It’s merely impossible for anyone out there to be oblivious to this franchise. If by some small chance you are and missed out on yesteryears of comic-books, cartoons and live-action movies… The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are four, highly-trained brothers in the art of Ninjutsu led by a giant rat who all live in the sewers of NYC. Dedicated to protecting the city they love, together they must battle their greatest nemesis Shredder, along with other mutant forces deemed on turning their city (and perhaps the world) upside down. One more thing… They love pizza!
All caught up? Good. After the success of their long-awaited comeback in 2014, the franchise kicked it up with an upgraded look, style and overall attitude molded for modern times, courtesy of Michael Bay. Personally, whatever approach he took that completely destroyed Transformers (considering how successful that franchised turned out to be), TMNT turned out to be better than most of us expected. Geared for those it entertained back in the 80’s and 90s, TMNT (’14) also garnered a new fan-base. Tracking well prior to release, followed by dollar bills falling on each other as tickets sold like warm rolls, Paramount didn’t hesitate to green light a sequel. Only this time, the aim is getting them out of seclusion.
Michelangelo, Donatello, Leonardo, and Raphael are back to battle bigger, more menacing villains, alongside April O’Neil (Megan Fox), Vern Fenwich (Will Arnett), and newcomer, hockey-masked vigilante Casey Jones (Stephen Amell). After supervillain Shredder (Brian Tee) escapes custody, he joins forces with a mad scientist Baxter Stockman (Tyler Perry) and two noodle-brained henchmen, Bebop (Gary Anthony Williams) and Rocksteady (WWE Superstar Stephen “Shaemus” Farrelly), to unleash a diabolical plan to take over the world. As the Turtles prepare to take on Shredder, his new crew and a gooey source that threatens their very existence, they also find themselves facing an even greater evil with similar intentions: the notorious Krang.
Louder and crazier, it is what it is. These flicks live up to what they’re supposed to do – lure its audience into a journey of colorful, vibrant, over-the-top characters exposed to the most mind-numbingly exhausting of situations. But… That’s part of the fun nonetheless with TMNT. Upping the ante in this sequel, it was great to see the turtles find themselves in a personal bind, as well as additions of other franchise favorites. (Casey, Bebop, Rocksteady, Baxter and Krang!) Swift and quite engaging, ‘OUT OF THE SHADOWS’ doesn’t really suffer the dreaded “S word” stigma. Tipping the hat for its fan base of yesteryears as it provides Easter eggs, while saddling up new ones, this flick will grant the franchise stability. That said, the third one will be right around the corner, folks. You’ll see!
Grade: B / Genre: Sequel, Action, Adventure, Comedy / Rated: PG-13 / Run Time: 1:50
Starring: Megan Fox, Will Arnett, Stephen Amell, Brian Tee, Tyler Perry, Pete Ploszek (Leonardo), Jeremy Howard (Donatello), Alan Richson (Raphael) and Noel Fisher (Michelangelo)
Directed by: Dave Green