Let’s cut the to the chase, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2:Out of the Shadows released this weekend. I’m back in the trenches to share my opinions in an attempt to guide you in your movie theater experience. Can Nickelodeon make a decent attempt at a film? O are they going to crap out? Let’s get this review started.
- 1987 Turtles Comedy
- Rocking Version of Classic TMNT theme
- Impressive Visuals
The label on this movie is action/adventure, but in reality is should have been a comedy. Out of the Shadows takes a trip back to 1987 to steal a lot of material from the classic cartoon that hooked many of us. The cheesy humor of Michelangelo leads the way in terms of jokes, with class turtle one-liners, zany antics, and endless bantering making up the most of his dialogue. In addition the turtles are still as clumsy as ever and will probably have kids laughing as they smack into practically everything. All of the comedy is geared toward an audience of about 8 years old, but the older audience members will get a sense of nostalgia (no matter how adulterated it is) that may bring back some good memories. My personal favorite though was an impressive rock version of the classic theme song that really got my feet stomping.
It is really the visuals though that steals the show. Bay’s production company knows how to make CGI come to life and TMNT2 is no exception to the rule. Despite their creepy look, the turtles move fluidly about the screen with impressive motion capture technology. The surrounding environment is also a fantastic display of cinematography and digital creation, albeit a little fake looking at times, but is a nice display of that Hollywood editing. And in terms of costumes…well they aren’t too bad (quite fitting in the TMNT universe), but it looks like they got a lot of their wardrobe from an anime party city. One final visual that many (guys) will enjoy is Megan Fox’s gorgeous look, the actress still stimulating in all her revealing outfits.
- The story (or lack of one)
- The action
- Most of the Characters
- Annoying at times
If you thought the revised story of the first installment was bad, it looks like gold compared to this one. Out of the Shadows is a shallow, rushed mess of too many plots haphazardly thrown together like a pizza ordered by Mikey. There were a lot of coincidences, some very stupid obsessions, and many things were hastily concluded that made me roll my eyes. They attempted to make some attempts to develop the characters, but they dropped those issues quickly for more jokes and visual magic. Again this is what happens when you focus on visuals instead of story people.
You might be thinking that the action made up for it, but sadly this movie was quite boring despite the label it has, unless you find falling with style action. Fights are merely short spanned bouts that have little to do with martial arts or use of their weapons. Sure there are a few chases, a couple of punches thrown in as the beasts battle one another, but the team chose to instead fight with comedy. Oh how the mighty have fallen.
Most of the characters in this movie are also a joke, the emphasis being on the turtles this time instead of the real life actors we saw in the first film. April is pretty consistent in this film, a beautiful women barely doing her job, but keeping in good contact with the turtles. This version of Casey Jones was a whiny brat who somehow had 100% hockey puck accuracy and the ability to outskate motorcycles, wish I had skates like that. Shredder and Kurai were jokes…again,,, doing very little but standing around and looking depressed and Baxter Stockman was only a step up thanks to Tyler Perry’s talents. But the biggest sources of annoyance (and the weakest characters) were Rocksteady and Beebop. They certainly were always stupid in the cartoons, but this movie diluted their characters even further into crude, obnoxious enemies who do nothing more than babble like idiots who love smacking each other. Oh what a shame to the comics/tv shows of yesterday.
Despite the potential the trailers presented, Out of the Shadows is a mess that needs to go back in for editing. Comedy and impressive visuals are the selling points of the movie along with the nostalgia they bring. However, the annoying characters, dull action, and laughable story are just a waste of time and talented writing. The target audience for this movie are eight years old and below, and this reviewer can only recommend this one for a Redbox rent. In terms of 3-D, the visuals would look good, but the rest of the movie is not worthy the extra cash.
My scores are:
Movie Overall: 4.5