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Reboots are common in the film industry. Whether they are necessary or not, however, is often debatable—and generally, they are indeed unnecessary. The new take on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles may be what the franchise needed to appeal to modern-day kids—but may also alienate former fans.

The Ninja Turtles have seen quite a few incarnations since their debut as a comic in the 80s, including a hugely popular cartoon series—quite possibly their most well-known and well-loved incarnate—that ran from 1987 to 1996. The live action movies in the early 90s were fairly ridiculous but also popular, and of course, Nickelodeon’s acquisition of the franchise and subsequent CGI cartoon series seems to be doing well, as it has been on for three seasons so far. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which opens on August 8, has the potential to further this success, although fans of the classic series may not be too keen on modernizing their favorite characters.

This TMNT movie is a reboot through and through. Perhaps the most interesting change comes with April O’Neil (Megan Fox), whose own character history is now interwoven with the turtles’ past. April, who still holds her role as a TV news reporter, is the daughter of one of the scientists who created the turtles and their sensei, Master Splinter. In the film, she rescues them from a laboratory fire and sets them free in the sewers of New York City, where the heroes grow to their mutated ninja form. Also, she is no longer a redhead, which is a bit of a travesty and may upset her former red-headed fans (this comes from a colleague who is, indeed, upset at the hair color change). Meanwhile, Splinter is also now a father figure for the teenage turtles as well as their teacher of ninjutsu (as opposed to being a mutated ninja master as he was depicted in the cartoons). This is not your classic Turtles—it is a brand new entity.

As for the 3D film, it is blatantly apparent that Michael Bay had his hand in it. Think epic and visually overwhelming battle scenes, loud noises and gigantic creatures (Shredder’s new look turns him into somewhat of a human-robot hybrid, similar to a pimped-out Darth Vader, but with an extensive array of sharp, pointy knives). At times, the action can get a bit dizzying, so be warned that you are definitely in for an action flick that doesn’t slow down once the action is in play.

Megan Fox makes for an endearing April, while Will Arnett as Vernon Fenwick is a decent counterpart and comic relief as April’s cameraman for Channel 6 news. As this is definitely a kids’ movie, though Vernon is meant to be attracted to April, the attraction is downplayed, for better or for worse (after all, the Turtles are the stars, right?). To be honest, Arnett’s character is mostly there as he is the one with a vehicle. The Turtles, meanwhile, are still teenagers and act expectedly immature at times—especially Michelangelo, who holds onto his goofy charm and is constantly crushing on April. Raphael is still the reckless bad boy, Donatello is still the leader and Donatello is still the brains of the operation. The main thing that feels strange—aside from their obvious CGI appearances—is that their accents are much more generic than in the cartoons.

Unfortunately for older fans, there is only one utterance of “cowabunga” and very little references to the past series (Arnett says “heroes in a half shell” once). This is truly an all-new take on the classic series meant to draw a new audience. Even the logo puts more emphasis on “Ninja Turtles,” leaving the “Teenage Mutant” part in small print. If you’re not a fan of change, this movie is not for you—but it is fine for the novelty and perhaps reliving your first discovery of the heroes.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will undoubtedly do well at the box office and will probably go on to have sequels, but it is by no means perfect. Director Jonathan Liebesman handles the franchise just “OK,” but to be fair, he is attempting to re-invent the wheel. TMNT is definitely a spectacle and is very well-produced, but it is missing the spirit of the original series. Perhaps the problem is in the visual changes, or perhaps it’s the fact that this is a total reboot—but TMNT, while a noble attempt, simply cannot live up to its legacy if it doesn’t pay homage to where it came from.