After the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise got a reboot in 2014, a line in the sand was quickly drawn. On one side were fans that embraced the new style and direction that the property was going in under the direction of Michael Bay, and the other side was just too uncomfortable with how far it strayed from the original 80’s comic. With the reboot’s sequel nearing its theatrical release next Friday, a pretty smart move was made at the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows premiere. In a clever throwback to the OG versions of the heroes in a half-shell, 90’s rapper Vanilla Ice and the vintage Jim Henson Creature Shop-looking ninja brothers stormed the stage.For many, writer Kevin Eastman and artist Peter Lairds’ re-imagined Turtles have been widely regarded as the best interpretation. So this was a great attempt at getting some of those unhappy fans to give this new brand of Turtles a try. It was kind of like a thumbs up from the Turtles of old; saying “We’re okay with this, and you should be too!”
Where the shtick fell short was with Vanilla Ice’s rap. While he does say the words “Go ninja go ninja go,” as he did in his performance in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze, he’s not singing the original song at all. Maybe he didn’t have the rights to perform it? Regardless of the reason, it feels like a missed opportunity. Why bring all of these iconic parts of the past together just to bring us more of the new and different? Why not utilize these 90’s elements and give the 90’s Turtles fans what they want… a familiar taste of the 90’s?
Paramount Pictures‘ first Bay-produced Turtles film didn’t fare too well with the fans, but maybe second time’s a charm?
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows hits U.S. theaters on June 3, 2016.