From comic books, to cartoons, to live action film adaptations, the "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" have been all over the map throughout the years, and not always for the better. These turtles in a half shell have made their mark in either great cheesy fun ways or downright obnoxious to the point of no return, ie. the sequels to the 1990's live action film adaptions. In 2014 they were brought back once again in a mix of CGI turtles within a live action world. This clash was hated by many, especially with the new odd look to the turtles themselves. Although it was critically slammed and fans either ripped on or accepted it for what it was, it made tons of money at the box office, thus spawning this sequel. This was their chance at redemption and to bring us the turtles we know and love from the past. Is that what this sequel delivers on?
"Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows" not only improves on the first in almost every way imaginable, but it manages to also tone down some of the annoying characters from the first as well. Now what has to be said first is that it has been dumbed way down this time, almost to the point where most of the jokes are solely for children, but that is the mindset of these turtles to begin with, so the juvenile humour kind of fit the new tone this film was trying so hard to achieve. I truly believe they nailed the tone that needed to be displayed here, but the film sadly suffers in many other regards.
This film should be retitled "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Exposition." Very distractingly so, each and every character, even if they are alone on screen, talk to themselves as if they know there are many children watching the film they are in. It is very distracting when characters are clearly doing something like tracing other characters and when the signal tells them where they are, they say "It looks like they are up there. Yes, looks like I was right." This film treats the audience like idiots, but again, the film is supposed to be dumb and it definitely achieves just that.
Escaping prison, Shredder is now on the rise once again, creating monsters Bebop and Rocksteady, as the reign of Commander Krang is planning to destroy the planet. Casey Jones is introduced, April O'Neil returns, and the film plays out as fan service sequence after fan service sequence. I will admit, the scenes that throwback classic Ninja Turtle plot points are very fun to watch and exciting when set in motion. I liked the addition of Bebop and Rocksteady, as well as Stephen Amell as Casey Jones, but they all really do not have that much purpose as far as the central plot goes.
Overall, "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows" sets out to be this big dumb action blockbuster for families to shove popcorn in their faces and watch, and it does just that. While it is a much better Ninja Turtles film than the first film, bringing loads of exciting and fun action sequences, it finds news ways to be slightly annoying at times and it took me out of the film. I was personally not a fan of the first instalment, but I found myself having quite a bit of fun with this, even if it was stupid and childish. For fans of the first, you may just love this sequel, and you still may enjoy it if you disliked the predecessor, but it will not sway non-believers in these films. If you wish to turn your brain off and laugh at some dumb humour and watching planes fall out of the sky, cars explode, and turtles cracking jokes, then I highly recommend this movie to you.
Review By: KJ Proulx