The Moya View

TNMT: Mutant Mayhem— Oozing Growing Charisma

Paramount Pictures

Storyline via Rotten Tomatoes:

After years of being sheltered from the human world, the Turtle brothers set out to win the hearts of New Yorkers and be accepted as normal teenagers. Their new friend, April O’Neil, helps them take on a mysterious crime syndicate, but they soon get in over their heads when an army of mutants is unleashed upon them.


Paramount Pictures

There is balance in the summer movie universe. The intellectuals have their Oppenheimer. The woman and girls have their Barbie. For the men, and those grown boys who refuse to grow up, and are forever collecting action figures, there is Teenage Ninja Mutant Turtles: Mutant Mayhem.

Paramount Pictures

The title is code for the TNMT devotees that this is not a sequel but another variant rebooting, reinventing of their universe that must occur every five years or so. The mutant is in their name. The mayhem is their main game. So the revenants are being notified that this is the same old friends trying on just another new animation style.

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Call it Spider Verse like. It imitates the wildly successful and critically applauded Sony animated Spider-Man franchise. There is just less hectic visuals, character and story depth. The turtles unless they change their name in the comics will always remain teenagers- just the way their readers will always prefer it.

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The turtles are all drawn identically, only their ninja eye ware distinguishes them. I’m not an overt turtles fan and can’t tell which color bandana belongs to whom. Their personalities are defined to their color and I haven’t heard from reviewers that the team of writers, which include prankster comic actor and comedian Seth Rogan, are playing a shell game by switching colors and personalities. Only Shredder, who is voiced by Jackie Chan, seems a little more wizened. He resembles a stretched out Yoda, dumped in trash can vanilla ice cream, but with twice the fighting skills.

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So the plot involves trying to stretch their teenage existence, by stretching the amount of independence that they can get away with before their parental unit decides “grounding” rules are necessary. No big change there. The twist involves the main villain, Superfly. He is evil and twice as annoying and childish as them. The turtles are not liking what they see and since they can’t defeat him using the same old baby pranks, they decide to grow four sets of cojones and fight him with more mature moves and forward, cooperative thinking and teamwork.

Paramount Pictures

The voice casting is pretty on point if you are familiar a bit with the franchise. The one new thing is the constant cacophony of voices that interrupt each other and eventually merge into one voice. It’s the perfect growing up metaphor.

Paramount Pictures

The animation also soars, imparting a hidden emotional level that makes it a crowd pleaser. It’s a combination of old hand drawn looking animation but with the rough edges left in. It gives it a slight stop motion quality that isn’t distracting- a loose graffiti essence. Fight scenes are kind of controlled chaos. Everything is edited with a smoothness that emphasizes its awkward beauty. It all grows towards something wonderful, recognizable and moving to the parents who grew up on TNMT— and new, exciting, elemental to the child just coming to them.

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TNMT: Mutant Mayhem has the reverence of a tradition being taught and passed down. It gets a 3.5 out of 5 or a B+.

Paramount Pictures


Directed by

Jeff Rowe

Screenplay by

Story by

Based on

Produced by

  • Seth Rogen
  • Evan Goldberg
  • James Weaver


Edited by

Greg Levitan

Music by



Distributed by

Paramount Pictures

Release dates

  • June 12, 2023(Annecy)
  • August 2, 2023(United States)

Running time

100 minutes[1]


United States




$70–80 million

Paramount Pictures


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