3 out of 5
Director: Stuart Gillard
Am I so awful for liking this more than II? While it lacks the simple awesomeness and respect of the first one, and the outright goofiness of the second, TMNT III is actually a pretty solid film, and more true to the characters and style of their stories than the second film was. While II was sort of just a second bid for cash – and it showed in the over-the-topness – this seems more like a tribute to the turtles (helmed by a writer-director, which is strange for these kinds of films!). Though I accept that it’s still a grab for cash to a certain extent, the movie seems more enjoyable on the whole, as opposed to the second being MUCH better when you’re a kid. The sets are good, the acting is pretty solid, and the jokes are actually well played. It also puts weapons back in the turtles hands, and finds a fairly successful villain replacement for Shredder. Yes, the costumes are no longer Henson-helmed and act funny, but this felt more like a deserved sequel to the first film (sort of like Die Hard 3 vs. 2). And by the way, this one looks great on blu-ray.