Review: Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Turtle Fans we have something to be excited about!  Adult TMNT fans, those of us who’ve been there for years seem to get the back burner for needs in a good show or movie.  The main area that usually gives us good stories and characters that think about us fans, is the Comics.  IDW has been amazing and keeps throwing things out there for us fans to embrace.  While the movies and shows keep giving us strong changes that leaves the areas of the Turtles that we know.  While new is good, it’s also nice to remember that the Turtles are still here because they work.  You don’t need to fix something that is not broken, and Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles gives us that feeling.  This is the comic Turtles with a few nods to other beloved areas of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles brought to the screen and better yet, they’re with Batman! 

Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were first brought to us through a Comic Book, which needs to be a review of its own.  But it went over so well, that DC animation brought us this movie.  The news released only a few months ago, brought excitement through the fandoms.  And the trailer was released shortly afterwards.  And they did it right, they did not give us too much but gave enough to get excited.  Months of fans asking each other “What is your thoughts on this?”  Batman and TMNT fans coming together to ask each other, as the comic worked, how will this movie work out?  Can they bring what we loved with the comics to the screen?  The answer is YES!

The movie starts off with the Foot stealing science stuff.  The Turtles have followed the Foot to Gotham and are now in Batman’s turf.  They want to stop the Foot, Batman just wants them all out of his city.  We get to see Batman fight Shredder and the Turtles fight Penguin, then the Turtles and Batman fights each other.  From there it’s a ride of comedy, adventure, epic battles and teamwork.  The movie kept me on the edge of my seat letting out screams of joy and excitement with every scene.  I grew up loving Batman before TMNT was even in my life, this mashup in animation is a dream come true for me. 

I do not want to give the full plot away, if you did not read the comics and have not seen the movie yet.  You want to go into this with an open mind and feel the rush for yourself.  Instead I’ll talk about characters, the OMG moments that just won’t get out of my mind and the thrill of seeing a movie with the Ninja Turtles that did not hold back on the blood and killing.  The kid gloves came off for this film, as it showed that Shredder and the Foot are out for blood, and will kill who ever gets in their way.

Each main character in the film, be it from Batman or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles always had someone to work off of from the other series.  You see team ups like Batman and Leonardo, Shredder and Ra’s al Ghul, Raphael and Robin, Donatello and Batgirl and so many others.  And no one is glued to just one team up, you’ll see others working with each other.  And working off of their characters just right.  The writers made sure to show respect to every character, so there was no dumbing characters down to make other characters look better.  And really did a lot of fan service in making sure we saw things that fans would totally understand and even squeal about.  They did research to make sure that things that happened would make sense and die hard fans of both Batman and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles could share with each other how that is something that would totally happen.  A great way to bring both fandoms together.

Shredder in this movie does not have a lot of his background shown.  You see his Foot Soldiers are not robots. Shredder is willing to kill them, if they step out of bounds or talk too much.  His ego is there, knowing how great of a fighter he is, as he faces off against Batman at a point in the film where he could’ve just left.  His hate for everyone around him is clear, and he wants to be in charge of everything.  Best of all, they have a real motive for why Shredder is even here working with Ra’s al Ghul, which would make sense for a power hungry villain such as the Shredder.  And one thing I personally loved with Shredder was a clue to which origin he could be from in TMNT History.  

Ra’s al Ghul has teamed with Shredder to destroy Gotham.  He has a plan and realized that Shredder doesn’t just have the resources to follow this plan all the way through, but can build the weapon needed to make his plan real.  Though he had to promise something big to get Shredder to agree to this team up.  And they both do not like each other at all.  Great thing with Ra’s al Ghul is his knowledge of Gotham and how he was able to pull in so many other Batman villians that would help keep our heroes busy.  And prove that what he wants could be a true threat to the entire city of Gotham.  He has to pull out his fighting skills to show how much of a true threat he is on his own, as the Turtles learn his age and training could make him a threat that may too much for them to handle. 

Batman is over protective of Gotham and is not a fan of all these new faces showing up.  When he first meets the Turtles, they have their fight where nothing is explained.  Though Batman does get his hands on something to try and understand the Turtles, the second time he comes face to face with the Turtles is a bit of a shock to him.  This time they get to talk and realize they’re on the same side, but when Batman realizes he can’t control the Turtles actions in a fight he questions if teaming up with these teenagers is a good idea.  He knows there’s work to be done and to much is at risk, as he refuses to even take a break for pizza. 

Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael and Michelangelo are really spot on in this movie.  Like most areas of TMNT, you have to get use to a new character design.  Once you get around that, you see the Turtles being themselves.  Leonardo butting head with Raphael.  Donatello trying to over explain things.  And Michelangelo not just being funny, but loving this family road trip, the weird ways of Gotham and just fanning anything new and exciting that he sees.  Personally Michelangelo is my favorite Turtle, and this movie made me love him even more!  He livens up every scene he’s in, and has that positive side to him.  A jokester, but not dumb and of course skilled.  This is my favorite betrayal of each of the Turtles personality on TV and movies since the 2003 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series.  And the best part is, they don’t have to hold back like they normally do.

Some highlights.  Most of which has to do with Michelangelo for me, as he really did make this movie.   When the Turtles are on a rooftop after their first fight Michelangelo is just fanning how weird Gotham is.  Donatello tries to point out how New York and Gotham are alike.  But Mike has some fun points that he shares on how they are different.  This could inspire fun Fan art.  Shredder and Batman’s fight was a highlight for me, as I don’t normally care too much for fight scenes a lot of the time I feel same old, same old… but in this fight I really didn’t know who would win and if someone could win, how it would happen.  Which made their fight really interesting and stood out to me.  And now I could just go on about Michelangelo highlights, his first time seeing the Batmobile, his way of trying to decide if Batman is good or not.  His first time to the Batcave and so much more!   Mikey truly represents us fans with the things he says and does around Batman.  Because of that his scenes just make me giddy  as I watch the movie.

One thing I’ll love to point out is their nods to other versions of the Ninja Turtles.  While I do love Batman and have seen a lot of his movies, I have not read his comics and can’t say I’ve seen everything Batman.  So while I’m sure they do the same for Batman fans, but with TMNT I saw the different amazing nods.  To origins of the Foot Clan to quotes from the movies and mixtures of stuff from some of the TMNT cartoons.  I have a personal favorite nod at one point when pizza is in the movie.  I heard a line and I said a quote from one of the TMNT Movies outloud, then I heard the same quote come from Raphael and Michelangelo in the movie!  I squealed with glee at that moment as it meant a lot to me to see that get referenced in this film.  Giving me high respects for the writers. 

The voice cast for the film really did great.  I think Kyle Mooney is a totally amazing Michelangelo.  I can’t say I know his work from anywhere else, but I wouldn’t mind him returning to be Mikey again.  Troy Baker did good at both Batman and Joker in this film.  And I really did like Andrew Kishnio as the Shredder.  I think the only voice I could not wrap my head around, is also the only TMNT character I felt was written different than I know him, is Baxter Stockman that was voiced by Keith Ferguson.  I liked the twists they did with this Baxter, and would like to know his origin story cause he does not fit any of the Baxter’s that I normally fan.  I like him more than the Baxter Stockman in the “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows” Movie.  His voice just threw me off every time he spoke.  Interesting new twist.

Some other voice actors I’ll like to make mention of who worked on this film is Eric Bauza, the voice of Leonardo.  TMNT fans may know his work from the 2012 series as Tiger Claw, Hun and a few minor characters.  He is also the voice of Splinter in “Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”  and he’s Donatello in the 2016 short “TMNT: Don vs Raph” and Leonardo in another 2016 short “Turtles in Time and “Space!””.  Making his way through TMNT History, this is a great guy that I love spotting through the realms of Ninja Turtles.  We also have Tom Kenny the voice of Penguin, Jim Meskimen playing Commissioner Gordon and Scarecrow, and John DiMaggio as Mr. Freeze.  These three also have respective roles in previous versions of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. 

I love this movie and highly encourage everyone to see it.  Now released to digital sites such as ITunes and will be on DVD/Blu-Ray on June 4th!  Written by Marly Halpern-Graser and Directed by Jake Castorena.  This is a film that will hopefully inspire future movies of great crossovers allowing the comic book versions of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to be animated and brought to life many more times to come!!

Today!  May 14th, 2019 there is a viewing party in Eastpointe, Michigan.  From 5pm to 9pm!  Food, raffles, and fun hang out for Batman and TMNT fans alike!  Movie starts at 6:30pm!  If you’re in the area please do join us!   I’ll be there!

Party Location

Narrow Path Church

17639 E. 9 Mile Rd

Eastpointe, MI,

48021-2562

 

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