Thursday, June 2, 2016

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

It is interesting that a story about anthropomorphic turtles that learn karate yet act like teenagers has become so popular in this strange culture. The sequel to this reboot of the popular pizza-eating mutants is fun-loving and embraces the oddity of the phenomenon. The movie brushes over things like plot and logic, though it does take moments to work on character development. The story packs in a ton of new characters but amazingly, it doesn't feel so overstuffed as is the case for other superhero movies.

Megan Fox returns as April O'Neil to pose and pout again while walking in slow motion for few token shots. She is regulated to a more minor role this time around to make space for Casey Jones played with boyish enthusiasm by Stephen Amell. I've yet to sit through the Arrow television show but he has gained some fans for that role. Will Arnett also returns as even more comedic relief with the nickname "The Faclon" and spends a few extra scenes getting to act goofy.

A new set of villains also populate the film. Shredder is now played by Brian Tee from The Wolverine and a small role in Jurassic World. With all the other baddies, Shredder doesn't get much time to shine regulated to a sequel down the line. He even has a smaller suit that is not nearly as powerful as his hulking figure in the first movie. He does serve a purpose to put the other pieces together. Tyler Perry works as the mad scientist Baxter Stockman who can harness a transformative alien substance and creat Bebop and Rocksteady. The warthog is played by Gary Anthony Williams and the rhinoceros is played by Stephen Farrelly, a wrestler also known as Sheamus. Brad Garrett voices Krang, the brain inside of a robot that steals the show for the villains.

The turtles were all pretty funny in this movie. Michaelangelo is the most vocal and active bouncing around joking with the impressive Noel Fisher returning. Leonardo no longer has Johnny Knoxville as a voice, which is an improvement Pete Ploszek doing both voice and motion. Alan Ritchson is grumpy as Raphael and Jeremy Howard is dorky and intelligent as Donatello. Tony Shalhoub returns for a few scenes as Splinter.

I went into the movie skeptical but with high hopes and I found them fulfilled. This sequel is the what the first movie had aspired to but didn't achieve. The special effects were impressive and the director Dave Green utilized the 3D better than most big films. I would recommend this film to fans of the franchise that are looking for something new and can suspend their attachment for consistency and coherent plot structure. I had a lot more fun this time around a look forward to the producers adding more to this strange popular fiction. 

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