cursing Bay's name, ask yourself: Would you prefer he turn his attention to, oh say, a live action Iron Giant or a Back to the Future reboot or anything else that actual has some positive legacy for him to ground up and convert to cold hard cash? In know my answer.