Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - Out of the ShadowsAfter Shredder (Brian Tee) is broken out of prison, Leonardo (Pete Ploszek), Donatello (Jeremy Howard), Raphael (Alan Ritchson), and Michelangelo (Noel Fisher) begin the hunt to track him down. April O’Neil (Megan Fox) is helping them get information on scientist Baxter Stockman (Tyler Perry), who is rumored to be working with Shredder.

As April and the turtles close in on Shredder, they meet his new henchmen, Bebop (Gary Anthony Williams) and Rocksteady (Stephen Farrelly). They are much more worthy adversaries than the usual Foot Clan soldiers. Physically, at least. Bebop and Rocksteady are sent to find missing pieces of a device Shredder and Baxter plan to use to open a portal to another dimension. Fortunately for the turtles, a vigilante named Casey Jones (Stephen Amell) is also on the hunt for Bebop and Rocksteady.

The turtles must stop Shredder and his crew before Krang (Brad Garrett), a super villain from the other dimension, can come to Earth to conquer it.

As with its 2014 predecessor, Out of the Shadows takes a more “realistic” view of the turtles. By that, I mean Leonardo and crew are made to look more human, complete with ripped physiques. This leads to somewhat creepy looking turtles. It’s not so much so that it takes away from the movie, it’s just that it is a departure from the original movies and cartoon that feature “normal” looking turtles with exceptional abilities.

The acting is on par with what you expect from this type of movie. Megan Fox takes a more sultry approach to April O’Neil in this film than she did the previous one. Stephen Amell, newcomer to the franchise, makes a decent debut, feeling like a goofier, less tormented version of his character on Arrow. The underused Will Arnett is the real standout, providing the majority of the comic relief.

The story and characters are familiar to those of us who grew up with the TMNT. Krang, Bebop, and Rocksteady are new additions, giving an extra layer of familiarity. Although, in watching this version, Bebop and Rocksteady come across as complete buffoons. This makes it a difficult to believe that criminal mastermind Shredder would rely so heavily on these seemingly inept thugs.

The story is, obviously, far-fetched and some of the jokes seem a little lazy. The product placement gets a little heavy-handed at times. They also go to extreme lengths to make sure you know which turtle is which, introducing them multiple times, no doubt a ploy to help toy sales. All that said, it isn’t a bad movie. It is better than the first. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows is mindless summer fun that makes for a nostalgic, entertaining family movie night. If you’re seeing it in theaters, go for the 3D. It provides plenty of in-your-face action that the kids will love.

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