Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III

1993 Directed by Stuart Gillard. Starring Mark Caso, Jim Raposa, Matt Hill, David Fraser, Paige Turco, Elias Turco, Vivian Wu, Sab Shimono, Stuart Wilson.

REVIEWED By Marjorie Baumgarten, Fri., March 26, 1993

The kids sure do love these creatures. Their folks can't understand why. And that, in a nut -- er, tortoise -- shell justifies the attraction. They are legend; they are lore; they are turtles; hear them roar. We won't dwell here on their history or their past, it wouldn't contribute especially to our understanding. All you need to know is that this time our teenage mutants time-travel back to 17th century Japan. Why? Because it's there? Because they're ninjas? Because it's the only way to rescue their friend April (Turco) who's gotten sucked into the time-space continuum by some discarded scepter she found at a flea market? Plot's not a real big concern in this epic. Neither is plausibility (things like, why is everyone in feudal Japan bilingually adept at both English and Japanese?). While four 17th century Japanese bodyguards get beamed up to modern-day New York City to fill the spatial void created by the turtle teens' absence, our hard-shelled heroes scrappily wend their way through Japanese palace and countryside doing what their audiences best love them for -- smart-mouthing and ninja fighting. These fun-loving mutants meet life on their own terms, they are heroes despite themselves. Their appeal is apparently strong enough to overcome any potential disturbance regarding plot disjointedness, pseudo-scientific reasoning and historical inaccuracy. Still, these Teenage Mutant Ninja epics are not really mind-numbing so much as mind-less. And it's unlikely that any new chapter in the series will ever rival the first installment for its sheer originality of concept. I mean, we're talking teenage-mutant-ninja-turtles. Where do you go from there? To the dictionary for more adjectives? Look at it this way; it could be worse. Your kids could be hooked on Barney.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More by Marjorie Baumgarten
Sound Unseen Review: <i>Stardust</i>
Sound Unseen Review: Stardust
The birth of Bowie the icon retold with more glimmer than glitter

Nov. 16, 2020

Damnation
Béla Tarr's turning point drama lovingly and bleakly restored

Nov. 13, 2020

KEYWORDS FOR THIS FILM

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III, Stuart Gillard, Mark Caso, Jim Raposa, Matt Hill, David Fraser, Paige Turco, Elias Turco, Vivian Wu, Sab Shimono, Stuart Wilson

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle