Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem

Verdict: Mutant Mayhem treads familiar ground with the story but the voice performances, animation, and fight scenes make up for this.

  • Jackie Chan, Giancarlo Esposito, Seth Rogen, Paul Rudd, John Cena, Rose Byrne, Ayo Edebiri
  • July 31st 2023
  • Jeff Rowe

The four mutant turtles attempt to save the world from Superfly to become heroes and be accepted by humans.

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have led six feature films since 1990 and, unbelievably, their seventh movie outing is the best yet.

For the uninitiated, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles tells the story of four turtles – Leo (voiced by Nicolas Cantu), Raph (Brady Noon), Donnie (Micah Abbey) and Mikey (Shamon Brown Jr.) – who were covered in green ooze and turned into mutants.

Mutant Mayhem truly kicks off 15 years later, with the teenagers living with their rat father Splinter (Jackie Chan). He is scared of humans and wants them to stay in the sewer and away from his enemies – but the boys long to be out in the human world.

The foursome decide that they will only be accepted by humans if they become heroes and save the world from the evil mutant Superfly (Ice Cube).

Given that it’s co-written and co-produced by comedy geniuses Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, it’s no surprise that this animation is a hilarious family movie littered with clever dialogue, witty one-liners, pop culture references and so many jokes.

The “save the world” plot isn’t exactly original, but the film makes up for this in other ways – its sense of humour, fun voice performances, awesome action sequences and cool soundtrack.

The sketchbook-style animation is so incredible that you might occasionally get distracted by the visuals. This gives Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse a run for its money with its stylised look!

For the first time, the turtles are voiced by actual teenagers and this adds a layer of authenticity that the previous movies didn’t have. They talk over each other exactly like siblings do and they bicker and banter like brothers too. Each actor brings a different energy to the table and it is amusing to watch them bounce off each other.

There is a huge supporting cast surrounding them, but the particular standouts are Chan as the overprotective Splinter, Ice Cube as the villainous Superfly and Ayo Edebiri as the down-to-earth and relatable April O’Neil. There are plenty more voices to discover and possibly some surprises too.

Mutant Mayhem treads familiar ground with the story but the voice performances, animation, and fight scenes make up for this.

In cinemas from Monday 31st July.

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