Turtle Soup (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, review)
Sometimes life throws you lemons, and so you make lemonade. Other times it throws you lemons and you plant a lemon try, because who has time to make lemonade? That was a throwback to yesterday’s post if you didn’t catch it, but also applies to the story of the day folks.
I have a friend that’s been making lemons for a little while now, but they finally started to get productive and dig themselves out of a pretty deep hole.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (2016)
Cast: Megan Fox, Will Arnett, Laura Linney, Stephen Amell, Tyler Perry, Brian Tee
Director(s): Dave Green
released on blu-ray September 20, 2016
Rotten Tomatoes: 38%, Audience Score 50%
The Guardian: */*****
David Green is an American film and music video director. He has directed Earth to Echo, and most recently, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows.
It’s going to be hard to give this movie any positive accolades because it basically ripped off large parts of TMNT 2: Secret of the Ooze, though it did introduce better henchmen in Bebop and Rocksteady, which I’m personally thankful for.
It’s a tale as old as time, four heroes are living in squalor because they cannot accept the recognition they deserve, instead giving it to a minor character who abuses the praise. However, the heroes are then given a second chance to demonstrate their prowess, and after some challenges which include in-fighting over leadership and what course should be taken, the group bands together and takes down an even greater foe. This time they have the opportunity to be seen as the true heroes they are, but they decide to stay where they are, preferring to keep their secrecy.
That’s the shortest and nicest summary I could have come up with for TMNT: Out of the Shadows. Because quite frankly, it’s a hot mess.
I personally thought the turtles were less creepy this time around, both in their presentation and with the flirtations against April, which allowed me to invest in them as characters, but where the crew improved upon the turtles, the supporting cast doesn’t help much at all.
For instance, April O’Neil (Megan Fox) gets less screen time, but when she does show up onscreen, it’s usually to help move the plot forward/feature as a sex object. But Dr. Baxter Stockman (Tyler Perry) is an oddball scientist and cameraman Vern (Will Arnett) makes almost no connecting jokes. Also the inclusion of Krang feels somewhat shoehorned in, and we never get to connect the dots over why he wants to leave Dimension X nor why Earth is a great choice to migrate to.
Pros: The action scenes are more fun, the turtles banter is more relevant, and I cannot emphasis this enough, they are WAY less creepy to look at.
Cons: The story is bland, the supporting cast is painful to watch, and the ending just doesn’t make sense. Need I say more?
Runtime: 1 hour 52 minutes
Points of Interest: The mutagen in this film is purple, much like that from the 1987 cartoon, which had a whole host of varieties. This is the first live-action TMNT to feature Krang.
While it is pretty obvious I didn’t love this movie, I will admit that it felt a lot closer to the heroes in a half shell that we know and love than the bastard child of 2014. I will also caution parents of small children to share the other movies and cartoons with their offspring if they are going to watch this movie, because it’s not okay to only call them Leo, Donnie, Raph, and Mikey. Those turtles are much more interesting then Michael Bay gives kids credit for. Seriously, there will be shell to pay.
As mentioned numerous times already, this is not an excellent film by any means. It doesn’t improve on anything already canon in the TMNT universe nor does keep up with the continuity proper. However, it does appear to be the case that the franchise is making a u-turn after many months off course. So with that said, I can suggest you watch this movie if you really like TMNT. Otherwise, it’s probably best left in the shadows.