The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has gone through some major changes over the course of nearly 30 years. And two years ago, audiences got a taste of a reboot of the franchise, courtesy of Michael Bay serving as producer. However, that film was met with negative reception, and yet, it was a box office success. Now, we have a sequel: “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows”. And it is slightly better than the original, but not by much. There are problems with this sequel, but the film is just stupid enough, that one doesn’t have to take it very seriously. “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows” is better then its predecessor, but the damage was already done.
The story has our four ninja turtles, Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo, and Raphael, protecting the city of New York from bad guys at night. This all changes when their arch nemesis Shredder teams with scientist Baxter Stockman (Tyler Perry) creates two new mutated animals for the turtles named Bebop and Rocksteady, but also a portal that could bring forth alien lifeforms to destroy the world. Can the turtles stay out of the shadows, or will evil prevail?
“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows” is a bad film, but it’s not the worst entry in this franchise. In fact, there are some redeeming factors. For one thing, all of the action presented is handled well and is choreographed in a good way. One notable moment in the film is when the turtles are fighting Bebop and Rocksteady on a river in Brazil, and the lighting is staged perfectly. The CGI isn’t too bad, but we’ll get there when we get there. The story is actually easier to follow than the previous one, but it, too, has some problems which will be discussed later. And finally, the music provides some nice orchestration and some fairly good pop songs to be thrown onto the soundtrack.
But then there are the problems. First off, the story, while interesting, has some horrible dialogue associated with it. Writers Josh Appelbaum & André Nemec try to cram as much pointless references, and unfunny jokes to make this movie even more pointless. And that’s another thing, there’s nothing in this movie that’s funny; a bit of humor would lighten up the mood. The story also pads the film in terms of length. At nearly two hours, the pacing is really slow, making the viewer question and wonder when the movie is going to end. And then there’s the CGI. While the effects do look okay on Bebop and Rocksteady, as well as the main villain Krang, the design of the turtles still looks terrible, and not that pleasing to look at. Finally, we have the cast, and while there are some good performances, most notably Tyler Perry, everyone else just feels boring and uninteresting, in an already boring movie.
In conclusion, “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows” does improve a bit from the first one, there’s no doubt in denying that the film is just as bad and stupid as its predecessor.