Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows Review (No Spoilers)

Jordan Samuel Jordan Samuel
Expert Contributor
May 30th, 2016

Film Critic and Writer for ComiConverse.com, the Founder and co-host of the official Nerdcast Network Podcast

Price:
A Decent Slice (Not Anything Else)

Reviewed by:
Rating:
2
On May 30, 2016
Last modified:June 1, 2016

Summary:

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows is a fun slice of the classic team, but lacks any proper flavour

Price:
A Decent Slice (Not Anything Else)

Reviewed by:
Rating:

2
On May 30, 2016
Last modified:June 1, 2016

Summary:

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows is a fun slice of the classic team, but lacks any proper flavour

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows jumps in cinemas May 30th in the UK (June 3rd US). Our Lead Film Critic Jordan Samuel has seen the sequel and provides the official ComiConverse review.

I grew up with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, their wild adventures entertained me for most of my childhood. Stemming from a one-off comic, the team has been adapted for TV, movies and even a famous toy line that became a mega-franchise.

The Turtles rank up there with Batman and Spider-Man, kids and adults across the world know the mutant brothers and the cast of characters that make up their universe. Most famously, after staring in their own movie in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990), which dominated box office numbers in that year.

The franchise continued with the recent Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014) grossing $493.3 million, a film that was critically hammered and which has since been forgotten.

I personally loved how the brothers were portrayed, the tone was more in line with the Mirage Studios run which was a great change but sadly lacked any charm. The story, however, was disappointing, feeling more like an April O'Neil origin piece, with the turtles not getting enough screen time. 

In 2015 it was confirmed that sequel Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows was in production, focusing on the turtles and their arch enemies Bebop and Rocksteady. Bringing a lighter tone in the process something that made this franchise so popular, it also would bring back fan favourite characters.

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Could this finally be a great Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film?

Let's find out as Jordan Samuel presents the official ComiConverse review

Cowabunga!

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Credit: Paramount Pictures

The Turtles comes into conflict with T.C.R.I. scientist Dr. Baxter Stockman and the return of their enemy, The Shredder, who has hired Stockman to create mutants of his own in the form of Bebop and Rocksteady to even the score, during which the Turtles discover a Retro-Mutagen in hopes they can become humans. Following an extraterrestrial invasion above New York City led by the Dimension X inhabitant known as Krang. Upon Krang's Invasion, the Turtles are joined in the fight with their Master Splinter, their human friends April O'Neil, Vern Fenwick and new friend, vigilante Casey Jones.

Staring: Pete Ploszek, Alan Ritchson, Noel Fisher, Jeremy Howard, Megan Fox and Stephen Amell.

Sequels can be hit or miss, with numerous changes often ruining what made the original film successful. It's tricky to get them right, but the opposite has happened with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, which feels like a Saturday morning cartoon.

Director Dave Green has provided the best Turtles movie yet, which develops the characters we love. It embraces the ridiculous nature of the concept – something unique in the era of dark adaptations. This is totally a soft-reboot of the franchise, with majority of the complaints in the previous outings completely erased. The film's producers have been listening.

From the get-go the turtles are in every scene, following their adventures more closely compared to the reboot. Each famous member is given the needed screen time for proper development, providing a feel-good swan song to them.

Dave Green makes the brothers feel like much more than CGI creations, they're proper living teenagers. The different personalities and traits each turtle has gets the needed respect on the big screen. The film is not perfect with the pacing feeling a bit too fast for me, but it does many things right.

I also felt like the script should have written out certain characters for maximum impact.

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Credit: Paramount Pictures

Raphael always gets angry and Leonardo is a serious leader, all things the reboot failed at developing. Michelangelo and Donatello also get chances to provide hilarious comedy brains in the team.

Because they all get the same amount of screen time, it never feels like one is more important than the other. Something the Avengers balanced well feeling much more faithful source material this time around. This made me smile as a long-running Turtles fan, something that has not happened in many years.

You sense a brotherly connection between these iconic heroes, something previous iterations have never truly delved into. Master Splinter is training them to become better Ninjas and shares one emotional scene with Leo.

Dave Green makes use of each Turtle's personalties, with signature differences coming though in their scenes. fans of each character should be happy when walking out the theatre because each brother gets the needed screen time.

I sense serious potential with future movies following the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on the journey to adulthood.

If you're looking forward to the characters, you won't be disappointed.

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Credit: Paramount Pictures

Now about the humans, honestly I never felt annoyed by then. This is NOT an April and Casey movie featuring the Turtles in fact, they have very few scenes where there isn't a ninja or a villain present.

The Turtles are the stars. When they aren't on the screen, it's usually the villains who spend a lot of time together, so it never felt like an overstock of characters. Newcomer Stephen Amell plays Casey Jones the vigilante who helps out the turtles in a city wide alien invasion.

He is fierce, but sadly lacks any cool mutant ninja skills, instead providing his signature hockey mask and stick to kick ass and taking names. He's the best new human character in the sequel. Arrow star Amell is right at home in the franchise, showcasing his potential in Hollywood productions. He never feels boring and is a great as Casey Jones.

Megan Fox is reporter April O'Neil and she is quite bearable this time around, because the movie limits her scenes. I was very happy with her role in the sequel, she is much more useful this time around. Megan doesn't just chew up the set like a shark instead actually helps the turtles. With one sequence going so far as to create an emotional breakdown for men across the world. Megan is decent this time around, which is something I never thought would ever happen.

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Credit: Paramount Pictures

Now on to the villains, Bebop and Rocksteady, who are another surprise element. When it was announced the fan favourite henchmen would appear in the sequel, many were excited. I can confirm they are awesome and are complete adaptations of the original cartoon counterparts. There jokes and signature looks are all on display – something I never thought to see in 2016.

I enjoyed their presence but couldn't stop cringing at the comedy on show, which comes across very immature. Something even the cartoon never had, which annoyed me throughout the film's running time

Gary Anthony Williams and WWE superstar Sheamus are perfectly cast for the tone, who hopefully should return for a sequel with more toned down jokes. Krang and Shredder also appear providing ranging levels of success scaring the kids

Krang is quite forgettable in the film ending up feeling like a rushed villain, who should have been saved for a sequel. His motivations are weak and never really are explained which is disappointing when compared to his cartoon counterpart

Brad Garrett voices the alien from Dimension X and surprisingly does a decent job with this iconic voice. I did sense some last-minute changes in casting but all is good on-screen.

Credit: Paramount Pictures

Credit: Paramount Pictures

Shredder is also very underwhelming in the sequel; he just doesn't get time to do much. Instead he's sidelined for Bepop and Rocksteady, which makes sense, but it's quite odd that he never did anything of substance this time around.

Brian Tee is great in the role, and quite the step up from previous versions. This shredder is more menacing this time around (thanks to a classic redesign) which no longer looks like a cheap Deception knock-off.

There are issues with Shredder, which mainly come from the cliché dialogue that sounds like something straight from the original 80's cartoon. He does what's needed and that is fine enough for me. I would love to see him return for a sequel, because this Shredder is a mega upgrade from the 2014 iteration.

Credit: Paramount Pictures

This story surprised me with how tied together it was, sub-plots flow together and never come across as unnecessary. The convoluted mess Michael Bay has produced with the Transformers is thrown out the widow, for a simple alternative in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows.

I even enjoyed the April O'Neil police storyline because it developed the friendship between her and Casey Jones, an element that could expanded in future films. Even though the NYPD are quite stupid in this universe

The final half of the movie, quite honestly was great as all of the Turtles were in their element. With the grand battle being the best I have seen all year round; topping the previous film in every aspect.

Each storyline is concluded by the films climax, something that was appreciated after a abrupt end of the last movie. Giving the feeling you have finished a episode of the original show. As one whole slice of Pizza, Out of the Shadows packs the right toppings bring everything what made the turtles so famous in one bite.

Being a hardcore fan of these characters, I have to admit it's not a perfect slice, but the fun had here cannot be ignored.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows is a decent celebration of the classical team, and is made for turtle fans. Personally I enjoyed the outing as a popcorn munching summer movie before Suicide Squad

It takes me back to my childhood, when I used to play with my Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles figurines while watching the latest episode.

Go see this one Turtle fans! You won't be disappointed!

PS: Stay behind for the remixed cartoon theme song,.

It's totally awesome.

 

Jordan Samuel is the Lead Film Critic for ComiConverse. Follow him on Twitter:@JordanESamuel

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows

  • 2

A Decent Slice (Not Anything Else)

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows is a fun slice of the classic team, but lacks any proper flavour

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One Comment

  1. CogInTheWheel says:

    “Sequels can be hit and miss”

    It’s “hit or miss” you can’t hit something and miss it at the same time….

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