Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out Of The Shadows (2016)

November 8, 2016

Starring: Megan Fox, Will Arnett, Tyler Perry, Stephen Amell
Director: Dave Green (Earth To Echo

Bottom Line: To be clear, I hated the 2014 Ninja Turtles, but Out Of The Shadows looked promising if for only one reason: for the first time in 26 years of making TMNT movies, Bebop and Rocksteady were making an appearance. Outside of Shredder, these guys are easily the turtles most popular villains and somehow we’ve gone five movies without them. Granted, the turtle costumes looked pretty hokey in 1990, so you can only imagine how bad Bebop and Rocksteady would have looked. But it’s 2016 now and we have CG and motion capture performances, so they look pretty damn good here. Plus the writers managed to nail their personas pretty well – physically imposing, mentally challenged. Better late than never, these guys are a fun addition to the franchise.

Out Of Shadows also introduces Dimension X foe Krang into the mix for the first time as Shredder and noted scientist Baxter Stockman (Perry) work together to open a portal that will allow a war machine called the Technodrome access to earth. If nothing else, Out Of Shadows works because it finally gives TMNT fans what they’ve been waiting for: all their favorite things about the cartoon series.

The film itself is merely enjoyable. It seems like the conflict is always the same: Leonardo and Raphael clash as the turtles try to learn how to operate as a team while preventing Shredder from doing whatever scheme he’s up to. There’s nothing new in TMNT storytelling here. The casting of the human characters continues to be questionable. Megan Fox as April O’Neil is just weird – she’s one of those actors that can’t really shed her own identity during a performance. She’s not April O’Neil, she’s Megan Fox in a Ninja Turtles movie. The additions of Tyler Perry as Baxter Stockman and Stephen Amell as Casey Jones don’t really help either. You’d think the guy that plays Oliver Queen would be a good choice for the hockey-themed vigilante, but he gives a pretty cheesy performance.

Out Of Shadows is a fun movie that should instill some nostalgia in fans of the old cartoon series and even though it suffers from some mediocre acting and a cliche story, it’s a drastic improvement over the 2014 version.

Replay Value: I think kids will love it, but once was enough for me.
Sequel Potential: Keep ’em coming.
Oscar Potential: None.

Grade: 5/10 (watchable)

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