You can't sweat out . . .

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles + Mighty Ducks = Fantastic. Secret of the Ooze + D2 = Radical. Just stop there next time, please

In What? This isn't a documentary? on January 29, 2009 at 1:22 am

Someone, somewhere, once told me, “Good things come in threes.”  It was probably a drunk guy referring to threesomes he never had, but that’s neither here nor there.    A lot of times, three is in fact better than two.  That’s just how quantities work.   In the case of movies, however,  the third is sometimes the straw that breaks the camel’s back.  And, in turn, makes me extremely angry.

The two prime offenders?  Whoever green lit the third movies in the Mighty Duck and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle franchises.

Seeing D3: The Mighty Ducks and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III marked two of the three times I have been most disappointed leaving a movie theater.  For the rest of my life, I will never be as upset leaving the movies as I was when, as a 10 year old,  I begged my mother to bring my brother and I to see The Sandlot on its opening weekend.  Upon learning it was sold out, we went for the next best option: Groundhog Day. When you want Benny “The Jet” Rodriguez stealing bases and get Bill Murray reliving the same day, over, and over, and over again, well, it’s enough to make your ten year old head explode.   I didn’t start to develop sarcasm as my second language until later in life, so Bill Murray’s humor was completely and utterly lost on me.  While I love Groundhog Day now, I hated it in 1993.

But back to the issue at hand.  The two worst third installments after classic movies:

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III:

To be fair, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze were two instant classics in my mind.  The original Turtles was exactly what the doctor ordered, just a full, somewhat humanized, dose of the cartoon I had grown to love.  I remember being shocked that everyone in New York City was fooled into thinking the turtles were humans when they walked around with just a tan trench coat and hat on.  The follow up was even better, involving a somewhat mad scientist, Shredder coming back from his landfill grave, two extremely angry teens (Danny and Raphael), April O’Neill, Casey Jones kicking ass with a variety of weapons, the hapless Foot Clan, and the dimwitted duo of Tokka and Rahzar.  Those last two were inexplicable stand ins for Bee-Bop and Rock Steady, but that is the only complaint I have with Secret of the Ooze.

For the longest time, I was so angry about the third that I swore off TMNT altogether.  I can’t recall anything about the plot besides that the turtles went back in time to ancient Japan to battle with samurais.  Many shenanigans ensued.  At the time, I remember irate: Time travel just isn’t even possible! Apparently mutant turtles fighting crime under the guidance of human-sized rat were very realistic to me back then.

D3: The Mighty Ducks

The progression of the three movies is baffling.  During the first, they are a bunch of little kids playing pond hockey when a high powered lawyer and former Minnesota peewee league legend, Gordon Bombay, is forced to coach them as part his community service sentence for drunk driving.  Classic hockey and life lessons ensue, with Bombay and Captain Charlie Conway leading the way.

From novice skaters to league champions, we watched as Walt Disney pulled our heartstrings.  We even forgave them as they completely skipped several levels of development for D2 and suddenly our favorite skating birds were teaming up with a few other misfits and taking on THE WORLD in the Junior Goodwill Games.  Yes, the kids from Minnesota somehow made it onto the international stage, and even managed to not get penalized for ditching the team USA uniforms for their Ducks sweaters before the third period en route to their victory.

But honestly?  I just saw the Ducks defeat Iceland for the title.  You expect me to get drawn into them having to deal with the varsity team not accepting them as freshmen?  I’m sorry, but that was almost as unrealistic to me as a bunch of crime fighting mutants using a sceptor to time travel.

Reader’s Poll # 1:

Who would win in a fight: The Bash Brothers from Mighty Ducks, or Casey Jones from Return of the Ooze?

** Update ** I have decided this question is ridiculous.  Casey Jones would slaughter both of them and then go lay his mack down on April O’Neill.

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  1. Seano

    In response to your poll: Casey Jones, by a lot. Casey Jones was a bad mofo in many ways, and even beat on some preppy rich kids in the movie “Some Kind of Wonderful,” which to this day is one of the lost 80’s classics.

    As for the idea about the third installments of franchises, you couldn’t be more right. I also saw D3 in theaters and it sucked. But let’s also throw out The Godfather Part III and Beverly Hills Cop III. The Godfather Part III was just a shame, doomed from the start–how are you supposed to fire up a third installment 16 years after the last one? It was a terrible idea and failed miserably. Same for BHC III–Axel Foley went from killing foreign drug/arms dealers, driving sweet cars and listening to Billy Ocean, the Pointer Sisters, and Glenn Frey, to fighting crime at an amusement park? Infuriating.

    Anyway, keep more posts like this coming, if it gets me fired up, I’m sure it does the same for others out there.

  2. I’m pretty sure that it wasn’t that the New Yorkers could tell that they were turtles in trench coats, it’s just that they didn’t give a fuck. I mean, how many times have you walked by something absolutely ridiculous in this city and not even blink an eye? Seriously, throw the Naked Cowboy in Omaha, Nebraska and count how long until the news vans show up.

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