Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles | Chicago Reader

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Rated PG 93 minutes 1990

A marriage made in heaven—Hong Kong's Golden Harvest Films and Jim Henson's Muppetry—yielded this 1990 live-action romp, scripted by Todd W. Langen and Bobby Herbeck (with a goofy wit that suggests pseudonymous contributions to the dialogue by Thomas Pynchon) and directed with skill and assurance by Steve Barron. The plot involves a TV investigative reporter (Judith Hoag), a rise in thievery in Manhattan occasioned by a teenage gang known as the Foot (masterminded and exploited by a ninja villain called the Shredder), and the noble adversaries of the thieves—four teenage turtles and their rat ninja master who dwell in the sewer system, grown to abnormal size through exposure to radioactivity. Also involved is the reporter's son (Michael Turney), split between no less than three rival father figures, and an independent vigilante (Elias Koteas) who joins the turtles. The results are high-spirited martial arts and comedy, with heavy doses of Star Wars and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

Film Credits

Director: Steve Barron

Producer: David Chan, Kim Dawson, Simon Fields, Graham Cottle and Rizwan Chowhan

Cast: Judith Hoag, Elias Koteas, Josh Pais, Michelan Sisti, Leif Tilden, David Forman, Michael Turney, Jay Patterson, Raymond Gerra, James Saito, Toshishiro Obata, Robbie Rist, Corey Feldman and Brian Tochi

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