This Ninja Turtles doesn't quite get there, but it's at least in possession of some self-awareness. Everything about the concept is, as always, absurd. Here we find the mythology adjusted just slightly to up the role of April O'Neil (Megan Fox). Where April is always buddy-buddy with the turtles, here she's also something of their lord and savior. We meet her as a struggling reporter for the Channel 6 News who's been assigned to a string of embarrassing puff pieces. She's unhappy, and desperately trying to get a new angle on the Foot Clan attacks plaguing New York. Convinced that vigilantes are fighting back, April forces herself into the action and finds herself on a rooftop with a group of steroid pumped, oversized turtles. She catches the name of one, and suddenly she's sailing away on a crazy trip down memory lane: realizing the mutations she's just met are the very same "pets" she looked after in her dead father's laboratory.
Here's the deal: there's a fair amount this version of the Ninja Turtles gets right. While the plot doesn't offer anything new, it at least manages to keep the characters clearly delineated and the action pieces functional as more than twisted metal. Raphael, Donatello, Leonardo, and Michelangelo act convincingly like hyperactive 16-year olds, and though we don't get to spend enough time getting to know them, we understand something of their differences, their dynamic, and they're likable enough to lend a too-long chase scene something rather sweet. All the noise and product placement doesn't change the fact that it's not a bad twist on a Saturday morning stand-by, and one that it doesn't pander overtly to the youngest members of its audience. The Turtles manage to be goofy without succumbing wholly to slapstick, and the line of illogic was clear. It may not be the best piece of cinema, but it's far from the worst film of the summer, folks, and it certainly doesn't fail in what it sets out to do.