Reviewed by: Eric Tiansay
|• Teens • Young-Adults • Adults
|Animation Sci-Fi Superhero Crime Action Adventure Comedy Sequel
|1 hr. 39 min.
|Year of Release:
August 1, 2023 (3,513 theaters)
August 4, 2023 (wide release—3,858 theaters)
DVD: December 12, 2023
Importance of doing the right thing
Being a hero
Protecting others from harm, even thos who persecute them
Stepfather’s concern for the 4 turtles’ safety and wellbeing
Substances that cause genetic mutations
Why don’t mutations help Evolutionists? Answer
Mutations: Magic Wands or Menace? Answer
Series of violent robberies
Wanting to be a hero
What is LYING? What are the truly BIG lies of our world?
Micah Abbey … Donatello (voice)
Shamon Brown Jr. … Michelangelo (voice)
Nicolas Cantu … Leonardo (voice)
Brady Noon … Raphael (voice)
Ayo Edebiri … April O’Neil (voice)
Maya Rudolph … Cynthia Utrom (voice)
John Cena … Rocksteady (voice)
Seth Rogen … Bebop (voice)
Rose Byrne … Leatherhead (voice)
Jackie Chan … Splinter (voice)
Ice Cube … Superfly (voice)
Paul Rudd … Mondo Gecko (voice)
Post Malone (Austin Post) … Ray Fillet (voice)
Natasia Demetriou … Wingnut (voice)
Giancarlo Esposito … Baxter Stockman (voice)
See all »
Nickelodeon Animation Studios
Point Grey Pictures
See all »
|Paramount Pictures Corporation, a subsidiary of ViacomCBS
The crime-fighting turtles are back on the big screen and critics as well as moviegoers saying “cowabunga” over “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem.”
But media-savvy families would be wise to say “cowa be careful” regarding the animated reboot’s questionable content, despite its misleading PG rating.
Featuring cool animation (think Spider Verse style) that evoke a claymation feel at times, the action-packed movie was entertaining, with some funny dialogue and clever pop culture references. The film also espouses working together, the importance of family, bravery, opposing evil at all cost, and not repaying those who persecute you.
Unfortunately, the latest TMNT film also features unnecessary course language as well as many times God’s name is used in vain, gross humor, dark content and intense violence plus woke content that belongs in the sewer.
Speaking of the sewer, the movie begins with a scientist dumping strange green ooze into the New York City sewer in order to keep the mutant formula from a top secret military group that wants to weaponize the chemicals.
The scientist intentionally infects his large pet mutant fly (who becomes Superfly and is voiced by Ice Cube) as well as the other animals in his lab with the ooze. He then dumps the rest down the sewer and it also gets on his pet rat, Splinter (Jackie Chan).
Splinter also sees the ooze get onto four baby turtles in the sewer, so he gathers them and raises them as his own children, with the ooze turning all those infected into humanoid forms. Additionally, Splinter trains the siblings in ninjitsu.
After 15 years of being sheltered from the human world in the sewers, the four turtle brothers Leonardo (Nicolas Cantu), Raphael (Brady Noon), Donatello (Micah Abbey), and Michelangelo (Shamon Brown Jr.) set out for the surface in hopes of beeing accepted as normal teenagers when their new friend and aspiring reporter April O’Neil (Ayo Edebiri), helps them take on a notorious crime syndicate led by Superfly and his gang of mutants.
April accidentally convinces them that in order to be accepted they must become heroes by helping to take down Superfly, who is bent on destroying all humans as revenge for the death of his scientist owner.
Despite humans seeing mutants as freaks and monsters, the foursome will do all they can to protect people, although Splinter disagrees.
Because he was persecuted by humans, the turtles’ adoptive rat father has always taught the boys: “Humans are the demon scum of the earth; avoid them, don’t say ‘hi.’ They lust to murder that which is different from them; to interact with them is to die.”
Some heavy stuff for a PG-rated animated flick, right?
A dad who watched “Mutant Mayhem” with his boys (aged 7 and 11) during my screening perhaps had some interesting and spot-on observations:
”My boys and I did find the movie enjoyable, which was funny at times and action packed. It had a clever plot, although sometimes it seemed a little erratic or jumbled.
The PG rating is a bit confusing for me as there were numerous curse words. It had a ton of violence and God’s name was used in vain quite often. The one character Bepop (Seth Rogen) had a large nipple ring that was shown close up a few times. It was a little weird and uncomfortable for a kid’s movie. Having to explain that to my 7-year-old was interesting. That was not something my parents had to explain to me when I was watching TMNT as a child.
The woke component is off the charts. It seemed to me they made Splinter into a lonely, loser, single dad, which I did not appreciate. Why do Hollywood and the media feel it necessary to portray the average American dad as a lonely, loser, clueless person? It is sad and it showed up again in this movie. They refused to call him “Master” as some in the woke community call that word racist.
There was a scene in the high school where on the bulletin board you clearly see multiple posters, including “LGBTQ+ History Month” and “Pride Awareness” flyers as well as a transgender flag.”
Indeed, the Bible is clear on much of the content that he brought up.
“If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.” —Matthew 18:6
“Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.” —Ephesians 5:4
Bottom-line: The change of making the turtles act and sound like actual teens was a stroke of genius, as it made the film fresh, but all of the non-family-friendly content (disguised in the PG rating) was the dumbest move of all.
“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem” is rated PG for sequences of violence and action, language and impolite material. Leonardo speaks of getting a girlfriend. Some of the turtles mention that they “don’t even have nipples.” Raphael talks about how he dreams of violence every night. There are scenes of moderate comic violence that may be intense for some viewers. April vomits during news interviews because she is very nervous. Superfly is said to have killed several people, but it is not depicted on screen. There is a scene where the turtles fight a gang of bad guys in an auto chop shop to retrieve April’s electric scooter. The violence may be comic in nature, but it could be considered pretty intense for some younger viewers.
Some of the mutants like Superfly, Rockstedy, Leatherhead, Wingnut and Bebop may frighten some young viewers. When the mutants try to fit in, the humans are all frightened and call them “monsters.”
Splinter is shown to be attracted to and carrying on a romantic relationship with a mutant cockroach. They are shown kissing very passionately, which grosses out his turtles, and is also meant to be comedic and disgusting.
In a scene at an outdoor theater, a random adult is seen chugging a drink while being encouraged by his peer. It is not made clear whether the beverage is alcoholic or not.
Learn about DISCERNMENT—wisdom in making personal entertainment decisions
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