The latest Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film was tolerable at best, which is disappointing considering the comics have already been turned into one of the best early superhero movies in existence: 1990's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which is now available to stream via Netflix.
Now subtitled "The Original Film," it's worth going back to see what made Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles such a massive hit for the time. It's live-action, with the special effects handled by Jim Henson's creature shop and some seriously talented stuntmen.
The action scenes are thrilling and well shot, with no shaky cameras to distract your eye. The tone of the film is also pitch-black, with an actual sense of loss and despair in many of the scenes.
It's also an accurate take on the original comic book by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird, and this article does a great job of laying out exactly where the movie takes its inspiration from the original books.
Everyone, from April O'Neil to Casey Jones, feels like an actual, believable human being. Even the turtles themselves look and behave like living things complete with their own personalities and motivations.
It's well-scripted and wonderfully shot with a warm, grainy feel that you rarely see in modern films. There is very little camera trickery, the things you see on the screen were created using practical effects and then shot so you can see exactly what's happening.
The sequels abandoned the original's dark mood and believable action, but we'll always have the original, and now you can watch it again.