It was with great trepidation that I went to see Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows. I still hadn’t seen the first in the reboot series since nothing about it seemed positive. If you make a TMNT movie that I still won’t watch even after I can borrow it from my library, then you’ve done something very wrong. (When you Google “Ace Duck,” as I’m sure many of you do frequently, the eighth item that comes up is an article written by me. This is why I can never be rehabilitated as a productive member of human society. My pyramid will one day have this fun fact inscribed upon it.) I was all set to ignore its sequel too, but I wound up being encouraged the trailers. Since I had exactly six Earth dollars in my wallet, I took it as a sign to go to the matinee. Much to my surprise, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows is actually pretty good even if its title is too long.
I saw Micahael Bay’s first two Transformers movies for free & still think I overpaid, so I was very leery about him producing this movie. Fortunately it’s a far superior product. I can differentiate between the CGI leads by both designs & personality! The human characters don’t overshadow them! I can follow what’s happening in the action sequences! The offensive attempts at comedic relief were absent! It doesn’t drag on! Bravo to director Dave Green for making a fun movie that feels like a TMNT film!
Luckily for me, this sequel is made so that you needn’t have seen the first one if you already know how the Ninja Turtles came to be. I’ve been told the last movie was an unnecessary origin story told horribly, so they really should’ve just started with this one. It has new things that fans have wanted to see on the silver screen for years done well. All you need to know is that cameraman Vernon Fenwick took credit for defeating the Shredder to avoid revealing the turtle teens’ existence. I don’t understand why April wouldn’t get a share of the laurels too, other than it cramping Will Arnett’s unparalleled smarm. Also, only Michelangelo has a flying rocket skateboard, which you’d think would be standard issue.
It took me a while to warm up to the designs of the titular terrapins though. I appreciated that each got more wardrobe personality beyond bandanna color, but they still looked too ogre-ish. I don’t see the point of putting pants on them since their ginormous NSFW genitalia were retracted into their shells in previous iterations. (The nubbins in the original comics were tails.) For them to wear trousers, their carapaces have to awkwardly hover behind their butts. Even stranger is that their ventral muscles meld directly into their plastrons. Not only is it visually off-putting, it makes it seem like they shouldn’t logistically be able to to tuck their heads into their shells. Give me Jim Henson Workshop suits any day of the week!
The clear highlights of the movie were Bebop & Rocksteady. They were what got me to see the movie in the cinema in the first place, & they didn’t disappoint! I’ve been waiting to see those two lovable lunkheads in a film since they were replaced in The Secret of the Ooze by Tokka & Rahzar. The movie adapts these dunderheads perfectly. Although their designs aren’t exact translations of the cartoon like this fan film, they look so much better than the fab four themselves. Gary Anthony Williams & Stephen “Sheamus” Farrelly have such great chemistry & comedic timing as these nitwits. The Golden Globes & Oscars will be exposed as shams when these two aren’t even nominated.
I’m not being sarcastic. Rocksteady & Bebop are a legitimutantly cute couple.
And here comes the SPOILERS! Continue reading