Now, the purple ooze.
Krang, the alien warlord who is going to enslave all of humanity and temporarily uses Shredder as his own errand boy, just as Shredder used Bebop and Rocksteady, provides the purple ooze to Shredder to help him develop an army to overcome the turtles stopping him. Krang assures Shredder that Stockman is clever enough to figure out how to use it; why? For two reasons: first, Stockman will figure out a way because he's desperate for fame and recognition. He believes that, if he becomes famous and successful enough, he will basically get anything/everything he wants (when April, in disguise, approaches him, he mentions that girls like her aren't interested in guys like him, but when she demonstrates that she does know who he is, he believes he has a "shot" with her). Secondly, Stockman is played by Tyler Perry, and Tyler Perry "knows all about slavery" and turning people into animals: his cinematic work like The Haves and the Have-Nots, Temptation, I Can Do Bad All By Myself and Diary Of A Mad Black Woman, and being the divisive liberal he is, he's going to do everything he can (rather like Quentin Tarantino in Django Unchained) to cause problems between blacks and white, rich and poor, the literate an the illiterate.
So how does the "ooze" enslave?
It does, however, reveal what you are all ready enslaved to. For example, Donnie (the purple, brainy one) is enslaved to his limitations, rather than his abilities; how can we say this? When he demonstrates the ooze's "power," he drops some on his hand, so instead of having "claw-paws" like a turtle, he suddenly has human hands, which is one of the necessary, defining features of humans from animals: our thumbs (if you have seen Spectre, when Dave Bautista's character Hinx uses his thumbs to gauge out the eyes of another assassin; he does this in illustration how he has sacrificed his humanity to revert back to being an animal, by not using his uniquely human gifts--his thumbs--to be a human and respect other humans; we can see the struggle with this duality in Mowgli and his frustrations living with the wolf pack in The Jungle Book).
|Why a garbage truck? We can say that the turtles live in the "margins" of society: the sewers, the rafters of the basketball court, the dumpster, and the garbage truck highlights how they would be something to be thrown away like garbage but with the nurturing they received from Splinter, they became extraordinary, like "Wise Man" in American Ultra (Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart: Eisenberg's character was going to go to jail for life after his third offense, but the CIA put him through a program that made him an asset to society, rather than a burden). Even though socialists would throw out someone like the turtles due to an inherent lack of worth, they have taken that adversity and made it work for them (so being "garbage" has become the vehicle of their skills and talents). Using man-hole covers as weapons is a sign of "handiness" (conceived by anthropologist Claude Levi Strauss) which indicates intelligence: when you find an alternative use for something other than the explicit purpose for which it was conceived (in this case, not just using the heavy round metal discs for covering up the entrances to sewers, but using their qualities to become flying projectile weapons). Ultimately, because the garbage truck is a vehicle of justice, it illustrates the turtles "taking out the trash" of the villains and helps us remember that we are only trash in our personal lives if we think of ourselves as being trash and we make decisions that harm others (become villains ourselves).|
Donnie tells Leo they will loose some of their abilities as turtles if they take the ooze, and, ultimately, he wants to be what he is ("Let me be the bad-ass for once," he tells Raphael, but just one time, he doesn't need to do it everyday). Leo, having the wisdom of leadership, knows we can't be other than what we are, or we are just pretending (a lesson Bruce Jenner needs to heed). Mikey, being the defender of dignity and optimism, knows dignity is absolute: there is no quality to a being's dignity, but a being chooses the amount of dignity they have in their actions, and the ooze isn't going to change that. Raphael, the most insecure of the brothers (which comes out more in the first film than this one), realizes that, in loving his brothers as they are, he truly loves himself the way he is, too, and to change anything about himself would be to disrupt the relationship the four of them have. Although the turtles may not be real life, the lessons they impart are. As simplistic as this is to state, a growing number of Americans would sadly argue with me until their dying breath about it: you can't be that which you are not. In the film, the turtles don't have a "human gene" the ooze can act upon and turn them into humans; in reality, an animal can't be a human, and a human isn't an animal.
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