Monday, June 6, 2016

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Out of the Shadows Review: Sequel Skilled in the Art of the Blockbuster

If you are from my generation then odds are you have at least heard of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Since the 80's these heroes in a half shell have become a pop culture icons with the various comics, television series and movies to their name. The Turtles made their way back to the silver screen in the summer of 2014 in a blockbuster that was produced by Michael Bay. While the involvement of Bay made this Film Adventurer skeptical, I found myself enjoying the latest TMNT film as it was a simple (yet flawed) summer blockbuster. So naturally a sequel was to be made and that continuation has made its to theaters in form of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows. The latest film promised a sense of nostalgia as it featured several elements that Turtles fans would easily recognize. Yet could Out of the Shadows bring justice to the name Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, or does this sequel lack the discipline to succeed?

Out of the Shadows continues the story of Leonardo (Pete Ploszek), Raphael (Alan Ritchson), Donatello (Jeremy Howard) and Michelangelo (Noel Fisher). The four brothers saved to city once from the Foot Clan, but problems resurface when The Shredder (Brian Tee) escapes from prison. With the help scientist Baxter Stockman (Tyler Perry) and henchmen Beebop (Gary Anthony Williams) and Rocksteady (Sheamus), Shredder plans to bring a being known as Krang (Bob Garrett) to the Earth and help him to take over the planet. With the help of April O'Neil (Megan Fox) and Casey Jones (Stephen Amell), the Turtles set off to stop Shredder; but not without dealing with their own issues-such as using an ooze that could turn the Turtles into humans.

The plot behind this sequel was fairly simple, which seems to go hand in hand when dealing with the Turtles. In this film's case the major conflict was one to be expected from the likes of a summer blockbuster. While the idea of villain taking over the world is nothing new to both the likes of superhero films and blockbusters in general, this plot point managed to be effective due to its entertaining execution. Yet the one point that I took away from this story was the tale of the Turtles themselves. The Turtles' dilemma in this movie dealt with the outside world and how they have a chance to live in it thanks to the ooze. This point created a conflict that was fitting for the characters and engaging when it comes to stories based on the Turtles. The story also had a quick pace to it, but given the subject matter: this direction was not surprising.

 The movie featured a cast filled with character, but some cast members were stronger than others. Taking the spotlight yet again were the four Turtles. This interpretation of the four was,quite possibly, the strongest since the 1990 film as all of the Turtles had the proper development to show their strengths and weaknesses. The other principal characters were also decent. Megan Fox had another tolerable performance as April; while Stephen Amell was just enjoyable as Cassie Jones-although I felt that the character himself needed a stronger presence. Other supporting characters like Splinter (Tony Shalhoub), Rebecca Vincent (Laura Linney) and Vern Fenwick (Will Arnett) were good, but they seemed to lack a strong presence. I even found Tyler Perry to be decent as Baxter Stockman as his take on the character felt appropriate. When it came to movie's villains, this group of rogues was acceptable. Thought he lacked in having a strong impact, Shredder still made for a fitting antagonist for the Turtles. Beebop and Rocksteady could be annoying at times, but I felt their comedic antics did work in reflecting the bonehead villain that they are always known for being. Krang also surprised me as I found Bob Garrett's performance as the alien to be rather enjoyable.

An interesting factor about this film was how little action there seemed to be. The movie did have its fair share of action sequences, but there did not seem to be a heavy need for this factor. Yet when the action got going, it was certainly enjoyable. The action in this movie had a sense of creativity to it as several moments stood out; from airplane sequence to the final fight with Krang. Along with the action was the movie's sense of humor. The comedy side to this film did have its share of crude moments, but the humor to Out of the Shadows managed to work in the context of the film to the point where it got a  few chuckles out of me. The effects to movie were a hit and miss situation. While effects such as the Turtles themselves were solid, other visuals were not as effective due to the movie's bright cinematography. Elements such as music were not groundbreaking, but it still worked in the favor of this superhero movie as I found myself humming the main theme by Steve Jablonsky.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows is not the strongest superhero film to hit the silver screen this year as the film's simple nature does hurt its presentation. However I felt that there was plenty that this sequel did right. The film featured a story and characters that were fitting for both the movie itself and the Turtles medium; and the likes of action and comedy made this blockbuster an enjoyable one. In its own way Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows featured the precise amount of entertainment to make this sequel worthy to both summer blockbusters and this Superhero franchise.

No comments:

Post a Comment