TMNT Out of the Shadows
Starring Megan Fox, Stephen Amell, Laura Linney, Will Arnett, Tyler Perry,
In the absence of another “Transformers” sequel (that’s next year), Michael Bay continues to peddle the live action version of the cartoon “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”. While the first one in 2014 wasn’t an enormous box office smash, apparently there is still an audience for the films that captivated audiences in the 1990’s before CGI made anything and everything possible to film on screen. The only credit these movies get, especially this one, is just how much of the animated series is brought to life on the big screen. While the films of the 90’s could have been classified as cheesy, they had heart, life and death situations, real performances not to mention charm and personality. These fast paced, digitally transformed, circus like movies only accomplish the same goal as the cartoon, to pacify children for two hours. Sure they will please whatever new generation Ninja Turtle fans are still out there, but the risk and the essence of those Turtle films of the 90’s are gathering dust on VHS copies somewhere.
The four mutated brothers are still relishing in their success of saving New York from Shredder, although they can’t tell anyone as they still live in the shadows. April O’Neil’s former cameraman Vernon (Arnett) has taken credit for putting the villain away, and his ego has run away with his new found fame. Shredder busts out of confinement, and once again, the turtles must come to the rescue of their friend and the city. Shedder (Brian Tee) joins forces with alien foe Kraang (Brad Garrett) in an attempt to destroy all humans and run the planet. In possession of purple ooze that can not only make new mutants, but “cure” current mutants. The foursome is divided at the chance of having a normal life and becoming human.
if you’re an adult, no time is “turtle time”.
“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2” isn’t a movie that requires any brain activity. From the opening moments of quick edits and an entire pallet of computer generated images, the astute viewer should easily realize the difference in talented actors reacting to green screen and what we see here. In fact Megan Fox (“Transformers”) is so busy posing for the camera, pouting her lips and tossing her hair, I don’t think she reacts to much of anything. Iconic April O’Neil is written even farther from the origins of that character, one of the new franchises biggest departures. Everything else adheres so close to the animated television series, it’s almost impressive to see the real live versions of characters like Bebop, Rocksteady and Kraang. It’s just too bad the dialogue evaporates brain cells every time the actors speak.
What three-time Academy Award nominee Laura Linney (“Mystic River”) is doing in this movie I will never understand. As the police chief, she is at least given one of the few roles this summer that would typically be given to a male. “As soon as the sun goes down, it’s turtle time,” they say. Well, I hate to break it to ya, but if you’re an adult, no time is “turtle time”. This sequel, much like the first one, is completely geared towards children. There is little to nothing to stimulate an adult mind. Not the action or attempt at humor. The height of this pictures comic genius is fart jokes and injury comedy. “Out of the Shadows” borrows heavily on the reoccurring X-Men theme, where certain mutants contemplate giving up their powers for a normal life. It’s another franchise, sequel, reboot clogging the summer movie season with more uninspired and useless junk.
“Out of the Shadows” will likely have adult viewers running out of the theater.