Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out Of The Shadows

Year: 2016
Director: Dave Green
Starring: Megan Fox, Will Arnett, Tyler Perry, Laura Linney, Stephen Amell
Written by Dalton Brown

Let me just start by saying that I actually enjoyed the TMNT (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) reboot from a year or two ago. Back to the present and we’re given the gift of a sequel to said reboot – a sequel I sadly did not enjoy as much. The sequel, which is cleverly titled ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows’, isn’t exactly a bad follow up to its predecessor, but it’s a film full of problems.

‘TMNT 2’ stars Megan Fox, Stephen Amell and Will Arnett. Then, there’s Laura Linney – for some reason – and the turtles themselves. This might sound mean, but I don’t care about who plays the turtles all that much and I didn’t really care for Laura Linney. One other person of note in this movie is Tyler Perry, and I think he probably gave the best performance of the lot, because he at least tried. There’s also Sheamus (yes, the wrestler) who played Rocksteady, alongside Gary Anthony Williams who played Bebop. Bebop and Rocksteady will probably end up being the crowd-favorite, but I personally enjoyed Brad Garret as Krang more.

Going back for a second, let’s talk about Tyler Perry for a little bit, as he was the real star of the show. I haven’t seen him act prior to this, but he was just awful enough to the point of being mildly entertaining. The same could be said about Brad Garret, sort of. The difference being that his Krang character wasn’t awful, he was just plain entertaining. He felt the most “cartoonish” out of all the characters, and I think that’s what I was looking for from this film.

The major problem, or at least one of the major problems, is how everything just felt useless and unnecessary. I left my seat for a minute and felt like I missed nothing. Nothing except, maybe, more useless dialogue or more unnecessary explosions. And this isn’t even the biggest issue I had with the movie. No, my biggest annoyance is how just about every one of the actors involved (excluding Brad Garret and Tyler Perry) seemed like they were only there to make money. It was weird, especially since I feel like they were somewhat trying in the first film – they at least tried harder in the first than they did in this one.

Ranting aside, there are some positives. The turtles were still cool and entertaining, and I particularly liked the banter and dialogue between them. That’s sort of it though, and even they came across as awkward at times. Even worse, the aesthetics of the turtles was worse than the first film and their movement seemed more stiff. Everything just looked, as a friend put it, “cheap”.

Even with all my complaints, I still think this is one of the better blockbusters. Why? Because they understand what people want. People come for the turtles, and luckily, the turtles (despite the aforementioned issues) deliver. This just feels like it should have been the first movie and the first should have been the second; it’s something of a step backwards for the franchise. This installment was more thought out, but perhaps suffered because of that. What with slow pacing and a drier sense of humor, it just all felt like the potential for something great was there but was never really used.

So my final verdict is, this film is not great, nor good even – it’s just fine. It’s not the worst thing I’ve seen and never will be, it was just such a disappointment, especially since I had high expectations coming from the first movie because that one was mildly entertaining throughout. This one was entertaining too, but it felt sort of stale at the same time. Thank goodness for Krang; he was the coolest part of the whole experience.

Dalton’s rating: 5.5 out of 10
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