Mutant turtle brothers Donatello (Micah Abbey), Michelangelo (Shamon Brown Jr.), Leonardo (Nicolas Cantu) and Raphael (Brady Noon) have spent all their lives growing up in an underground sewer with their over-protective adopted dad, a mutant rat named Splinter (Jackie Chan). Their one-time venture into the outside world ended up disastrously and so Splinter taught them all ninja skills for self-protection.
Now teenagers, the turtles are naturally curious and keen to venture outside. They meet up with April (Ayo Edebiri), an aspiring journalist, who befriends them. New York City is in chaos, however, as a criminal named Superfly (Ice Cube), helped by his friends, is determined to rid the world of human beings. Superfly and his gang are also mutant creatures, and the four turtles must either persuade them to stop their reign of terror or defeat them. Let the mayhem begin.
Science fiction; adoptive families; ninjitsu; acceptance
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem has a lot of violence including many scenes of the turtles using their Ninjitsu skills which include the use of Katana swords, Japanese Sai swords, Bo staff, Nunchucks and throwing stars. There are also many scenes of fighting, punching, kicking, explosions and aggression. For example:
- A private squadron employed by Techno Cosmic Research Institute (TCRI) smashes through the door of a lab and pins a worker to the wall. Flying creatures then crash through the room and attack the chief of the squadron who fires at them. In so doing, he hits gas cylinders which explode and set fire to the lab. Stockman is seen lying on the ground.
- The turtles go into the outside world with Splinter where they are attacked by dogs and people throw things at them. The turtles get thrown in front of an oncoming truck which narrowly misses them.
- Many car chases with vehicles being thrown into the air and crashing down.
- The turtles attack a gang of thugs who have stolen April’s scooter. The thugs are mean and vicious and a fight breaks out between them. The turtles use their Ninja skills to defeat the gang who are shown lying on the ground.
- The TCRI squadron captures the turtles and knocks Leonardo out with a weapon. The turtles are tied to a wall and ‘milked’ for their mutagen. One of them cries in pain.
- The executive of the TCRI electrocutes the turtles who sizzle and are seen as black and white skeletons.
- Superfly stomps through the city, smashing everything under foot. He picks up cars and throws them as weapons. The turtles are in a bus, which Superfly kicks over a bridge.
- Superfly crushes the turtles in his hand. Splinter comes to their rescue but is thrown to the ground. People come to the aid of the turtles who manage to throw a weapon into Superfly’s mouth. He explodes.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem has some sexual references. For example:
- Leonardo wants to have a girlfriend. He falls in love with April.
- Splinter falls in love with Scumbag, a cockroach.
- When the turtles mention they are afraid of being ‘milked’, they’re told they can’t be milked because they don’t have nipples.
Alcohol, drugs and other substances
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem has some substance use. For example, radioactive ‘ooze’ is used to transform the creatures.
Nudity and sexual activity
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem has some nudity and sexual activity. For example, Splinter and Scumbag kiss on the mouth.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem has some product placement. For example, Doritos.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem has some coarse language and name-calling.
Ideas to discuss with your children
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem is an animated, sci-fi adventure movie, in which the Turtles want to prove themselves as heroes in order to be accepted by humans. The movie has quite a few underlying messages about adoptive families and the need to fit in as teenagers. However, it is also quite intense in parts and has a high level of violence. It is therefore not suitable for children under 10 and parental guidance is recommended for children aged 10-11.
These are the main messages from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem:
- You can still be a hero even if you aren’t accepted.
- It’s important to include others who are different.
Values in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem that you could reinforce with your children include the importance of family, teamwork, tolerance, courage, bravery, empathy and brotherhood.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem could also give you the chance to talk with your children about real-life issues like these:
- Teenagers need to be allowed to make some decisions for themselves, even if they’re not always the right ones.
- Sometimes we don’t realise we have choices, but we all have choices in life.