Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Rise!

By Zamantha Muñoz-Morales

Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the movie, went streaming on Netflix on August 5, 2022. Directed by creators of the show, Ant Ward and Andy Suriano, with all of the returning cast members such as Ben Schwartz, Omar Benson, Josh Brener, and Brandon Mychal Smith, this movie is supposedly the final installment of this incarnation of the turtles. The big question on everyone’s mind is, “What’s next for Rise?”

The Storyline

Taking place after the events of season 2, the movie’s main problem comes from an apocalypse in the future.  Casey Jones, who is the student of Future Leo or Sensei Leonardo, guides his master to safety, but as the duo is surrounded by hundreds of Kraang aliens, a more mystical Mikey swoops in. Knowing that the battle is far too drastic, Leo decides the only way to stop the battle is to send Casey to stop the cause of the event.  Casey is a bit skeptical about his sensei’s decision, but after some encouragement from Leo, he decides to go forward with the mission.  What’s the mission you may ask? Find the key, and stop the Kraang. The tone of the first four minutes, and as the movie progresses, is slightly darker as we do get a few bloody scenes and one swear word from Leo, but other than that the movie is still enjoyable for all TMNT fans. A few more details that make the movie enjoyable are the character development (especially for a very egotistical Leo) the visuals, the dialogue, and the overall storyline.

Ups and Downs

Just because I enjoyed the movie doesn’t mean there weren’t any flaws.  I haven’t seen a lot of people talking about this issue in particular, but one issue I had was screen time. Unlike the show, not many major characters had a fair amount of screen time. Honestly, as much as many may agree that it was fair for Leo to have a good majority of the screen time, I felt it was unfair for some of the other characters.  Mystic Mikey was more of a side character than the main protagonist.  Same with Donnie, April, and Splinter especially.  Casey did have a lot of screen time compared to the other turtles besides Leo, but I wish that Leo and Casey were even.  Raph however, was understandable because he did risk his life and was kidnapped by the Kraang.  I do hope if we get a sequel that everyone gets a fair amount of screen time. 

The Overall Review and Season 3

When the movie went to streaming on August 5 of this year, it received generally positive reviews.  Many people who weren’t the biggest TMNT fans enjoyed this movie.  Some Instagram Sonic fans like Sonic Storm Z, SuperSonicFan115, Spindash Collects, and msm.va, even considered it one of the best movies of this year.  Seeing the movie all over social media made me want to watch it. I grew attached to all of the turtles. They may do some zany antics, but it’s still fun to watch.  I did enjoy the 2012 incarnation, but this version was just as good, not just because Leo was voiced by my favorite actor, Ben Schwartz, but because of all of the character development made for him.  Fans are even starting a crusade to get season three of the show.  Season three was in production, but, with some fans hating on the show, they decided a movie was better than a third season. The show has quite a rocky history since it premiered.  Season three was cut out COMPLETELY, season two was split in half, and that’s how we got a shorter series than intended. 

I give this movie 4.5/5 stars because this not only wrapped up the story well but it does leave endless possibilities for season 3 if we do end up getting it.  The only problem was screen time. Other than that, the movie was glorious! Go watch it if you love action or are just looking for some TMNT content to watch.

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