Maybe you just had to be there. Maybe you had to be at just the right place—or, more precisely, at just the right age—in the 1980s and early 90s to appreciate the fact that true coolness comes in teenage mutant ninja form. To the unwashed masses, the idea of anthropomorphic turtles, bearing the names of Renaissance painters and clad in color-coded bandanas, might come across as a bit farfetched. And a ninja master turned talking rat named Splinter? Well that's just silly.
Except it wasn't. At least not at the time. Not to those boys and girls—now young adults—who grew up with this stuff. So maybe we can still hum the entire theme song. So maybe we still have the comics and action figures stashed away in our attics. So maybe our childhood aspiration was no less grand than to grow up to be karate-trained, crime-fighting reptiles. Don't judge us. At the time, it was really, really cool. (And it remains cooler than, say, Pokemon. Seriously—how lame was that?)
But now I'm getting all nostalgic—which, I presume, is what the Weinstein Company is banking on with the release of TMNT—the big-screen reunion of the turtles after fourteen years of relative silence. One assumes that old-school fans are the target audience here—not only does it seem unlikely that this particular cultural phenomenon could translate well into the year 2007, but the film itself makes only a minimal effort to bring new fans up to date. There's no recap of the turtles' origins, and only passing references to their arch-nemesis, Shredder; the film begins simply by telling us that our four heroes are, in fact, mutants, ninjas, and turtles. (They seem to have grown out of their teen years, though this is left ambiguous.) ...1