My take on the TMNT “reboot”
We all know that rebooting a franchise is to restart it. There have been some successful reboots such as Battlestar Galactica, La Femme Nikita, and even Beavis and Butthead. However there have been those that have crashed and burned as well, Charlie’s Angels, Footloose, and Arthur. Then there are the ones, that as fans of the original you can’t stand that people like the complete genre and attitude change and want to beat everyone that starts gushing to you about what a great movie it is and how much you should see it…21 Jump Street.
However, one thing stands to reason, these are all reboots. These are all franchises that started collecting dust, or were adapted to a different country to bring it to more people. Something that has continuously been reworked, revamped, remade, in the glorious image of the original cannot then really have a “reboot” as there has been constant attention, airings, and profit, so how can you restart something that has never ended?
But that’s what Michael Bay is trying to do. And how is he trying to reboot a series that is known worldwide and has tons of fans, ranging in all the important age groups that target audiences are decided from? He’s going to make them aliens. So, Teenage MUTANT Ninja Turtles will not just be rebooted, but their entire origin story will be thrown away in favor of making them come from outer space. Are they going to come from Shelonia, a planet of Turtles? Is Shelonia anywhere near Cybertron? With Bay, I wouldn’t be surprised.
Anyway, Bay describes the change. “When you see this movie, kids are going to believe, one day, that these turtles actually do exist when [we] are done with this movie.” Sorry Mr. Man, but when the first cartoon came out in 1987, I was already thinking the Turtles were real enough to come out of the sewer to play with me, and by the time I was 6 when the movie came out in 1990, I was making plans to marry Michelangelo. So I’d like to know how, if I was planning on marrying a puppet suit, that I didn’t believe that the turtles actually existed. Mr. Bay, just because the children of today may have stunted imaginations, those that have been loyal fans of the franchise almost from the very beginning, haven’t had that problem.
Perhaps Mr. Bay is just stuck on the latest cartoon, where in fact, the Turtles traveled 100 years into the future, and wore some pretty off looking equipment. However, they were still from earth, still mutants, and only used updated weaponry to combat the updated enemies. The same could be said about the third movie, in which they went back in time and tried to adjust their look to fit in. Or perhaps it’s because in the latest comic, aliens become common place in the world, and instead of claiming to be mutant freaks, they piggy back on the “we love aliens” bandwagon. Either way…still of earth…and still mutants even if they decided to hide that fact.
Then when the obvious outcries from the fans of the franchise call out for Mr. Bay’s head on a pizza dish, he tells everyone to breathe, chill, and relax. He has one of the original creators at his beck and call. I’m sorry, but when Robbie Rist comes out and says you are sodomizing and raping the childhoods of millions, because you know, he was only the VO of my Mikey in the movies and a fan and just must be crazy and blind like all the other fans.
So let’s get this straight, when fans of the franchise and people involved in the franchise tell you you’re doing it wrong, the correct thing to do is put your fingers in your ears and go lalalalala? I’ll thank you to leave my MUTANT turtles alone, Mr. Bay. When I watch this movie, I want MY Mikey, MY Raph, MY Don, and MY Leo…even if they did tend to portray Leo as having Don’s staff wedged so far up his butt he could block and parry when he opened his mouth.
The Turtles aren’t a dead enterprise. They’re still bringing money, still bringing in fans, and still ALIVE in the eyes of those fans. This isn’t like 21 Jump Street. There isn’t an 11 year gap between when the TV show ended and the movie premiered. People still know the origin story, and you can’t get more of a “complex back story” then what was seen between movies 1 and 2. Every incarnation has had the same back story, canister of oozy mutagen falls into sewer, covering turtles, mutating them into human turtle hybrids, who are then taught various forms of martial arts, and become vigilantes helping the world (or more importantly New York City.) If you want to make a movie, and make the fans happy, actually base a movie off the original comic. Make it dark, and adult, because the vast majority of fans are adults that remember those first comics, those first cartoons, and those first movies. We the fans are your target audience Mr. Bay, and we are all grown up. We want a movie based on the edginess of the actual origin story. We do not want the “years later” version of the comic. We want the version that parodied Daredevil. We want what WE want, because WE are the people that kept this franchise going for 25+ years.