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TMNT: Out of the Shadows - Movie Review

ImFrancoBosco ImFrancoBosco Two years ago, Producer Michael Bay had a vision that came to fruition in the form of a live-action reboot of none other than the very nostalgic, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Whether you thought it was a good or bad, (I tend to lean towards the latter) the first film made a butt load of money, so there was bound to be another one. But how well does this sequel hold up?Let’s just get right into it. Relax, sit back, grab a slice of pizza and let’s cowabunga right into the newest installment in the Turtles franchise with Out Of The Shadows! Wow, that was a terrible segway.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 Group Photo
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 Group Photo

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows is directed by David Green and once again stars Megan Fox, Will Arnett, and newcomers Stephen Amell and Tyler Perry. This movie is the continuation of the 2014’s Turtles film and is set one year after the Ninja Turtles secretly saved NYC from the wrath of their notorious adversary, The Shredder. The Turtle brothers are feeling like they want more recognition from the public, they want to be accepted by the public. They’re tired of living in the shadows (hence the title) and now have to save the world from an alien invader, known as Krang.

Now I’m not a hardcore Ninja Turtles fan, I don’t know their lore incredibly well. However, I do know it well enough since I watched the 2003 TMNT Animated Series back in the day and remember enjoying it quite a bit. So I have a fair understanding of the characters and their history.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows theatrical
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows theatrical one sheet

The best strength of this movie is, not surprisingly enough, the Turtles themselves. One of my biggest complaints with the first one was that there wasn’t enough of them in their own movie! 2014’s film made it seem like they were taking a backseat to Megan Fox and her boring character’s story. This movie is definitely more Turtle-centric, the focus is on them as their respective personalities do shine great here. The four brothers also have good, quippy dialogue and for being completely computer-generated, they play off each other’s actions well. The Turtles have the best parts of this film.

And that’s were my positives will end.

Megan Fox as April O’ Neil is just there… Do I need to say anything else? Alright, I will because this is a review. At least in the 2014 movie, you got the sense that she was trying to act. Here in this film, she doesn’t just phone in her lines, I don’t even think she dialed the number. Her character once again comes off just bland and not interesting. Yeah she’s hot, but that’s all you’re gonna get from her.

Stephen Amell in TMNT 2
Stephen Amell in TMNT 2

Will Arnett as Vern Fenwick basically is the friendly dork that took all the credit for defeating The Shredder in the first film when in actuality, it was the Turtles who stopped Shredder. He isn’t as dumb of character as he was in the first film. He did have me laughing few times, got a couple of good one-liners here. There’s nothing memorable about his performance, but it’s an improvement nonetheless.

Oh and Tyler Perry basically plays his version of a villainous Nutty Professor and it’s kinda funny at times. Moving on…

Will Arnett, Laura Linney, Megan Fox in "TMNT: Out of the Shadows"
Will Arnett, Laura Linney, Megan Fox in "TMNT: Out of the Shadows"

The one person I was looking forward to seeing in this movie was Stephen Amell as Casey Jones. I’m a supporter of Amell, I love Arrow on The CW and I think he’s got solid acting chops. So it’s disappointing when I see that he’s not that great in this film. I don’t know if it was the bad dialogue he was given to work with or how the director told him to act, but he came off just as one-dimensional as Megan Fox’s character. For some reason every time he talked, it looked like he was smiling and posing for a commercial. Unfortunately, he’s just very underutilized to say the least.

Speaking of underutilized, The Shredder is back for revenge in this film too! But he doesn’t do shit. Yeah someone in the studios probably said, “Hey let’s just shoehorn Shredder back in the plot just for shits and giggles, that’ll put butts in seats.” Pretty sure that’s how the thought process went.

The glaring problem with the movie is the pacing, holy crap the pacing. It felt very rushed, especially when it comes to introducing some the new characters of this world. For example the main villain of this film, Krang is practically shoved onto the screen and might as well have said to the audience, “I’m the evil villain of this movie!” That being said, Krang is a terrible villain. Any time you have a choice between Shredder or Krang, you always go Shredder. Always, but not here for some reason.

With all that bashing said, I still did find Out of the Shadows more entertaining than its predecessor and all in all, it’s better than the first. It did fix some of the gripes I had with the first one. But do I recommend seeing it? No, not really. I think if you’re a big Turtles fan, you’ll probably enjoy this film much more than I did and that’s great. There is lot of nostalgic fan service to enjoy for your childhood, but that’s about it. This movie is definitely for kids, they’ll be extremely entertained. For adults, they’re gonna want to turn off their brain for like 2 hours.

Guys in the end, I’m going to give TMNT: Out of the Shadows a “D+” on my movie grading scale. The Turtles and their scenes are great, but crap dialogue and less than memorable performances held this film down. Still a tad better than the first, but that’s still isn’t saying much here.

As always, thanks so much for reading and make sure to stay posted to Frank’s Takes for more reviews. Until next time, keep it 100.


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