Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows

Directed by: Dave Green

Starring: Megan Fox, Stephen Amell, Will Arnett, Brian Tee, Tyler Perry, Brittany Ishibashi, and Laura Linney

Michael Bay tackles yet another famous cartoon franchise.  Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows is better than many of the Transformers’ films, but that is not saying much.  Director Dave Green has a lighter touch than Bay, so the film has fun moments.  However, there is no need to rush to the theaters to check out this sequel.

Michelangelo (Noel Fisher), Leonardo (Pete Poszek), Raphael (Alan Ritchson) and Donatello (Jeremy Howard) have defeated the evil Shredder (Brian Tee).  However, the four brothers are wrestling with their place in their beloved New York City.  As mutant turtles, they dwell in the sewers with their father Splinter (Peter Donald Badalamenti).  Despite the fact that they are true heroes, the brothers can’t go out for pizza or to a Knicks’ game for fear of being seen.  They must remain in the shadows.   It is becoming increasingly more difficult for them to hide in the sewers as they want to interact with the rest of the world.  Michelangelo and Raphael in particular are struggling with the isolation.

Meanwhile, Shredder is being transported to a high security facility.  Shredder is in cahoots with renowned scientist Baxter Stockman (Tyler Perry) who has developed an advanced teleportation device to aid Shredder in a prison escape.  April (Megan Fox) and the Turtles attempt to stop Shredder’s prison break, but Shredder escapes and is teleported to a secret meeting with Krang (Brad Garrett).  Krang needs Shredder’s assistance in gathering materials needed for Krang to bring his war machine to Earth so he can conquer it.  The Turtles, April, and Casey Jones (Stephen Amell) must work together to stop Krang and Shredder. But they face an uphill battle as the NYPD thwarts their every move, and the brothers face internal conflict.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows
is pretty much what you would expect.  It is relatively fast-paced, laced with juvenile humor and filled with action.  There are a few laugh out loud moments such as when one of the turtles thoughtfully ponders “What would Vin Diesel do?” (That is a t-shirt waiting to happen).  Additionally, Arrow’s Stephen Amell is a fresh addition to the TMNT franchise.  The rest of the cast is solid, except for Tyler Perry’s bumbling evil scientist who is simply over the top.  The film itself is decidedly predictable and Green and the writers do not bring anything new to the table.  

My biggest critique of TMNT: Out of the Shadows is that the Michael Bay produced film misses its audience.  TMNT’s target audience is children.  It is a hugely popular cartoon and has spawned toys and hordes of paraphernalia for kids.  However, the PG-13 flick has some fairly coarse language that I thought was a little too advanced for children.  I understand that the film was rated for 13 year old teens.  However, I did not see a single 13 year old in my theater.  Teenagers have aged out of their love for TMNT.  My theater was filled with parents and children ranging from 5 to 11 years old.  Given that demographic, I think Bay and Green missed the mark.  You can have an action-packed film for children without curse words.  I would caution parents with young children who may think this film is for children because it is based on a cartoon that they should be mindful of the rating.  

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows
gets a 0.09% rating.  A cocktail is needed to enjoy this one.