Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III (1993)

DVD Cover (New Line Studios Reissue)
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Overall Rating 45%
Overall Rating
Ranked #2,834
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When their closest friend April O'Neil discovers an ancient scepter with magical powers, the turtles must cow-a-bunga their way back to 17th century Japan to rescue her from the evil clutches of Lord Norinaga. --IMDb
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Review by Crispy
Added: July 26, 2012
By this point, Turtle Power was long past its peak, quickly losing ground to those upstart Power Rangers. Combined with just how cartoony this flick was, and it's easy to see that the end was near for our reptilian heroes.

It's been a couple years since the turtles have decidedly vanquished the Foot clan and its leader, Shredder. While I'm sure they've ventured out to take out the occasional petty mugger, they haven't really been challenged in awhile, and as you can imagine, the monotony is starting to get to them. Still, they carry on, until their friend April O'Neil pops in with gifts from the local flea market. Among them is an antique Japanese lantern looking thing that seems to be nothing more than an ancient egg-timer. That is until said Japanese lantern looking thing transports her back in time to feudal Japan, exchanging her with Prince Kenshin. The prince explains that his father, Lord Norinaga, is a tyrant, and his girlfriend, Miso, is leading a rebellion. Calling in their old pal Casey Jones to babysit Kenshin, our four reptilian heroes head back themselves, braving the civil war, to get April back. And as if Norinaga and his insane arms dealer, Walker, wasn't bad enough, they also have to be on their way back to New York within two and a half days, or they're not coming back at all.

Well, folks, here we are. The path towards mirroring its counterpart's cartooniness that began in the first sequel is here in full force. Don't get me wrong. I know that the first movie's dark grittiness was actually the oddball in the franchise, but I mean, time travel? First of all, this was right after the third arcade game just did something similar (and better, mind), and if that doesn't put the target age into perspective, I don't know what will. Plus, as nice as it was to see Elias Koteas return to the fold, seeing the quick-to-fight Casey Jones reduced to a babysitter role was pretty disheartening. And then there's the one liners. Oh, the one liners. They're enough to make you want to punch a small child in the stomach; they're flat-out not funny, and there's just no stopping the endless stream of them.

As annoying as the sudden drop into cartoon world was, what was truly devastating to this outing is the lack of any real villains. Sure, Walker is supposedly this homicidal war monger, but Stuart Wilson plays more of, well, just a jerk. At no point does it feel like he's truly a threat to our heroes. Same thing with Norinaga. When you're just coming off of two flicks of Shredder, the first unstoppable menace in the life of yours truly, these two nitwits just flat out aren't going to cut it. I mean, look back at the second movie. Yeah, you had sausage nunchucks, lethal yo-yos and Vanilla Ice, but between Super-Shredder, Tokka and Rahzar, the terrifying trio was more than enough to counter the cheese.

I'm a huge fan of the first two Ninja Turtle flicks, but part three fails to please on all levels. It's got a bit of nostalgia working in its favor, but that's all it brings to the table, and that alone isn't going to take you that far. 3/10.
Crispy #1: Crispy - added November 24, 2013 at 10:14am
Me and a buddy were talking about this, and it would have been leagues better had they brought in Baxter Stockman instead. Maybe the budget wasn't there for the fly costume and the mousers, but it could have matched II's cheesiness (which was still at an acceptable level), and actually gave fans something to smile about. Rat King would have been another great villain for the movies, but they'd have to return to the original grittiness to do him justice.
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