Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows

tmnt out of the shadows

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows [2016] is one of the many summer sequels to hit the silver screen this year.  With a repetitive script and underwhelming/unoriginal threats, the Turtles themselves carry this sequel to shine even brighter than its predecessor.  New York is yet again at its potential doom against an unforeseen power but with the protection of Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello and Michelangelo, the citizens will remain safe in the best sequel to a Ninja Turtles film that there has ever been.  Oh and there is more pizza...and Casey Jones (Stephen Amell)...and all the radical stuff that makes the Teenage Mutant Ninjas Turtles some of the most fun comic books characters ever created.

Turtle Power:  These Turtles kick some serious butt in their return to the screen and it is awesome.  The action sequences in this sequel dominate those of the first and even provide the hilarious chatter that had been missing in the film adaptation since the 1990 version.  The first film spent too much time on the terrible performance of Megan Fox as April O'Neil.  But audiences should be very satisfied that the O’Neil screen time is toned down as Turtle time is turned to the max.  Cowabunga!

More Human Than Ever:  Every previous attempt at a live action Turtles movie has failed to incorporate any relatable human conditions.  Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows goes above and beyond with making the Turtles more human than ever with character development based upon self-acceptance and pride.  The Turtles are dealing with real teenage insecurities and issues like discrimination, embarrassment, depression and isolation. 

Sometimes Funny...But Forced:  There are plenty of hilarious moments in this movie and most of these come from Michelangelo who gets about 200% more lines than he did in the first installment.  At first, there was nothing wrong with this...until every line from his mouth was a “joke”.  Character development was strong with all the Turtles but Michelangelo’s constant one-liners stole some of his dramatic thunder.  The other major comedic sources are Bebop and Rocksteady.  These guys look hilarious and have nothing but gut-busting lines.  “My Man!”

Total Repeat Overload:  The downside from having the same writers as the first movie from a couple years ago is their collective lack of creativity.  Nearly every major action sequences in this sequel is a reflection from the first movie.  Just switch the terrains/locations between the films -- that is all the writers seemed to think up -- which is not fair to a hungry audience.  Another issue with the writing was the amount of exposition.  There may have been more exposition in this movie than any other comic book film.

Underwhelming Supporting Cast:  Other than Bebop and Rocksteady there are some pretty bad supporting characters in this film.  Every villain in the film really serves no purpose other than to provide the Turtles a distraction from their own problems. 

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows provides a fun time filled with great turtle action but ultimately is nothing more than a sequel ground out to make money.