Spoilers may follow
I saw the 2014 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie and actually didn’t mind it that much. It was no cinematic masterpiece, and there were plenty of eye-rolling moments and jokes, but it was still an alright, entertaining popcorn movie. The same can be said for this year’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows as well.
In fact, I daresay Out of the Shadows is a little better than its predecessor, if only because it revels more in the ridiculousness expected out of something with “Ninja Turtles” in its title. The main villain in this movie is even a giant alien brain monster attached to a robot, the malicious Krang (Brad Garrett). Taking a page from Avengers Assemble, Krang wants to open a portal between Earth and his world and calls upon Shredder (Brian Tee) to collect pieces of a machine that will accomplish this goal. The turtles, Leonardo (Pete Ploszek), Donatello (Jeremy Howard), Michelangelo (Noel Fisher) and Raphael (Alan Ritchson), along with April O’Neil (Megan Fox) and Casey Jones (Stephen Amell), have to save the day, as they are expected to do.
We get Shredder’s henchmen from the cartoon, Bebop and Rocksteady (Gary Anthony Williams and WWE’s Sheamus), we get the cartoon’s theme song over the credits, and we get a giant garbage truck that shoots out manhole covers, exactly the sort of toy children would beg their parents for. It’s even more of a big-screen live-action cartoon than The Nice Guys was, with all the depth expected from a Saturday-morning animation (little). The Turtles debate amongst themselves about a concoction that could turn them human, yet don’t expect their characters to be fleshed out much. The jokes are mostly nothing to remember, but that are some that work alright, like when the aforementioned truck gains giant robot arms, then quickly loses them.
It is a dumb film, but one can’t really hate it. The presence of the alien brain monster, and the fact that he even talks, is, once again, a sign that the film is wearing its stupidity on its sleeve, and I would have even liked to see more of Krang than we got. It’s a big, dumb movie, and you’ll likely forget it right after you’ve watched it, but it kept me entertained, and that was all that it was supposed to do.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows is not a bad film, yet I can’t really recommend it. If you want something to kill a couple of hours that you don’t really have to think about, it’s good for that and little else.