Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows Review

Well, here it is, another Ninja Turtles movie out. I never really was allowed to watch Ninja Turtles growing up. So this isn’t going to be me comparing it to a destroyed childhood or anything. I’m going to hold it up to the only benchmark I know, the first movie. So if you really liked the first movie, you’re going to like this one. It fit the universe they were building. The only thing I was asking myself was, “when is Optimus Prime going to show up.”

What worked for me in the movie were the Turtles, and Bepop and Rocksteady. They really nailed the character development. The Turtles continued to grow as characters emotionally ash they transition from teenagers to adults.

The cinematography made the movie look like it had lots of eye candy throughout the movie, and I’m not just talking about Megan Fox back portraying April O'Neil, they even made Stephen Amell aka Casey Jones look like a superhero.

The action pieces of the film were spot on, not exactly surprising when Michael Bay aka The King of Explosions is at the helm. You could tell that they put some time into making the fight scenes look cool and stylized, the martial arts on display comes thick and fast. The only thing that shadowed this were the set pieces and the way that the turtles interacted with their environment. The police station sequence was especially exciting and one of the high points of the entire film. 

What didn’t work for me was that the Turtles had to explain everything. I mean everything. It felt like they dumbed the movie down to an unnecessary level. It is aimed towards children, but I feel like children these days are smarter than we give them credit for. I mean honestly, does a movie have to be completely solid for a child to have fun in? I don’t think so. I loved the Phantom Menace as a kid, but having recently watched it as an adult, I didn’t like it (sorry Qui-Gon). I mean TMNT: Out of the Shadows isn’t the kind of movie I would run straight out and buy but it's by no means a terrible film.

Where I would fault this movie the most is that it tries too hard to be a movie, and a movie version of a Saturday morning cartoon at the same time. There are things in the cartoon, that allows you to suspend belief. I felt like they spent too much time correcting what the fans said they did as a mistake, than focus on making a movie that everyone can enjoy.

The movie also felt really long. It’s not, but it felt like one of the 3 hour superhero movies we’ve become used to. The jokes were really on point, and I laughed.  If you’re a kid, you’re going to have fun, if you’re an adult going into Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 being a more adult film, you’re going to be disappointed. The special effects were as impressive as you'd expect with the money going into it, my only complaint is that the turtles seem have different proportions from the first one.

3 out of 5

TMNT 2 is a fun, enjoyable matinee movie, but nowhere near the cinematic masterpieces that Civil War and Winter Soldier are for the comic book genres.