For the full Movie Bears Podcast review of ‘TMNT: Out of the Shadows,’ check out the video below. For our mini-review, keep reading!
So if you didn’t see it, the first ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ reboot film wasn’t as bad as the gang-bang of Internet-hate might have you believe. It had its issues but hey, at least Michael Bay ditched the idea of making them aliens, right? While not a great movie by any stretch of the word, the film did do well in retaining the original personalities of Master Splinter, Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael, and Michelangelo. It was fun, the visuals were pretty great at times, and the film was deeper than the trailers let on. So going into ‘TMNT: Out of the Shadows,’ we thought “Hey, this might not be half-bad!”
That’s what we get for thinking. Unfortunately, the follow up film suffers from taking everything that didn’t work in the first movie and multiplying it times three. Splinter is now nothing but comic relief and all four turtles are but caricatures of themselves compared their characterizations in the first movie. Megan Fox (‘Transformers’) is back as April O’Neil but her character is absolutely superfluous to the plot: gone are the days of April keeping the turtles grounded and on-task. Instead, she has her own hijinks – this time with Stephen Amell (‘Arrow’) as Casey Jones, who is also wasted here. Toss in three new, nothing-but-comedic villains in the form of Rocksteady, Bebop, and Krang and you get a movie that’s devoid of any kind of stakes or emotional hooks to latch onto.
Plot, pacing, acting, and characters aside, though, ‘TMNT: Out of the Shadows’ does have at least one good thing going for it. The effects are pretty solid: the turtles look even more real than the last film and the action sequences involving the Turtle Van and an airplane (we’ll say no more) are pretty awesome. Unfortunately, the visuals alone can’t carry a movie like this and, in the end, it means that ‘TMNT: Out of the Shadows’ is a hard pass for us – at least while it’s in theaters. Rental or streaming, though, might be another story – especially if you liked the first film. But we kind of wished they’d just stopped at ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’.
Written by Brad Harris, Movie Bears Podcast