Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows Review

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Where the hell is Mario so he can stomp these turtles?

Alright, NO. I don’t give a damn. This movie freaking sucks. I was groaning the entire damn time sitting through this piece of shit, even though I kept telling myself, “LOOK it’s not for you, Chris, it’s for the snot-nosed boys who like ninjas and mutants and shit, that’s it, just accept that this is stupid crap for kids.” Then I smacked myself and yelled at the first side “Piss off, you know goddamn well that they’re plenty of shitty movies for kids and you’ve never let them go.” To which one side of myself retorted, “Yeah, but you’re blinded by nostalgia.” Then the other side said, “You just don’t want to be called as fanboy!” Finally, I should probably stop talking to myself in public…

So here we go again with the Ninja Turtles patrolling New York City, only this time they’re more anxious than ever to be considered “normal” and stop living in the sewers as a mutated turtle (hard to blame them). Only trouble is that Shredder busts out of a prison…through a teleportation device…that sends him into another dimension…in front of an alien warlord named Kraang who tasks Shredder with collecting a bunch of McGuffins…to allow Kraang through an even larger wormhole to fit his giant spaceship…oh but Shredder tells him that they’re are turtles bugging him…so Kraang hooks Shredder up with Purple Ooze that mutates people to their “natural animal state”…and then it’s up to the Ninja Turtles to stop them! Oh yeah and Casey Jones appears out of noweher played by the same guy who plays as Arrow.

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“Soooo, I’m super important to the plot?” HAHAHAHAHA, Fuck You

What a fucking surprise that a Michael Bay production doesn’t make any goddamn sense. Yeah, I know he didn’t direct but he did produce this shit, and his mentality permeates every dumbass decision made in service of attempting to make an entertaining film. But you know the saddest part? This film is actually better than the original reboot. I’m serious. So it’s gone from eye-fuckingly terrible to the lofty heights of mediocrity. Baby steps for 80’s toy commercials, we just sat through Jem and the Holograms not too long ago.

But I still say it’s not unreasonable to expect better. People worldwide pile into theaters to watch a rich dude punch poor people while dressing up as a rodent because he misses his mommy and we swoon when we see a time traveling World War II soldier have a physical and political debate on militaristic accountability with a cyborg. Expecting something merely decent out of Ninja Turtles or Transformers is not asking for the moon and the stars when weird ass 1970s comics are shining on the big screen every month. Sorry, you want to know about this movie. Well, what else can I tell you after I ran by a plot that looks like it was written by the same kid who writes Axe Cop?

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“Oh come on! Look how stealthy we are!”

How about talking about why the sequel is better than the original reboot?

Thanks a lot voice in my head! You should also stop telling me to burn down certain buildings, that’s quite unethical. Anyways, unlike the crappy first movie, the focus is on the Ninja Turtles and not Megan Fox as April O’Neil. Keep in mind, Fox isn’t bad in either of these movies; it’s just that she has nothing to fucking do but look pretty. I’m not sure what her job even is in this movie, but it was at least nice to get a little more time devoted to Leo, Mikey, Donnie, and Ralph. To the film’s credit, they took more time to have distinct personalities for the four, but the major downside is that they all share the similar trait of being frat boys.

Seriously, it doesn’t help the roided out look just nasty and makes the turtles look like they should be in college as opposed to the cartoon shows where they’re basically in the middle to high school range. But the frat boy persona really comes out in how the four interact with each other where they basically act all macho in front of each other, but not one of them really knows what the hell to do. Character arcs for Leo, Mikey and Ralph are introduced and dropped sporadically, all because we have to juggle screen time with other events.

Events like Fox palling around with Arrow (no I’m not calling him Casey Jones, this version looks too much like a nice guy to even come close to any version of Jones) or Shredder bossing around his new lackeys, Bebop and Rocksteady. I’m gonna break the hate for a moment to highlight Bebop and Rocksteady literally saved this movie for me. Mostly because they’re bromance was simply fun to watch. They try to act like hardened criminals and quickly realize their depth when confronted by Shredder, then they enjoy their newfound powers from Kraang’s ooze by goofing off whenever they get a chance. Their scenes were genuinely endearing, which is more than I could say for the rest of the flick.

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“Bros before Frat Bros”

Really not helping are the plot points. Okay, so you’ve got a purple ooze that reverts creatures back to “their natural animal state” and turns two dudes into…a giant, bipedal rhinoceros and warthog?  Oh and it can the Turtles to humans because we needed a lame “I just want to be normal” character arc that has never worked in any television show much less a movie (hello X-Men: The Last Stand). There’s a few more plotlines I could get into like the useless subplot about faux-Casey Jones trying to be a detective even though he’s absolutely terrible at the job, but I’m really not down to waste any more brain cells than I have already.

The action scenes are weirdly paced as well. You have a great chase sequence in the beginning with minimal computer effects and lots of stunt work that looked like a lot of fun. Then you have exposition being lobbed at you by fucking idiots for an hour before you get to an over-the-top fight scene aboard a cargo plane (and subsequently off the cargo plane). The drag in the middle severely hurts the movie because you mostly have to deal with the frat quartet broken up by pretty boy Arrow palling around with Megan Fox as well as Shredder revealing the intricacies of his and Kraang’s incredibly stupid plan. So the plane sequence shot some life back into the film, before all goodwill was pissed away in an empty computer-generated climax featuring Kraang against the Turtles.

The thought of Kraang facing off against the Ninja Turtles was one of the things I looked forward to the most on the original show and especially when I played the original video games. But here, Kraang sounds like an unintelligible moron as opposed to annoyed, inept mastermind in the original. Also, with so much computer effects on screen going by so quickly, you become numb to the entire experience and quickly lose interest. I really have no idea how they even resolved everything in this movie, but I was just glad to be rid of it.

And yet, despite all my frustrations and hate on this film, I can’t straight up despise it. Look, I’ll freely admit that the Bebop and Rocksteady scenes brought me around on the film and I can appreciate the imagination behind some of the sequences as well as the intention to make the Turtles the main characters this time around. But I can’t forgive boring, forgettable dialogue and bland voice acting from the protagonists and I especially won’t forgive this first grader’s outline of an episode from the original television show. It was licking the taint of SOME OL’ BULLSHSIT, but I’ll give this movie a low (supremely low)…

RENTAL

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