Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (2016) Movie Reviews

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (2016)

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (2016) Movie Reviews

The key to adapting a comic book franchise into a modern blockbuster, you might think, is to stick closely to the source material. Certainly if you want to avoid a very loud and very angry fan backlash. Go back to the comics and give the fans what they want. In the case of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, that's not really the case.

There are a good few of us who really love those original Mirage comic books, but a larger group of Turtles fans want an adaptation of the vastly different cartoon series from the 1980s. They want characters like Krang and Bebop and Rocksteady. As illogical as it might sound, you have to make a faithful adaptation of an unfaithful adaptation. And that's exactly what director David Green and his Turtles team have done for this new movie sequel.

Following the events of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014), the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles continue to live in the shadows, bound to their underground lair by day, moving in the shadows at night, hiding from the very people of the city they risked their lives to save. Following the Turtles' failure to thwart a daring jailbreak, Shredder is on the loose again, this time with new allies. The Turtles must once again stop the villainous Shredder to protect the city, and the world, that don't know they exist from a new intergalactic threat.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out Of The Shadows is a massive upgrade from the first film. There are so many improvements. The Turtles' appearances; sized down a bit and given a few cartoonish adjustments, they look so much better (Splinter, voiced by Tony Shalhoub, is also given just minor alterations but looks greatly improved). The film has more action sequences, and they're bigger and better. It has a better script. It has a better story. The score is better.

The Turtles get more screen time (a concern of expense in the first film; perhaps the budget has been upgraded too), which is a massive boost. Building on one of the successes of the first film, the character work here is great. These are good versions of the Turtles. Michelangelo, played by the brilliant Noel Fisher, is dead funny. Jeremy Howard got Donatello bang on in the first film and here, given more to do, he impresses again. Raphael is not only helped by some adjustments to his face, but he's given some comedy in this sequel and it warms you up to Alan Ritchson's gruff would-be action hero a treat.

The stand out Turtle performance, though, is Pete Ploszek's Leonardo. Pete just is Leo. This film does right by the Turtles. We get to spend time in the lair with them just being the Turtles. This is a lesson learned in the first film; when your characters are good, let us watch them. The Turtles each get character moments and proper, set up and paid off story arcs.

Stephen Amell's Casey Jones does a bit too much telling instead of showing (he tells us he's crazy but there aren't too many moments on screen to back up his claim, for example), but Amell's performance is likable, energetic and kind of wired; it works. Will Arnett wrings laughs out of every moment of screen time he's given as cowardly cameraman Vernon Fenwick and David Green's film wisely puts him to work. I know you're not supposed to praise Megan Fox on the internet but I like her April O'Neil. Fox is surrounded by large characters with big personalities yet her April never looks like she can't hold her own.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out Of The Shadows is a good looking movie. Every set is stylish and filled with detail. It's colorful and full of cool vehicles and character designs. The bright colors and pristine look compliment to the cartoonish feel of the film and characters.

A couple of the action sequences don't meet the standard set by the others. The film opens on a fairly disorienting one and a Casey Jones fight sequence doesn't seem to have been put together quite right. For the most part, though, the action set pieces are terrific. They're big, exciting and filled with character. The plane sequence in particular is very entertaining.

The obvious highlight, the stand out by a mile, better than everything else on screen, of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out Of The Shadows is the bungling duo of Bebop and Rocksteady. They don't so much light up the screen as come crashing through it, high fiving each other and destroying the front few rows of seats in the cinema. 

The pair steal every scene they're in thanks to an alignment of excellent writing, top notch CGI and pitch perfect casting. The chemistry between actors Gary Anthony Williams, who plays Bebop, and Stephen 'Sheamus' Farrelly, who plays Rocksteady, contributes massively to a wonderfully funny screen team.

Other Review

Fun movie to watch - Mostly for kids

So I just saw the second instalment of TMNT and thought I'd give you a bit of how I felt after the movie. It was very much a Michael Bay movie. And before anyone jumps at me to say David Green directed it not Bay, I know, but he's an executive producer on it and it has Bay written all over it. He's known to recycle his movie styles/ effects and I swear it has the exact same score as in the Transformers!? Anyway, I thought it was a fun movie, much like the first one. Me and my friend both left the cinema saying pretty much the same thing. A fun movie, but a pretty forgettable fun movie. I don't know what Bay's interest in Megan Fox is, but for some reason he keeps using her and she is pretty bad in this, though more tolerable than in the first movie. Imo nothing more than eye candy for the viewers, which is visible from one of the very first scenes of her in a school girl outfit. The story line was very Avengers like, we've seen it a million times already, so like I said before, fun to watch, but almost instantly forgettable. Bebop and Rocksteady looked cool, though I would've maybe liked a bigger fight between them and the Turtles. Krang looked awesome and even sounded cool, it's typical Krang really, so was happy with that. Stephen Amell as Casey Jones I guess did the best he could with what he was given, though I couldn't help thinking he was going to pull out his bow and arrow every time he was on. At one point he says "my only goal is to" and I almost blurt out 'to save this city'!! OK, so now to what I enjoyed the most about the movie, the Turtles themselves. I enjoyed all of their portrayals. They all did a very good job in bringing out their personalities in this movie. From Michelangelo's humour to Raphael's bad- assery to Donatello's smarts and Leonardo's command. They were very identifiable characters and I like seeing their chemistry on screen. Overall I give the movie a 6.5 for keeping me entertained, yet I think it's one for the kids more so than the adults.

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