After the disaster that was the TMNT movie in 2014, no one would ever guess that a sequel would be any better. Surprisingly enough, this is an enjoyable, proper Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie. Directed by Dave Green, whose only other directing credit was Earth to Echo, made a movie that understands what it should be from the very first scene. For those who are worried about Michael Bay’s influence on the film, it is very little and even has a goofy little nod to his other franchises so no need to worry.
Out of the Shadows starts off the way all Turtle movies should. The introduction shows off the personalities of the Turtles through natural dialogue and goofy antics. This sets the stage for the audience to know the mutant turtles as teenagers with unbelievable ninja skills, but they still have everyday flaws. The only nitpick I have is that they even have freeze framed stills on all the characters to show their names and positions on the team. I won’t complain because at least these personalities aren’t stereotypical or nonexistent like the movie prior. The Turtle’s skills and fighting ability are shown off a ton and they’re so damn funny it hurts. Everything’s more colorful and not as gritty/dull, it’s pleasant to look at.
The story for the movie is pretty decent, definitely engaging but falls flat. The world is in peril from the likes of Shredder and Krang, with Bebop and Rocksteady as muscle. The Turtles and friends are the only ones who can stop them. Shredder could be the most pointless thing in this movie. Shredder, played by Brian Tee, rallies the troops and helps Krang get to Earth, but that’s it. Shredder never throws a punch and even when he has the helmet, it’s for maybe a minute until he is gone from the story. Casey sort of falls under the same problem in that he wears the hockey mask once and then it’s just Stephen Amell’s face the rest of the way. Both Tee and Amell play the roles pretty damn well, they just weren’t given enough action on the screen.
The spotlight is on the Turtles and that’s where it should be. They get along and fight like brothers, plus they come to grips that even though they’ve saved the city, the brothers will always be outcasts. That is until they retrieve the purple ooze Shredder got from Krang that made Bebop and Rocksteady. The purple ooze can reverse the effects on the Turtles so that they can turn human. There’s a good scene where the Turtles debate on what to do and can almost see the gears turning in their heads.
Bebop and Rocksteady are almost everything I wanted and more. The chemistry between these two is undeniable and they are the perfect contrast to the Shredder. Whereas the Shredder is serious and to the point, Bebop and Rocksteady are these goofy, loyal idiots with power.
Krang is a big threat and is creepy, but he just seems rushed sadly enough. Shredder meets Krang after escaping and it’s incredibly random. Krang already knows about the Shredder and the Turtles, promising to aid Shredder if he can retrieve 3 parts to bring the Technodrome to Earth. The Technodrome is pretty terrifying but none of the citizens are running away, thanks iPhone. Krang’s fight with the Turtles isn’t as good as the Shredder fight in the movie prior, but he is tough and not something to mess with. I honestly think Krang has about 5 minutes of screen time and it’s disappointing but it seems we’ll be seeing more of him.
Speaking of seeing, the audience is treated to less of Megan Fox and more of April O’Neil. In the last movie, Megan Fox acted incredibly dumb and just served to be eye candy. Even though she’s still eye candy, she does so much more to actually help the turtles. The audience and brothers saw less of Master Splinter as well, with Leonardo really being the one he interacted with. At least he isn’t abusing his son’s and torturing information out of them. Also, Will Arnett isn’t as annoying or creepy as the last movie.
Thank you Dave Green for exceeding my expectations and giving us a proper Turtle movie. I came into the movie with an open mind and left feeling very happy I gave this movie a chance. If you haven’t seen Out of the Shadows, I highly recommend you go to the theaters and check it out. Join me next time in which I fully go over the mess that is Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014), which was directed by Jonathan Liebesman.