‘TMNT 2’ can’t get out of the shadows but stays loyal to cartoon
Paramount is struggling to tap into the potential of their Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise with their sequel to their 2014 film, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows. While die-hard fans and kids who love the popular cartoon spin-off will enjoy TMNT 2, director Dan Green can’t lift the film out of a pool of cliches and a predictable plot with great special effects and family fun.
Picking up after the action of the first film, Out of the Shadows begins with Shredder a national criminal, headed to prison when the Foot return and battle the Turtles to free him. Stephen Amell’s Casey Jones joins human protagonists Megan Fox and Will Arnett as a failed New York police officer who is more at home as a vigilante with a hockey mask. The turtles are not only struggling to get along, find unity as a team, but also their isolation from humanity.
Shredder schemes with a mysterious alien named Krang to open a portal allowing for an invasion which will conquer the human race. Tyler Perry steals the show as Baxter Stockman, the genius pawn used by Shredder to not only assist Krang with the master plan, but also contrives the means to transform two thugs into Bebop (Gary Anthony Williams) and Rocksteady (Seamus aka Stephen Farrelly), the popular villain Rhino and Warthog mutants.
The effects are really impressive, but the trailers spoiled many of the jokes and action sequences. The puns and cliche driven plot keep the film from being anything other than another silly TMNT project. Amell wanders in and out of the role, looking too much like Arrow’s Oliver Queen and not transforming into anything new with Jones.
Megan Fox and producer Michael Bay make this too much like a Transformers knock-off with little identity of its own.
The turtle effects are still great, capturing a lot of emotion and their unique personalities. Sadly, a much needed dash of darkness and drama is absent from Green’s final product. The film is an expensive special effects driven movie so a weak box office draw may spell the end to the rebooted version and send Paramount back to the drawing board.
TMNT Out of Shadows receives 2 stars out of 5 stars