In one last get-out-the-green push, Paramount Pictures has released a final trailer for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem. Based on the comic books and their various adaptations, Mutant Mayhem is a reimaging of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles from Seth Rogen, which presumably means they’re all potheads now. Seriously, though, the emphasis is on the word “teenage,” with young actors voicing the Turtles for the first time; even April O’Neill is a teenager in this version. The plot description showcases this element, saying the Turtles are determined “to be accepted as normal teenagers,” but they also have to fight a crime syndicate made up of evil mutants. Directed by Jeff Rowe from a screenplay by Rowe, Rogen, Evan Goldberg, Dan Hernandez, and Benj Samit, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem will arrive in theaters on August 2, 2023, and you can see the final trailer below:
I haven’t been interested in Mutant Mayhem since the first trailer. I don’t care for this style of animation at all, the humor so far is corny, and I’m not sure I like the idea of the Turtles sounding so young. I understand the impetus to make them like real teenagers, but they lose a lot of their cool when you do that. And the humor is a little too heavy; I know the classic cartoon – which was my entry point into the franchise – had a lot of humor, but it was balanced with a serious take on doing good and martial arts, with characters more solemn than the Turtles. Look at Splinter, for example; he was a serious ninja master who tried to teach the Turtles honor and discipline. This version, voiced by Jackie Chan, sounds goofy, because the way of these things now is that absolutely everything has to be goofy. Watching this final trailer, though, I wondered if maybe it was me more than the movie; perhaps I’ve just grown out of the Turtles to a large extent. Would I find the old show as funny or interesting if I watched it today? At the same time, my oldest friend has been introducing his sons to the series from our youth, and they love it. It’s that Principal Skinner meme come to life for me. So, maybe this will be good but simply not for me, like a lot of stuff now – or, more accurately, no longer for me. Then again, I remember the trailer for that Santa Inc. thing Seth Rogen produced and think I may not be the issue.
The marketing for this is very clever, though.