Thursday, October 1, 2009

Monster Crap Inductee: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III
This Movie Should Stay In The Sewers

Remember that great theme song. Ah yes, most of us were crazy for the turtles in a half shell. It was such a huge hit that there was a movie made about those turtles. That movie actually did great. Then there was the second one, which while being cartoonish, still kept mostly with the storyline, enough so that it did well. That unfortunately could not be said for the third movie which was cartoonish and did not in any way keep up with the original source.

Often mistaken as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: Turtles in Time (because most of the commercials I saw advertised it as such), it is supposed to be somewhat of a new idea, but unfortunately when you try to change the way things go, you insult the fans intelligence and in this case, most of the people who would go to see this movie just happened to be fans of the cartoon. And most of those fans were at the time very knowledgeable about what goes on, especially with that cartoon.

Unfortunately, that didn’t stop them from doing this movie. In fact you could say that they basically wanted to say Fuck you to the fans. Of course, if you have ever seen the DVD packaging for this movie, you would probably know already that this movie is going to suck since the turtles were called “America’s Favorite Amphibians”. Obviously these people flunked science class or they would have known that turtles are in fact reptiles.

But enough with my rant, its time that I begin this movie.

We begin this movie by finding out that we are in Japan on 1603. How do we know this you ask?

We see a guy running from several samurais. The samurais chase this guy through the woods where they corner him. The rider tries to fight them, but since they are samurais…he loses very easily and is taken back to the castle. While this is all going on, a female archer is watching.

We then move to the sewers of now (or in this case, 1993), where the turtles (Leonardo [blue], Donatello [purple], Raphael [red], and Michelangelo [orange] are practicing their kung fun moves and dancing like complete fools.

After that, we see Master Splinter who looks like a puppet. Truth be known that Splinter really was a puppet and they never showed his feet due to the fact that he was a puppet.

Anyway, Raphael gets an attitude and destroys the stereo, killing all the joy in this “training”. The other turtles wonder what is wrong with Raphael and Raphael says that he is tired of being stuck down here. You see, supposedly New York is supposed to be so clean that no crime is happening (I call BS). Anyway, Raphael says no one even knows we exist and that cues April O’ Neil.

April is played by Paige Turco, who was in the second movie after the original actress declined and was basically a soap opera actress at this point. April gives them the keys to her apartment which either means that April is going to let the turtles use her room or she is getting ready for some late night bestiality. April reveals that she is about to go on vacation and she has some goodies from the flea market to give them. She has an Indiana Jones style hat for Raphael, but finds out that he is in another bad mood. She gives Michelangelo a Hawaiian lamp, but Michelangelo is an idiot with it. She gives Donatello an old radio so he can play with it. She then finally gives Leonardo a book on old swords. She also has a present for Splinter, which is a scepter of some kind.

We move back to feudal Japan and are at Norinaga Castle where we see Lord Norinaga, the daimyo (Japanese feudal lord), and we know instantly that he is supposed to be a bad guy. But seriously, this guy seems more like a puppy than a villain.

We also see the rider, who is his son, Kenshin.

Norinaga is pissed that Kenshin went outside the castle and says that he disgraced him. Kenshin fires back, saying Norinaga disgraces him with this unjust war, something that I have heard a lot of lately. This pisses Norinaga who is about to kill his son when a shot is fired at the bell. The man holding the gun is a man wearing a Cavalier type hat and his name is Walker.

Walker is played by Stuart Wilson, a man who at this time was known for playing the main villain in Lethal Weapon 3. Walker is an English trader who is selling guns and the other main villain. He shows up and has his men show that they can take care of his guards very easily. Walker then mocks the defenses of Lord Norinaga. Norinaga then forces Kenshin to go inside, which Kenshin does although he walks like a teenage girl who is being sent to her room. Walker then mocks Kenshin by saying children are such a pest as he prefers birds himself.

In a temple, Kenshin forces the priests out of the room and trashes the place. When he does, he sees a scroll that shows some guys looking like turtles. He then sees an old scepter, which just so happens to be the same scepter that April has for Splinter.

And it just so happens to be lighting up in the past and in the present. April is a little worried since she is holding the scepter and she asks for help from the turtles. Of course she gets none since the turtles are too busy with their new toys. When they suddenly realize what is going on, it is too late as April has been transported to the past and Kenshin is transported to the present. Of course, they change clothes because clothes can’t travel through time. April goes back to feudal Japan and gets seen by a priest while Kenshin goes to the present, sees the turtles, and faints, kind of like everyone else does when they see the mutants. The turtles even comment on that, saying that have that effect on people.

April is seized by the soldiers in the past while Kenshin realizes what is going on in the future. We find out that the scepter has magical powers and the turtles will have to go back in time to rescue her. Michelangelo wonders if they had pizza back then and everyone shakes their heads. Now, I can tell you that not only was pizza not in feudal Japan, but pizza had not yet been invented in the 15th century. Oh well Michelangelo, you’re going to have to live without pizza for one time.

Back in Japan, April is being brought before Lord Norinaga, who thinks she is a witch. Of course, Walker is watching all of this, disgusted by the superstitious ways of the Japanese. The daimyo tries to speak to her, but she doesn’t understand a word of Japanese since she only took Spanish. Norinaga then has his soldiers force April to kneel. And after she kneels, her walkman starts playing. Now we see a major error here in that the headphones are not plugged into the tape player, yet we still hear the music. Of course, we shouldn’t be hearing that, but just play along. Norinaga then has the device destroyed and another error is made. The batteries are out and yet the walkman still plays. That is not supposed to happen, but the editing will be more of a problem later. Anyway, the walkman is destroyed which makes April unhappy. She back talks to Norinaga which pisses him off so he tries to have her killed. Walker interrupts and wants to interrogate her on his own. After a few questions and some intimidation, he proves that she is not in fact a witch. He then asks to question her about Norinaga’s son before they kill her. Norinaga disagrees on killing her saying, he wants her to suffer.

Back in the present, Donatello uses math equations to figure out certain things about the scepter. The things he figures out are that the thing only works if the person on the other side has the same weight. Now let’s go back to Kenshin and April and examine those two. For that transportation to work Kenshin would either have to be very thin or April would have to keep away from the buffet table. Michelangelo then says he is bringing in some heavy artillery and it’s in the form of Casey Jones.

Casey Jones is played by Elias Koteas, who played Casey Jones in the first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie (Casey didn’t appear in the second). Now if you were hoping that this means Casey Jones is going to kick some ass, you would be incorrect. You see, the turtles need someone to help Splinter baby-sit the people they replace and Casey Jones is obviously prefect with babysitting. Now before they leave, Donatello reveals that if they don’t come back in two and half days, they will be stuck in the past for all eternity.

Back in the Norinaga Castle dungeon in feudal Japan, a jailer is spinning April’s cage in a circle while drooling over her. This jailer looks like he would compete in a sumo wrestling match because in actuality, the guy playing him used to play the fat guy in Weird Al Yankovic’s “Fat” video. A knock at the dungeon door and Niles and thugs come in with Whit, who was trying to start a mutiny. They jail him and April thinks he is Casey Jones. Now why do you ask she thinks that? It’s because the actor who played Casey Jones plays this guy as well.

April also looks at the floor to see a rat and thinks he looks very familiar as well.

With the face of the rat, we get a scene transition to the present where Splinter is telling the turtles that the scepter should be ready. Kenshin wants them to hurry as he fears Mitsu is in great danger. They ask who Mitsu is and he tells them that she is his girlfriend and leader of the rebellion. They go to find Michelangelo and see that Michelangelo is in a Hawaiian shorts and is doing the luau. The other turtles laugh and wonder what Michelangelo is doing. Michelangelo responds that since the clothes don’t transport, he doesn’t want the other guys to appear butt naked. He tries to give the others pairs of shorts, but they have no time. They immediately go to the scepter and get transported. However, it is not four priests that replace them, but instead the members of Norinaga’s honor guard. Now you remember when Michelangelo didn’t want them to come back butt naked, but couldn’t get the others to put shorts on? Well, the guy who replaces Michelangelo is wearing the shorts while the others are not butt naked as fear, but are wearing what looks like women’s underwear. Personally, I’m really not sure what is worse. Splinter thinks it was not in the temple so there must have been a battle. Casey then immediately regrets that he is missing all the fun.

Meanwhile, on a field in Feudal Japan, there is a battle going on. The turtles are on horses and Michelangelo is riding backwards which kind of tells me the guy he replaced didn’t know how to ride a horse either. Michelangelo has the scepter and is immediately separated from the group as his horse heads into the woods. The other turtles fall off their horses and into a swamp. Leonardo thinks he swallowed a frog and hopes that it wasn’t one of his ancestors. Silly Leo, frogs and turtles are in two different animal classes. Raphael starts complaining that they lost the scepter, Michelangelo, their dignity, and still no April. Leonardo of course didn’t listen to any of that as he asks where Michelangelo is. In the woods, Michelangelo is still riding backwards as the horse goes deeper into the woods. Suddenly, a woman knocks Michelangelo out with a branch. Michelangelo immediately loses the scepter and is taken captive by the rebels. In this scene, we see Mitsu.

Mitsu is played by Vivian Wu, whose claim to fame was only being one of People Magazine’s 50 Most Beautiful People in 1991. Anyway, someone finds the magic scepter and takes it.

Back in New York City, a fight is about to break out before Splinter intervenes, scaring the members of the honor guard.

Back at Castle Norinaga in feudal Japan, Norinaga tells Walker that they don’t need guns to defeat the enemy. Unfortunately, Norinaga then realizes that his honor guard members are MIA…..Missing In Action

Walker is sarcastic before realizing that Norinaga thinks this is bad news. Walker tries to calm Norinaga down by saying that war has a habit of causing people to be missing. Norinaga then says that his scepter is missing and without that scepter, they have lost. He also says that if they lose, Walker won’t have anyone to trade with. Walker then yells for Niles to bring him the woman. Niles does not take this well, but does his job while mocking Walker under his breath. He takes it out on Raphael by calling him an ugly lump of dung. Raphael gets pissed and seeing him pissed makes Niles just slowly walk by nervously. Two guards notice Raphael and Donatello and are knocked out by Raphael for bothering them.

Back in the jail, Niles tells the jailer that he is looking for April. The jailer lets him in, but they don’t know that the turtles followed him. They sneak up on Niles and give him a Wet Willy, chasing him away. The turtles reveal themselves to April, who is ecstatic to see them. The jailer tries to get in the way, but as soon as he sees the ninja demonstration, he runs into a cage and hides. They try to escape, but soldiers come after them and after more than 30 minutes, we get our first fight scene. Meanwhile, Whit asks for some help and gets it from April, although she says she is probably going to regret it later. Oh April, you don’t know how right you are? Anyway, the soldiers are rather stupid and get beaten up real easily. Reinforcements arrive and that forces the turtles to close the door and use another way to escape. They use the garbage shoot and instantly land in some mud. April complains that this is the worse rescue ever while Donatello tries to calm her down by saying an ironic quote.

Donatello: Think of it on the bright side, April. At least we didn’t land on a pile of….
April: Don’t even say it.

This is ironic since this is exactly how I feel about this film.

Back at the village, kids are playing as we see Michelangelo locked up in a fruit cellar.

Meanwhile in the woods, the turtles, April, and Whit try to find Michelangelo. April also takes this time to show some leg which definitely make Leonardo and Donatello a little too happy. Is it me or does this movie have some bestiality undertones in it?

Kurt Angle Approves

Raphael also talks about how unpolluted the water is, which makes me want to see him and Ludwig Borga have a conversation.

Anyway, this doesn’t last very long as another battle scene begins. The turtles are in a battle with the rebels. During this battle, Raphael notices Mitsu about to use a bow and arrow, but he stops that by slicing the arrow with his sai. Mitsu sees Raphael and he looks familiar to Michelangelo so she calls off the troops. She then tells Raphael that and they realize that they have found Michelangelo.

When trying to go back to town, they see their village is under attack. It seems that Walker, Niles, and the rest of the goons want to prove their dominance over Norinaga by beating what they couldn’t beat. Walker is also looking for the scepter as he tells his men that there is a reward for the man who brings it to him. Two of the guys see Michelangelo locked in the fruit cellar and mistake him for a member of the honor guard. They open the cellar to see Michelangelo and run. They tell Niles that a demon is out there and Niles relays it back to Walker. Walker shoots this off as some samurai with a mask. That all changes as soon as he passes Michelangelo by. The look on Walker’s face is priceless.

He goes back and sees what Michelangelo truly is, yet still plans on killing him. Niles tries to kill the monster as well, but the other turtles sneak up on him and give him another Wet Willy. The Wet Willy forces Niles to misfire and his gun shoots Walker’s gun, forcing him to be gunless. Walker tries to escape, but is surrounded in three parts before being called Zorro dude. It is kind of ironic he was called that because a few years after this movie, Stuart Wilson would end up playing the villain Don Rafael Montero in the Mask of Zorro.

Anyway, Walker sees a gate and busts through it to make his escape while Niles follows. The turtles’ victory celebration is short lived as they find out a young boy named Yoshi is trapped in a house on fire. Michelangelo comes in the house and saves Yoshi, but Yoshi is not breathing. We find out that Yoshi is Mitsu’s younger brother as Leonardo tries to give the kid CPR. It works and the rebels celebrate the turtles as heroes.

Back at Castle Norinaga, Norinaga scolds Walker by saying his attack was cowardly. Walker then makes the excuse of having to deal with demons. Norinaga shows Walker the scroll that Kenshin saw earlier and asks if these were the men he saw, to which Walker says he does not know. Norinaga explains that the scroll says that his ancestors were defeated by four demons and he does not want the same fate. He tells Walker he will give him his asking price of silver and cloth for the guns, but Walker changes the offer to gold. He says that with demons, the cost grows higher. Norinaga leaves with an emphatic no as Walker looks on.

Back at the village, the turtles are being taught how to ride horses. All fail except for Leonardo, who does very well. Donatello thinks the scepter is toast so they will have to make a new one. April does not like that idea, but of course they don’t listen to her. Whit follows April and says he wants to go with her to the future. April appreciates his offer, but declines.

Meanwhile back in the present, Kenshin hates that he is stuck there. He shows his anger by throwing a tea cup at Casey, narrowly missing him. Casey gets up and turns on the television while hockey is on. Of course, as well all know, anything primitive culture would be impressed by the television. D

Back at the village in feudal Japan, Donatello is checking on the building while Michelangelo fails miserably at making a pizza. He instead makes a Frisbee and throws it. It hits the guy working on the new scepter and he thinks Donatello hit him. Meanwhile Raphael sees Yoshi and the other kids fighting and breaks it up. Yoshi explains that they are only practicing for battle. Raphael says that they are kids and teaches them the joys of flying kites.

Meanwhile at a beach, Walker’s men are practicing with their guns on targets while Walker is painting. A messenger come to him and says that Norinaga has agreed to his asking price of guns for gold. This makes Walker happy as he fires off a cannon, which destroys several targets.

Meanwhile, Michelangelo has a chat with Mitsu and it is apparent that Michelangelo is smitten with the Japanese archer. Mitsu however is worried about Kenshin, the man who she loves. Michelangelo reveals that he met Kenshin and that Kenshin is in their time and will return once they leave.

Back in present New York City, Kenshin is interested in a sign that talks about ballroom dancing while the other guys are eating snacks and watching hockey. Casey tries to teach the four honor guard members about hockey, but the guys want to use their sticks for fighting.

It is now night time in feudal Japan and Norinaga is signing the contract that gives gold to Walker and his men for guns. Before leaving, Norinaga tells Walker that his dungeon is getting crowded. Walker responds by saying that the humane thing to do is kill everyone and take no prisoners.

Splinter senses this in the present while playing Chinese checkers with Kenshin.

At the village in feudal Japan, Mitsu is relayed a message from a messenger. The turtles have supposedly finished their new scepter, but while fighting over it, Michelangelo and Raphael drop it into a well, breaking it. Mitsu comes in saying that Norinaga’s men will be here tomorrow with guns. This does not make the turtles happy as they supposedly hate guns.

Raphael goes to Yoshi’s room and sees the kid crying. Raphael asks why he is crying and Yoshi says that Raphael might die tomorrow and he doesn’t want that to happen. Raphael tells the kid that he won’t die and the kid gives Raphael the real scepter that he had hidden in the attic.

The turtles now have the real scepter and there are already turtles who are convinced that Mitsu hid it so they could fight. Mitsu, after hearing these accusations, leaves. The old man then confesses that he was the one who hid the scepter and wanted them to fight. He told them that Mitsu had no idea the scepter was even around. This confession is interrupted by a scream from Mitsu. The turtles go outside and see Whit on a horse with Mitsu as his captive. He has a knife to her throat and tells the turtles to give him the scepter. They have no choice but to do so and Whit then tells them to bring Kenshin to Norinaga by midnight.

At the castle, Walker and Niles bring Mitsu in the room and say they have captured her. Norinaga wants to know where his son is and Mitsu says that he is on a magical quest and will only come back when the scepter is returned. Norinaga thinks this is a lie, saying they have both. Mitsu denies this and tells Norinaga that Walker has it. She then tries to kill the daimyo before being restrained by Walker. Walker has Niles lock her up and goes to leave himself, but the guards won’t let him leave. Walker says he doesn’t have the scepter and is allowed to go. Walker goes to his room and we see Whit with the scepter. Whit wants to be equal partners for the scepter, a deal in which Walker agrees to.

Suddenly, Walker looks out the window to see April come barging in, wanting to speak with the daimyo. She is captured by Walker’s men and sent to him. You know, I love the old damsel in distress idea, but this is just a little too easy. And as soon as I say that, we find out it is merely a distraction so the turtles can climb up the castle walls. In the dungeon, Mitsu is caged like an animal as the jailer hears some cats at the bottom of the garbage shoot. He dumps garbage, hoping to get the cats to quiet down. But when he hears some extra noise as well as growls, he gets suspicious. His suspicions are correct as he is grabbed and forced into the shoot by the turtles. The turtles climb up so Mitsu can see them. She is overjoyed to see they have come to rescue her and asks them to release the other prisoners.

Back in Walker’s room, Walker is talking to his birds as April is brought into his room. Whit is in the room and April lets Whit have by calling him names. The names Walker agrees with and he says that is why he hired him. He says he wants her taken away, but she says she has info on the daimyo’s son. Whit believes her, but Walker says he doesn’t pay him for that; he pays him to lie, cheat, and steal.

Eddie Guerrero Agrees With Walker Here

Walker tells Whit to bring his men with guns. Whit somehow is against guns, but does it anyways.

Meanwhile, the turtles are stealthily climbing the stairs with Mitsu behind them. The turtles get attacked by several soldiers, but the soldiers are dispatched quickly that I won’t even bother to call it a fight. The turtles then go to the daimyo’s room where they see the ancient scroll. The turtles definitely believe it looks like them, but their conversation is cut short as Norinaga comes in with more soldiers. Norinaga is pissed that they are here, saying they have disgraced his ancestors, but will not disgrace him. Mitsu then challenges Norinaga to a one on one fight, but that fight is stopped by Michelangelo. A soldier tries to strike his sword into Michelangelo, but the sword bounces off his shell. Norinaga takes this opportunity to run while his men deal with the turtles. And folks, now begins the third and final battle, but the first to involve all four turtles. The battle moves from Norinaga’s room to outside.

Norinaga still tries to escape, but is cornered by Leonardo. A swordfight begins with the two, but after a few minutes…Norinaga loses his sword and tells Leonardo to finish him. Leonardo says he will and grabs both swords, but instead of cutting of his head, he cuts off his hair. Norinaga tries to run again, but Leonard has a bell fall on Norinaga trapping him.

Meanwhile elsewhere, the dungeon and gates are opened as hundreds of rebels take to fighting. The turtles join Leonardo and once they see what Leonardo has done with the daimyo, they crack a few jokes at Norinaga’s expense. However, Walker comes in with April as his captive and his men prepared with their guns. Guards grab Mitsu and all is ready for a final execution. Whit is against the idea since that was not part of the deal, so he is seized and forced to join the turtles. Walker readies the men to fire, but Leonardo demands that Walker shoot first. He says Walker won’t do it because he knows they are demons and the bullets will only bounce off of them. Walker decides if it will make them happy, he will call their bluff. But before he fires his gun, he decides he has a better idea and reveals a cannon. This really scares the turtles, but as soon as he fires the turtles duck into their shells as the cannon misses and hits he bell. Walker remarks that what they did was clever, before running. The turtles then look at Niles and ask if he knows what time it is, Niles knows and gives himself a Wet Willy.

Now the turtles begin their chase of Walker, who goes into his room to grab the scepter and his birds. They chase Walker through the roofs until they corner him to the edge of the castle. Walker sees a rope with a post to hold onto and wants to use that as his escape. But Walker has one trick up his sleeve; he throws the scepter up in the air. This causes a intended distraction as Walker uses the rope to go down. Walker then remembers his birds and tries to grab them. Unfortunately, Whit has found a conveniently placed catapult with fireball and shoots it. The fireball breaks the post that holds the rope, causing Walker to fall to his death in the ocean. A little interesting bit about this scene is the production company was too cheap to buy a visual splash so they had Walker just disappear into the ocean with a splash sound, but no visual. Basically from some people’s perspective, they guessed that Walker imploded on impact.

Back at the house, Michelangelo and Raphael decide they want to stay, but April, Leonardo, Donatello and Mitsu tell them they need to go. Raphael says bye to Yoshi as the scepter begins.

On the other side, Kenshin can not wait any longer and has activated the scepter. He is convinced to wait for the other guys before going. Casey has to drag the four honor guard members who want to stay in the future. It almost seems that Michelangelo misses the teleportation and is stuck forever, but is teleported at the last minute.

Back in feudal Japan, the daimyo has been arrested and he sees his honor guard members in underwear. Kenshin appears and uses some ballroom dancing techniques to give Mitsu a big kiss at the end, making everyone live happily ever after in Japan.

Back in the sewers, Michelangelo is still down about leaving Mitsu, but Splinter knows just how to cheer him up.

Michelangelo laughs as everyone lives happily ever after.

Now as to why there wasn’t another movie after this (having a crappy movie wasn’t the only reason), there was a bitter trademark dispute between New Line Cinema and Troma Films (who did own the movie rights). There was supposedly a time when New Line Cinema tried to blackmail them with ownership rights to another one of their movies, The Toxic Avenger (Yes, Madison, one of your favorite comic book characters was used as bait), but Troma Films would not give in and New Line Cinema no longer can do anymore turtle movies as Fox owns the rights now. Not only that, but Troma sued the living hell out of New Line Cinema for unspecified damages and won.

Now the reception was like my take on this movie, bad. Not only was it more cartoonish than the second movie and had lamer jokes, but it was also the one with the least amount of fight scenes with three, including only one with all four turtles. If you were a fan, you wanted to see the fights and you got ripped off of that. It made you feel like only country could be responsible for the lack of fighting.

Now I will link you to a very interesting two part review of this movie by the Angry Video Game Nerd

I must say before I go that this was in fact, this was the first movie that I hated. I remember seeing this in 1993, when I was only 9 years old, and after the movie, I went to my room and started cursing up a storm. The fallout from this movie was also another reason that I refused to see the Super Mario Brothers in theaters. Now folks, I know I have seen worse movies than this one, but there is an old saying that you never forget the first time and that rings true to me.

No comments:

Post a Comment