It’s Time To Cowabunga Again

Based on what’s been revealed so far, “Mutant Mayhem” looks like a back-to-basics type of movie. These versions of Leonardo, Raphael, Michelangelo, and Donatello aren’t famous heroes yet, but after living in the sewer, they’re ready to be accepted by New Yorkers. They make at least one friend, April O’Neil, but soon have to contend with a crime syndicate and mutant army.

There’s no sign of the TMNT’s usual foes, the Shredder and the ninja Foot Clan. But after all, it’s pretty common in superhero movies to save the arch-enemy for the second movie, allowing the focus to be squarely on the heroes instead.

Ever since the ’90s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle movie, the Turtles have had a long run on the big screen, though not always a successful one. That movie was followed by two sequels, “Secrets of the Ooze” in 1991 and the subtitle-less third film in 1993. After a hiatus, a CGI animated film titled “TMNT” was released in 2007 to middling reception. Then came another shot at live-action, in 2014’s “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” and its sequel “Out of the Shadows.” The latest “Ninja Turtles” film was a 2022 spin-off of the last TV series, “Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” released via Netflix. How “Mutant Mayhem” compares remains to be seen, but I’d say setting it in an animated realm is the right direction.

“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem” is set for release in theaters on August 4, 2023.

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