In spite of its content, there wasn’t a great deal of fun to be had in the Michael Bay produced Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I wanted it to be worth my time, but it turned out to be nothing more than a sequel to Transformers with mutated turtles instead of machines from another planet. The good thing with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows is that this style of action is gone. While this doesn’t fix all of the problems, it proves to be a step forward.
The four brothers who live in the sewers and fight in the shadows must battle a recently escaped Shredder (Brian Tee) and a handful of new villains looking to make all sorts of trouble. In order to prevent the devious plans of their rivals, the turtles need to come together and become the team that they believe they can be. They’re also going to need a little bit of assistance from the likes their old friend April O’Neil (Megan Fox) and a new ally in Casey Jones (Steve Amell), a masked vigilante who’s quite handy with a hockey stick.
The opening scenes in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows gave me quite a bit of hope in what I was about to see. This portion of the movie is fun, fast and engaging in multiple ways. While they’re busy introducing us to both new and old characters, they’re also letting us in on a different style of action that’s more balanced, focused and nuanced than what was seen in the last movie.
After these scenes, Out of the Shadows does take a hit once everything slows down. Naturally, you expect this to let up somewhat since it’s proven to be difficult for the vast majority of movies attempting to keep that pace to find a way to accomplish that. With that being said, while you’re expecting this to calm down, you want more than what the Ninja Turtles are offering.
Instead of keeping up with a faster pace, we find ourselves watching a kid’s movie that’s more drawn out than it should be. During these periods after the intro, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows just doesn’t offer much for a good period of time. While they should have been giving audiences more of the improved action to watch, they’re dishing out loads of dialogue in its place. Things do pick up eventually, but it never gets to where it needs to be in order to recover.
While this isn’t an excellent picture, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows does manage to make noticeable improvements over its most immediate predecessor. A large chunk of that comes from the improved action, but some of it is also because of the fact that the characters are also better. While it’s not a movie I can recommend, it’s good that there have been some growth here. This could very well be enough to satisfy some in the crowd, but it could have been more by just including more of what gave me hope in the early going.
Director: Dave Green
Stephen “Sheamus” Farrelly
Gary Anthony Williams
Film Length: 102 minutes
Release Date: June 3, 2016
Distributor: Paramount Pictures
- Score - 4.5/104.5/10