Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows
Starring Megan Fox, Will Arnett, Laura Linney, Stephen Amell
Screenplay By Josh Applebaum & Andre Nemec
Based on Characters Created by
Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird
Directed by Dave Green
We didn't hate it. Don't judge us.
The 2014 version of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was somewhat notorious for running away from its source material: changing the heroes' origin story, turning the villains into different characters entirely, even supposedly intending at one point in development to turn the titular turtles into aliens. Fans seemed to agree it was better than their worst fears associated with a version produced by Michael Bay had lead them to expect, but it was a film that simply didn't "get" the property it was trying to adapt. These fans are likely to be much happier with the sequel, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, which, for all its considerable faults, enthusiastically embraces the material and emulates the the late 1980s cartoon and early '90s big screen adventures.
Some of the elements at play here really work quite well, almost perfectly matching what we've come to expect from the brand name. Others veer off into the requisite overblown Hollywood blockbuster mistakes, but what is more or less always on point is the tone, as well as the character dynamic of the turtles themselves.
None of the actors portraying humans does much to distinguish themselves, but for the most part they don't detract, either. Fox is obviously not a very skilled actress, but she's nearly as hideous in these movies as her most vocal detractors insist that she is, and she gives one of her better film performances in this franchise. That may not be much of a compliment, but honestly, she really does fare better than Amell, who does action much better than comedy, and never gets a chance to show the intense presence that works so well for him as Green Arrow. Arnett is just Arnett: he gets a few scenes to do his thing, and that's about it. Perry mugs shamelessly in a role that doesn't call for it, and Linney manages to keep her aloof dignity intact by staying committed and professional in a thankless role as the Chief of Police. As for Gary Anthony Williams and Stephen "Seamus" Farrelly, who play fan favorites Beebop and Rocksteady, they are even more over the top than Perry, but they have more license to be, and for the most part it works. The three of them share an unintentional highlight of the film in what may be the biggest cinematic laugh of the year, as the clunky script asks Stockman to provide a less than convincing pseudo-science explanation for the transformation from man to beast. Apparently Applebaum and Nemec have heard of Charles Darwin's theories, but have idea how they work.
The Bearded Trio - The Site For Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and John Williams
THE BEARDED TRIO ON FACEBOOK
THE BEARDED TRIO ON TWITTER
THE BEARDED TRIO ON GOOGLE+
THE BEARDED TRIO ON PINTEREST
CLICK HERE FOR FACTS ON STEVEN SPIELBERG
CLICK HERE FOR FACTS ON GEORGE LUCAS
CLICK HERE FOR FACTS ON JOHN WILLIAMS