He is the director who polarises audiences one explosion at a time. He is the director who gave us the awesomeness that is Transformers, the nonsensical Transformers 2, and the diabolical Transformers 3. He is the director who gave us the most amazing scenes ever with Megan Fox pretending to know stuff about cars and bikes.
So today it was announced that Michael Bay will be taking his turn at bringing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to the big screen. Spoiler Alert – The turtles turn out to be aliens. This has incensed a lot of people from every corner of the globe, with one former voice actor for the cartoon series saying that Michael Bay is “sodomizing” the TMNT legacy.
Time to get over it guys. It’s probably going to hurt a little bit inside but modern kids just don’t get the old school TMNT cartoons that our childhood was blessed with. Take off those rose-tinted glasses, appreciate the past for all it’s worth, and be a true fan by helping as many kids as you can to experience the awesomeness of TMNT with this new movie. Nobody is going to take your childhood away, the personal experiences you had with this great show have helped to define who you are and will stay with you forever.
This notion of reboots and adaptations destroying childhoods is a tired one, one for people who are so caught up by that favourite TV show or book they loved that they refuse to acknowledge any reimagination of that TV show or book that does not match the lingering memories in their head. Oh no they left out Tom Bombadil out of Lord of the Rings – whoop-dee-doo. Harry and Hermione never shared an intimate dance in the books – no but it was a nice touch that showed how deep their relationship had become better than any dialogue could have done.
I can understand why people get upset when the movie version leaves out their favourite part or adds in new material that never existed in the original works, but not including that one scene that meant something deeply personal to you does not mean that the movie sucks. It’s time to appreciate that the original material is just that, material, and the writers / director are going to use that material as the basis for their own story that makes sense as a film. The book / TV show movie adaptations that fail are the ones that try to stick exactly to the book and make no effort to turn the material into their own story ie Eragon. If you want some good examples of film makers making the material their own, look no further than the Harry Potter films directed by David Yates, or the new 21 Jump Street movie written by Jonah Hill. Awesome movies that stay true to the essence of the source material but with their own style and flare.
Michael Bay is not destroying your childhood, he is just using certain aspects of it as a setting for his explosions. And I am comfortable with that, TMNT is a cartoon show that could have used more explosions.