worthwhile things to say about movies (I’m confident that I do, otherwise, why would I be writing a blog?), but mainly because at times I have trouble separating myself out from the merits any given film presents. I have freely admitted before that internal biases have caused me to rate certain movies (like the messy Batman vs. Superman) higher than I normally would/should. Ah, such is the case with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles- Out of the Shadows (hereby referred to as TMNT 2).
I can’t say that this is a great film. I don’t even know if I can say that I recommend you see it (I’ll present a caveat to this at the end). However, I’m ashamed to admit at how many things I laughed out loud about, and how I was entertained for maybe 50% of it (hence the almost exactly average rating). Is this simply my nostalgia for the 90s taking over? Probably partially – it’s the reason that all these childhood toy movies are being made.
There’s really not much plot here – mainly just that there are bad guys, and this time around there happen to be mutants and ninjas for the turtles to fight, instead of just the Foot Clan. There are some pretty major plot holes in regards to time windows and other small things, but I don’t think the directors/producers really cared. They wanted to bring these characters back and make things bigger
The characters have the strength of one of the “Wacky Waving Inflatable Arm Flailing Tube Man” (are those weak? That’s what I was going for anyway). Megan Fox is only in this to look good (I mean come on, was there ever a need for a school girl scene like that?). Will Arnett is there to make jokes and look full of himself. Even Casey Jones, who I thought had a lot of potential, was pretty wasted here. He has no depth, despite the dialogue’s repeated reminders that he wants to be a detective, dammit!
The best part of the movie is unfortunately not the Turtles themselves, but the bad guys. This may be because Rocksteady and Bebop are so ridiculous that you can’t help but love/hate them, but they are actually dedicated a fair amount of screen time – more than Shredder, more than Krang. Kinda sad when the villians with the least motivation are the most interesting.
The Turtles themselves are also a bit of a waste. They go through all their check boxes as well – Ralph has a get mad moment, Mikey has a pizza/jokester moment, Leo has a “they don’t listen” leadership moment, and Donnie is nerdy all throughout. I don’t necessarily object to this type of box-checking, but there has to be more behind it than things that are covered before, and better, in the original franchise. For instance, in the original TMNT movie, circa 1990 (a movie that I have talked about my love for as far as the darkness of it, the action, and the amazing practical effects to anyone that would listen – (are you sure we can’t watch this one Shannon?)), Ralph and Leo have the same power struggle fights that exist here. However, the payoff is so much greater, and you actually believe that people (when I say people, I mean turtles – that’s how much better that movie is) are learning and growing from the mistakes that are made. In TMNT2, I don’t really think any growing happens – by the next movie, they’ll be making the same mistakes.
Therefore, it’s with a heart that is in a mixed place that I give TMNT2 a “C” rating. However, as I alluded to before, if you were a fan of the original comics or even the animated television show, there is enough humor and action that you may give it a watch. It’s your call, fellow movie lovers.
For more on this film, check out IMDB.
"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy"