'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows' review: A humourless mess
Out of the Shadows revolves around the turtles needing some sort of acknowledgement for saving the world
There are movies that tap into your fondest childhood memories and there are people like Michael Bay who are hell bent on turning everything fun from your childhood into a humourless mess.
He’s transformed the Transformers into a cheap and stupid commercial commodity and the Ninja Turtles into a charmless and tedious mélange of incoherent sounds. Out of the Shadows, a sequel to 2014’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is yet another one of those films where you are tricked into thinking that Bay might have tried harder to deliver a fun movie.
In Out of the Shadows the plot, as liberal use of the word that is, revolves around the turtles needing some sort of acknowledgement for saving the world during the events of the previous film. Their master Splinter (Tony Shalhoub) warns them to stay away from the corrupt big city and continue operating in the shadows.
Elsewhere April O Neil (Megan Fox) finds out that the villainous Shredder is being shifted to a different prison and someone is planning to attack the motorcade to break him free. There is also the uber villain Kraang (Brad Garett) planning his own scheme to, you guessed it, take over the world.
The problem is that despite this movie being targeted at kids, there is little to really enjoy. The whole movie is a barrage of lazy plotting, terrible acting and shrill noises it makes you yearn for a couple of earplugs. The turtles are supposed to be wisecracking, cute but also badass ninjas but their characters have been reduced to ugly looking motion capture creatures constantly mouthing unfunny dialogue. The orange teal color palette recycled from the Transformers movies gives the film a gloomy hangover, negating the attempts of ‘fun’ through Bebop and Rocksteady, the rhino and pig war machines.
Director Dave Green makes little improvement over the original film in terms of the action or comedy. The turtles’ love for pizza and the camaraderie in the group remains snooze inducing, and no amount of over the top action and the overblown finale feels like a spectacle worth paying attention to.
The film borrows liberally from the 90’s film The Secret of the Ooze, but those who watched that movie would be offended by how Out of the Shadows strips off all the entertainment value. Making things worse is the 3D that makes the already screechy and jumbled imagery into third degree torture for your eyeballs. Couple that with the depressing sight of actors the caliber of Laura Linney and Will Arnett hamming it up in a film for easy cash grabs.
With the Transformers and now the Turtles movies it’s clear that Bay expect kids to be stupid and is okay with feeding them unhealthy entertainment in the name of fun. If you have kids and want to show them a genuinely great kids film that nourishes their IQ instead of depleting it, make them watch The Little Prince. Until then let’s just pray the filmmakers are not trying to do a Transformers-Turtles crossover film.
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