“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of The Shadows” Should Have Maybe Stayed Hidden (Movie Review)

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows
Paramount Pictures

Directed by: Dave Green
Written by: Josh Applebaum, Andrew Nemec
Starring: Megan Fox, Will Arnett, Laura Linney, Stephen Amell, Noel Fisher, Jeremy Howard, Pete Ploszek, Alan Ritchson

The Good
This film takes full advantage of the in your face 3D special effects. There was probably one key moment in the middle of the movie where one of the effects may actually have you ducking and dodging a bit with how real it looked.

If you’re a fan of the Turtles cartoons, then you’ll more than likely appreciate both BeBop (played by Gary Anthony Williams) and Rocksteady (played by Stephen Farrelly). They were definitely captured in their truest form with their comedic and off-beat characters. (Especially if you like fart jokes) This goes for the Turtles as well. If you enjoyed the Turtlres unique personalities from the previous film then you’ll be satisfied with how they are basically the same.

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The Bad
Sadly the acting in this film was also sub-par. I blame the writing for this, mostly. And no, I don’t think anyone expected Academy Award level acting. However, I highly doubt that a 7th grade play should be comparable either. Stephen Amell (who plays “Casey Jones”) should probably just stick to TV and making wrestling appearances on the WWE. There’s no reason for him to include this movie on his resume at all. While he did have a select few decent moments when he put his hockey mask on, everything else was just a tad bit over dramatic acting on his part. (e.g. His reactions to seeing the turtles for the first time.) *insert eye roll*

Brian Tee, who plays “Shredder”, initially appeared to be a truly menacing character, in the beginning of the film. Although as it progressed, you soon realized that his entire character was pointless and wasted. I don’t even know if he threw one single punch at ANYONE.

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On paper, this movie appears to have all the right parts, and the perfect cast. The
execution, in my opinion, was simply poor. The writing is probably what hurt this movie the most for me. In the previous movie, this new reboot of Ninja Turtles has a much more serious tone while still maintaining some humorous and entertaining moments. This movie on the other hand was all over the place with over the top plot and twists.

The story tried to fit in a bunch of different things that never really felt fully developed. Everything with Krang was rushed including his random out of the blue introduction. Even the big scene in Brazil felt randomly inserted into the film and out of place. It seemed like just an excuse to have some special action sequences, but never mind how they got there, or how they get home or any other details that require thought.

Even some of the motivations were just ridiculous. The motivation that drove Raphael and Michelangelo to go on their secret mission was just dumb. It’s one thing if you want to tackle the theme of “not fitting in with society” but it’s entirely different when you go after the route they were seeking. Not to mention the fact that I don’t have the slightest clue as to how Donatello can start off being a garbage collecting tech genius, to all of a sudden becoming Tony Stark from Iron Man. How?!..Never mind. -_-

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The Reason
*Sigh* I guess you can call me biased. I am one of those millennials who grew up watching the Turtles cartoon in the 90’s. So as with any of my reviews, take it with a grain of salt. I think that this movie is very self aware of itself in knowing that it’s not set out to be serious. My issue with it is that if this was the path they wanted to take, then they should’ve just set that tone with the previous movie from the beginning. If you’re young enough to recall, these more recent films are polar opposites of one another the same way that Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990) was to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Secret of the Ooze (1991). The first being a more serious film with humorous moments, and the second being wacky and cartoonish. TMNT 2: Out of the Shadows is exactly the latter. Honestly this probably would’ve just played out better had it been a cartoon. If you enjoyed the previous TMNT (2014) then don’t expect this sequel to anything like it.

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I cannot, with any sense of integrity, recommend paying for this film without some HEAVY disclaimers first. TMNT 2 Out of the Shadows is more of a kid-friendly movie compared to the previous film. The violence is watered down, the jokes are over the top, goofy, and corny. This isn’t the type of movie that you can watch and Expect to be moved at the same time. If you’re 14 years or younger, or just a big kid at heart, you may actually enjoy this film. If you’ve got children, then that’s another pass to go see this film. I would still encourage paying for a matinee price at the very most. As for myself, I don’t think you could pay me to go re-watch this. I’m currently consulting a lawyer to see if I can sue the city of Chicago for emotional distress and a refund for my parking. -_-

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