Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out Of The Shadows (2016)

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Overall Rating 59%
Overall Rating
Ranked #1,667
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After supervillain Shredder escapes custody, he joins forces with mad scientist Baxter Stockman and two dimwitted henchmen, Bebop and Rocksteady, to unleash a diabolical plan to take over the world. As the Turtles prepare to take on Shredder and his new crew, they find themselves facing an even greater evil with similar intentions: the notorious Krang. --TMDb
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Review by Crispy
Added: June 13, 2016
2014's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie wasn't exactly well-received by the masses, and accusations of childhood-rape was thrown at producer Michael Bay from all over the internet. On the other hand, I loved it and I've been looking forward to this sequel since it's been announced. After seeing that they've incorporated some key characters from the classic '87 cartoon, my hype was through the roof.

In the past year, life has been relatively quiet for our four turtle brothers after defeating Shredder. They've let Vern take the credit for throwing the evil ninja off of Sack's skyscraper and continued living in the shadows of the city, anonymous to the world. A man like Shredder is not just going to rot in prison however, and during a prison transfer his Foot Clan attacks the convoy to free their leader. Fortunately, April was able to tip the turtles off to the escape attempt after hacking the emails of Baxter Stockman, a scientific genius who is working with the Shredder. What she didn't know was that a big part of this plan involves Baxter's new teleportation technology and despite the Turtles' involvement, their nemesis escapes into thin air. Things don't go exactly according to plan however, and Shredder doesn't pop out where he's supposed to. In fact, he doesn't pop out anywhere in this dimension. His transportation has been interrupted by Krang, a sentient alien brain housed in a massive battle robot who proposes a partnership. If Shredder can assemble the three pieces to his inter-dimensional warp drive, Krang can open a portal to move his planet destroying weapon to Earth and the pair can rule together. To aid his search, he gives the crime-lord a mutagen that lets him convert two low-level cons, the dim-witted Bebop and Rocksteady, into super-strong mutants. With enemies who can match them for strength and extraterrestrial technology at their nemesis' disposal, can the Turtles hope to end this threat?

One of the common complaints about the first movie is how uneven its tone was; it wasn't quite sure if it wanted to be a fun cartoon or a dark, gritty reimagining. Well, they've made their decision for the sequel, and this is every bit a cartoon. We've got the caricature-level nerdy Baxter Stockman yukking it up. We've got the Turtle Van launching manhole covers and sporting giant nunchuk-wielding robot arms. We've got Bebop and Rocksteady(!) smashing everything, completely oblivious to how stupid they are. The movie is balls to the walls ridiculous and the four-year-old in me was cheering throughout the entire running time. With that said, the twenty-nine year old wasn't too happy that the plot-lines were similarly reduced to Saturday-morning-cartoon levels. Yeah, I know it's a kids' movie, but considering it was obviously trying to pull in some old-school fans by pandering to the fans of the 87 cartoon so much, this probably should have been balanced a bit more. The familiar tension between Leo and Raph does help towards this end, but it doesn't quite flow as well with the childish tone of other scenes.

This kid-friendly tone also means that our villains have been watered down as well. Hell, they've almost been written out of the film completely. Krang shows up in the beginning to get the main plot rolling and then he disappears. Shredder has maybe twenty minutes of screen time with no action scenes to speak of, and while I was happy to see him and his Foot return to their ninja aesthetic, it's kind of wasted if they're not going to do anything with it. In the same vein, his daughter Karai might as well have not even been in the movie. Fortunately, we had two very big aces that held down this part of the movie. Bebop and Rocksteady. We've wanted to see these two on the big screen for close to thirty years now, and they did not disappoint! The bumbling brawlers had a huge smile on my face every time they were on the screen. They're big, stupid, have an amazing chemistry with each other, and frankly were everything I wanted when I heard they were announced for the sequel. Granted, I definitely think they needed more fight scenes against the Turtles (they only got one or two), but at least they brought some entertainment. With all that said, it might be a bit problematic to think that the lackeys were the strongest part of the villains' side of the table. Hopefully the sequel will feature Shredder and/or Krang much more prominently.

Come to think of it, our human heroes didn't fare too well either. After happy I was how Megan Fox was actually able to pull off a character, I was super disappointed this go around. You see, all the characterization April had in the first one was gone, replaced by your typical Megan Foxing. Strutting around, using her body as a distraction for her ulterior motives. It's a far cry from the aspiring reporter looking to break out of her role doing "froth" stories and make her late father proud. However, nothing was as disappointing as Casey Jones though. Since the very first trailer, I've been pseudo-complaining how upset I was that he was sporting a buzzcut instead of his trademark greasy long hair. If only that was his biggest problem. In every adaptation he's appeared in, he's a street-wise vigilante with an anger-management problem. Here, he's a happy-go-lucky cop who claims to have an anger-management problem, but the only scene where he demonstrates it is in a laughably-bad, watered-down version of a horribly cliched interrogation scene. This was just not the character fans wanted to see. Making matters worse, he only wore that hockey mask in a single scene. Sure, Elias Koteas only wore it twice back in 1990, but at least he played the right character. Fortunately, they were such a small part of things overall that the collateral damage wasn't that bad.

For better or for worse, this is unabashedly a kids movie. It definitely has some glaring flaws and was in desperate need of some polishing and plot streamlining , but I'd be lying if I said I didn't have a ball with it. And really, what else could you ask from a movie. 8/10.
Ginose #1: Ginose - added June 18, 2016 at 1:01am
A fun call, and I agree with... a LOT of what you said, still, thought this was a mess. A choppy, obnoxiously edited mess, that I found much less jarring and completely fucking obnoxious than the first film, but a mess all the same. Still, they got two of my favorite "TMNT" characters of all time right... but, unfortunately, they also completely fucked up my favorite "TMNT" character of all time so... meh. A hard, "meh". May watch it again, someday. 5.1/10
Crispy #2: Crispy - added June 18, 2016 at 3:51pm
Watched it again without the initial green tinted lenses, the convoluted plot was more noticeable. I still loved the hell out of it, and I stand by the score, but the review probably needs an additional paragraph detailing that bit.
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