TMNT: Mutant Mayhem
The newest iteration of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is here. Mutant Mayhem presents itself with a fresh new approach to the origins of the turtles and how they become heroes in New York City. There is also new approach to April O’ Neil as this time around she’s a high school teenager with ambitions of being a journalist one day. The Ninja Turtles also have a new visual style in this animated feature, with its 2D and 3D animation wowing audiences.
Its a thrilling, ninety-seven-minute adventure that all feels new, but in the end, it’s the same old sewer-dwelling teenagers that we’ve loved for nearly forty years.
Mutant Mayhem Plot Summary
TMNT: Mutant Mayhem kicks off with a prologue that takes place fifteen years earlier. When a swat team storms into the basement laboratory of a mad scientist trying to mutate animals, the scientific ooze spills down into the sewers. In an intertwining flashback provided by Splinter (voiced by Jackie Chan), we see how he was a lonely rat rummaging through New York. He met the turtles when they were babies, covered in slime. Thus mutating him into his appearance as well due to his close contact with raising them.
As we get their origin story again, we also learn about the villain Superfly (voiced by Ice Cube), and his gang were the remaining animals left behind from that raid fifteen years earlier. Superfly is now the new crime boss in New York, running amok with criminal endeavours but is hardly ever seen. The reason being is that, like the turtles, he is a mutant.
The Ninja Turtles link up with an aspiring journalist, a teenager by the name of April O’ Neil, the newest imagining of the great supporting role in the franchise. The two agree to tackle Superfly and his evil doings until they eventually get in over their heads.
What is Superfly’s plan?
It takes awhile for Mutant Mayhem to even reach its inciting incident. You’re kind of just hanging out with the boys and April for the first 45 minutes. We know of Superfly and his evil ways as he steals tech from around the city, but there isn’t a rush to meet him. As a matter of fact, we don’t meet Superfly and his crew of mutants until the back half of the movie!
In an attempt to capture him, the boys backpedal realizing they are overpowered and outnumbered. For a brief moment, they play along and align themselves with Superfly out of fear of being killed. Eventually, they do what needs to be done.
Superfly’s plan is to destroy New York City after how he has been mistreated by humans. Based on the technology he has stolen, he plans to make a mutating machine. His goal is to mutate all of the animals in the world to overtake humans. His despise for humans, oddly enough, lines up with Splinter’s feelings about humans as well.
What happens during the final fight?
When push comes to shove, Splinter is able to see the good in mankind during the film’s climactic battle as his sons are helped by the humans of New York.
In a battle with the Turtles, Splinter and the mutants (who once were on Superfly’s side) let the machine he had built fall onto him after he crashes into the ocean. However, that is only the beginning. Superfly then mutates into a giant version of himself. His target is to level New York City like Godzilla would with Tokyo.
Who’s the real hero?
Despite the turtles full-on attack on a now giant Superfly, it’s April O’Neil who truly saves the day. Superfly is defeated due to an antidote being used against him. April overcomes her fears of talking on television and interrupts one of the many news broadcasts condemning the boys for creating this monster. You can tell the angle is a commentary on how people, specifically Americans, can fabricate the news.
Without April getting to live her dream of reporting a big story, New York City would be doomed. While the battle between the turtles and Superfly rages on in Times Square, all the people of the city see April on the giant news screens and decide to help Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael, and Donatello. This is a moment that turns things around for even Splinter, who has lived in hatred of the humans on the surface due to how he was treated once.
It could also be argued that TMNT: Mutant Mayhem is a great New York film. When a major issue calls for the good of the people to rise up, the city always comes together.
What is the overarching theme of the film?
What Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles does incredibly well is keep its theme under the surface until it needs to make its way out into the open. A lot like the mutants from the sewers, the Ninja Turtles want to be accepted; April wants to be accepted; Splinter wishes he was accepted but has given up hope; even Superfly anted acceptance but never got it. It is about helping those different from you defeat a common evil.
Is there an end credits scene?
After the initial ending credits, we get to see the boys go off to high school, something they have yearned to do for the whole film. But we then learn of a new evil lurking in the shadows, watching New York City from afar, and that, of course, is the arch nemesis of the turtles, Shredder!
So, there ya have it. TMNT: Mutant Mayhem is a fun film for fans of the characters past and present.
Have you watched this movie? What did you think of the ending of the film? Let us know in the comments below!