5 June 2016

Movie Review: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows

Yesterday, I got to see the new Ninja Turtles movie with one of my students and I thought I'd share my thoughts on it.

I wasn't the most die hard fan of the franchise, but I loved the original movie from 1990 (still do), and I enjoyed the animated series as a child. When the franchise was rebooted with Michael Bay at the helm, I was one of the those people who looked at the whole thing with horror and contempt. I opposed the CGI turtles, Megan Fox as April O'Neil, and the direction in which the makers were taking this franchise.

But since the non-profit organisation that my student and I are a part of gave us free movie passes, and since we're both fans of Stephen Amell (who stars in this film), I thought oh, what the hell, let's go see the Turtles.

In this sequel to the 2014 TMNT, Shredder has partnered up with another, more villainous villain in a grand plan of destruction and domination. So now the turtles have to stop them, with the help of April O'Neil, and their new buddy Casey Jones who, for some reason, is a correction officer in this movie.

What complicates matters is that in the process, the reptile brothers get an opportunity to become human. If they succeed, they will be able to step out of the shadows, and protect New York City out in the open. And this causes a conflict in the team. 

This is a very entertaining and a very good looking movie. It's also very funny. And it's funny mostly thanks to the turtles, whom I actually ended up liking a lot. They sure as hell don't look like turtles, but I like the portrayal of their characters, and I like the dynamic between them. They make a good team.

I like Stephen Amell as... well, I can't say that I like him as Casey Jones, because whatever character he is supposed to be playing, it's not Casey Jones. I just like him in the movie. He's has a great on-screen presence, and good comedic timing.

Beebop and Rocksteady are basically cartoon characters, but they're funny and they're just like I remember them in the animated series. Now the fans can forget about those two monstrosities from The Secret of the Ooze.

And the musical score is great.

As for the rest of the movie, it's a cartoonish, exposition-heavy piece of cliché-flavoured bubble gum. The writers lean so heavily on exposition, they practically use it as a crutch. While watching this movie you can completely turn off your brain as you are being spoon-fed every bit of information the writers think you need to know. It's been a while since I saw a movie with such lazy writing.

It's also very derivative. All the plot devices, all the tropes - we've seen them hundreds of times before, in far better movies. Don't expect any surprises.

As for the performances, I'll say this much: between Megan Fox's Megan Fox and Tyler Perry's cartoon version Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, there isn't much talent to look for. Stephen Amell and the actors who play the turtles are the ones that are carrying this cash grab of a film.

This movie knows what it is, though. It's a pop corn movie, aimed mostly towards kids. It's fun summer entertainment with a lot of fan service. So turn off your brain, forget everything you know about the laws of physics, and enjoy yourself.

I enjoyed it enough to give it 5 out stars out of 10 on IMDB.


  1. Like you, I was a fan of the original animated series but I wasn't super fond of the last movie. I do tend to like humor in movies, but there are negative aspects of it I'm a little worried about as well. Nice review, and thanks for stopping by my blog!

    1. Hi, Alise! Thank you for commenting :) I get where your worries are coming from. It's a fun film, but I just couldn't believe how lazy the writing was, especially compared to the 1990's film.