This is the second outing for Michael Bay's Turtles and while it does improve greatly upon the original it still has quite a long way to go. The titular Turtle brothers; Michelangelo, Donatello, Leonardo, and Raphael return once more to save the city while also dealing with deep group turmoil. This was one of the key areas I had some problems with as I would have thought these issues would have been sorted out in the first movie though they just reused the same general conflict within the Turtle team. Joining the turtles once more were side characters April O'Neil (Megan Fox) and Vern "The Falcon" (Will Arnett) that seemed to get some smaller roles this time around. I found Arnett's character to be quite funny in his small sequences and Megan Fox a bit wasted as she just uncovered intel a couple times without much focus on what her actual character is (a reporter with Turtle friends). This continued with the latest addition to the team with the well loved character Casey Jones (Stephen Amell). It was actually surprising that the actor fit the role so well and that they did a great of presenting Casey on the screen. I did however have some issues with the character not presenting properly as there was far too much action involving him while he wasn't in his iconic outfit with that featured in only a single scene which felt odd. This team comes together in order to fight the main Turtles antagonist Shredder (Brian Tee) that ends up joining forces with the random and out of nowhere Krang.
Once again this is where the story just sort of rushes along not taking time to flesh out areas while just handing out conveniences to the characters. I don't think I've ever watched a movie that felt so guided as everything the heroes or villains needed was just right in front of them as they jumped from area to area rather quickly. This was most evident with the convenient GPS system, the teleportation that just gave out a special ooze canister and my favorite where the team is magically on their way to battle towards the ending. When it comes to these characters I feel that a compelling story could be put together, but it's thrown completely out the window for quick gags and a number of jokes that didn't quite hit their notes. It also felt as though they just put a pile of popular songs in the background of the film that didn't always match up with what was happening. The best parts of the film for me were how faithful the designs of the newly added characters were and the CGI. Rocksteady and Bebop were perfectly captured in all their silliness which was great. Even Krang which I would consider to be a hard character to convert into live action was incredibly well done and even entertaining. I just don't quite understand his motives at all throughout the film or even any of the decisions he made as well. The CGI was actually incredible, I had one small issue with a tank scene looking slightly unrealistic though the rest of the film was solid. If there's one thing Michael Bay can do is make some top notch quality CGI as the world and digital characters really came to life, even the 3D was great having a number of well done dimensionally non-gimmicky areas.
TMNT: Out of the Shadows had a pile of problems in it which make it a fairly poor film, but that's not to say that the target younger audience won't enjoy it. It's got lots of silly humor which did get some laughs and in the screening the older audience also seemed to join in on the laughs occasionally as well being louder than the kids at some moments. The characters were presented being very faithfully to their core concepts and that I definitely appreciate. I was more than pleased with Rocksteady, Bebop and Krang with just a bit of disappointment for Casey Jones only once being in true character. The CGI was once again incredible looking realistic and matching the environments well without any stick out issues. The franchise is definitely building towards something that has great potential as the characters are there, we just need to see something more done with them and a far better story to match.
Review for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows at Theater with 3D Viewing
Screening Provided by Paramount