Film Review - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Out of the Shadows
Not to be confused with the game that came out a couple of years ago, Out of the Shadows is the sequel to the 2014 TMNT reboot. While I did have very strong feelings about that film and how they treated the source material, I must say I was pleasantly surprised. I went into this movie with low expectations especially with how the first one left me feeling and to me they fixed a lot of the issues I had with that film. In this film the turtles have settled in to being New York's heroes from the shadows. The Shredder is in prison and the Foot Clan hasn't been seen in a while. However, all that changes when the Shredder is freed during a prison transfer by Baxter Stockman, who is using alien tech to build a portal powerful enough to bring an alien general to Earth to help conquer the planet. I like how the focus was placed on the turtles and not their human friends. In other words there was no 30 minute Megan Fox focus this time. Actually, her role was more akin to what April does in the comic and that's help the turtles out. The introduction of Bebop and Rocksteady is awesome. I have to give it to Gary Williams (he voiced Uncle Ruckus in the Boondocks cartoon) and Sheamus (yeah from WWE) did a great job in the roles. If you know anything about Bebop and Rocksteady from the comics and numerous incarnations they are pretty much the hired muscle/errand boys of Shredder. This time they actually have an actor playing Shredder, Brian Tee, the last thing I seen him in was the Wolverine. Tyler Perry was acutally not bad as Baxter Stockman although I have to say that giggling did tend to get on my nerves when he kept doing it in the film. Action-wise I believe the film was about the same as the first. There are a couple of big action set pieces that are done well in my opinion. Although I have to say the final climactic fight scene was straight out of a videogame. The turtles themselves and their interactions really are the heart of the movie. Especially since one of the questions of the film being do they want to be human and be accepted or remain who they are? Each of the turtles have their own thoughts on it and I think the film does a good job of portraying how they all feel about that choice. As for things that I didn't like with the film, they were a few but one of the main issues is what they did with Casey Jones. In the movie, Stephen Amell plays him but they make him a cop, not a vigilante, who just happens to love hockey and rolls with hockey sticks, pucks, and masks in the trunk of his car. Although I liked Brian Tee in the film, Shredder really doesn't do anything except stand around looking menacing and intimidating people. I really wanted to see him at least get a fight scene but that didn't happen in this film. I am going to be honest the dialog in this movie is straight up horrible at times. There just really isn't any other way to say it. Other than that I don't think that it is a particularly bad film. The CG in it is great as there are a lot of cool shots. The Technodrome looks awesome when you see it forming onscreen.
Outside of two lines of foul language, this is for the kids. No one really dies and while there is some fighting in the movie its nothing to violent. The scene where Bebop and Rocksteady get turned into mutants may be a little much for younger children but that is probably about it. There were a couple of kids in my theater that got scared at that scene but they were fine the rest of the movie. Also its not that long at about an hour and forty-five minutes and its paced well so it doesn't feel like it drags at all.
It was a fun movie to me, I must admit. I mean if you are going in to this movie looking for Shakespeare you're in the wrong movie but for a fun little afternoon movie its not half bad. I am going to give this a MATINEE. The river sequence and the sequence at the end with the Technodrome is worth the price of a matinee ticket. That and Rocksteady and Bebop had me genuinely laughing at certain parts in the movie.