Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 

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It seems like a marriage was made in heaven between Hong Kong's Golden Harvest Films and Jim Henson's Muppetry. The delightful offspring is a live-action romp based on Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird's comic book characters, scripted by Todd W. Langen and Bobby Herbeck with the sort of goofy wit that suggests that Thomas Pynchon could have made pseudonymous contributions to the dialogue, 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 and reached their 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 and music by M.C. Hammer, Johnny Kemp, Hi Tek 3, and Orchestra on the Half Shell. (Biograph, Burnham Plaza, Chicago Ridge, Forest Park, Golf Mill, Lincoln Village, Oakbrook Center, Orland Square, Water Tower, Grove, Woodfield, Ford City, Deerbrook, Evanston, Hyde Park, Norridge)

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