Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows

Year: 2016
Directed By: Dave Green
Written By: Josh Applebaum and Andre Nemec. Based on characters created by Peter Laird and Kevin Eastman.

RYAN’S REVIEW

OK OK OK, I may have stood next to the first film on the pretext that the good outweighed the bad but the scales are tipped differently in this one. There is still the same old good in the Turtles and their great character development but they are not enough to overcome the bad this time around. The bad isn’t just bad in this one but it skips right over into the ugly zone. I think ultimately they made some seriously poor decisions in some places and they tried to cram way too much into the film. I would give this franchise another go if they were to make a third film but it doesn’t look like that is going to happen after this debacle.

To start with what I like, I continue to love the turtles. This movie is worth watching multiple times if for no other reason than them. There is so much going on in the background when all the turtles are on screen and they are really really funny. They each bring their own personalities to each character and I think they hit another home run a second time around, but only where the turtles are concerned. I actually really enjoyed the inclusion of Bebop and Rocksteady. Childhood favorites finally hitting the big screen was a lot of fun for me and I didn’t mind how stupid they were. Yeah they were really stupid, but if nobody remembers correctly that’s exactly how they were supposed to be. When I was a 5 year old kid watching blocks of turtle episodes every weekend I remember that these two were always the morons that screwed everything up for the Shredder. I think in this movie they looked really good and they were as stupid as they were supposed to be.

It’s hard to go on any further with what I liked about this movie because there was so much dragging it down. Specifically Stephen Amell as Casey Jones was just flat out awful. I don’t know this guy because I have never seen Arrow, but I have heard plenty of people say good things about the show. Now, either they are all completely out of their mind or maybe he was intimidated by Megan Fox’s hotness on set I don’t know. If his performance in this movie is any indication of what the show is like I definitely won’t be watching it. When he and Fox are together on screen it is at its worse. Why did they give so much screen time to these two? I can handle Megan Fox sucking all the fun out of the screen but when they are paired together I can’t help but feel embarrassed. Embarrassed for them, everyone involved, and even myself for spending my time in this manner.

Not only was Stephen Amell really bad performing the part but the part was just completely stupid. Casey Jones is supposed to be a vigilante and sports enthusiast. Not an airheaded cop with an affinity for hockey. The strapping of the wheels onto his feet so he could skate was even lamer than his hockey stick shenanigans earlier in the film. Elias Koteas was so much better in the part, and I didn’t think he really set the bar that high.

In the first film Megan Fox was paired mostly with Will Arnett and he was able to keep things cool. In this movie she doesn’t have the luxury of a really funny and awesome wingman and she suffers for it. It’s like she has no self respect in that scene where she goes “undercover” as a sexy school girl. So shameful Megan Fox, you’ve lowered yourself to being nothing more than eye candy. I happen to like Megan Fox as eye candy but when you overdo it it just isn’t tasteful. It’s like the second Transformers movie when we see her for the first time and she’s ridiculously draped across a motorcycle painting it. It just isn’t even practical and it’s overkill.

I like the way Krang looked well enough and I thought it was really cool to see the Tecnodrone develop above New York City. The inclusion of Krang also brought the movie down though. The movie had already introduced two new villains and a new ally they didn’t need to go all out and bring in another supervillain. The Shredder is supposed to be a lackey of Krang but in this movie he didn’t have enough to do. If they had been smarter they would have climaxed with something different and let Krang lead into a third end all be all film.

Sadly it doesn’t seem like this franchise will be strong enough to overcome this disappointing second step. There has been little to no talk of a third film and the franchise has more or less been pronounced dead. I find that really disappointing because I still liked so much of what they did with this poorly received rendition.  You never know what will happen so there is always hope, but I’d hate to see it simply rebooted another ten years down the road when I’m definitely too old to be getting into the turtles.

So as I close the chapter on the ninja turtles portion of our collection I will leave it by admitting that this last turtles movie was crap. Truthfully this movie probably never would have authentically made it into the collection this day in age. I received it as a gift and decided that it was a good idea to own all the turtles movies and got myself a copy of the first one too. I really enjoy watching the first film but this one is only fun here and there. If you’re a fan then I think this movie is worth your time, and try not to be too harsh on it, but if you never got into the turtles to begin with this movie is going to do nothing to win you over.

NEXT MOVIE: Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny (2006) 

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze

Year: 1991
Directed By: Michael Pressman
Written By: Todd W. Langen, based on characters created by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird

 

RYAN’S REVIEW

OK full disclosure here, I haven’t watched this movie in order to review it. Oddly enough I found myself watching it with my kids sometime within the last six months and I think that gave me a good enough impression to go with. I’m like a freaking adult now, can’t be having two sittings of this movie within six months of one another. That would just be silly.

I distinctly remember this film coming to theaters, I was 7 at the time. There was a contest for coloring a picture of the turtles to get free tickets to the film. I specifically remember how much effort I put into it, not only the easy part of getting all the colors correct but also shading with crayons in a way that could rival my abilities as an adult. I put all the effort capable of a seven year old into that drawing and I was so proud to turn it in. When I got the call that my coloring had been selected I lost my shit. I felt like I had won because I was somehow a superior Turtles fan. I had poured my heart into something, probably for the first time in my life, and I had succeeded at it. Low and behold I realized years later that my dad was the manager of the theater that promoted the competition. A coincidence that can’t be overlooked as one reflects on life experiences.

That charming memory aside I loved this movie through and through when it came out and I saw it in the theater. I thought it far exceeded the original film and captured the humor that the turtles were capable of. Plus there were other mutants in this one! I have always been a fan of Toka and Raza, the capabilities of Jim Henson Creature Shop can never easily be overlooked. These guys were no Bebop and Rocksteady but they upped the ante for the turtles nonetheless.

Yet as I have gotten older I find myself revisiting this film now and again. I find that with each viewing I see more and more childish shenanigans. Things I started out blind to because of my childhood love suddenly started to come into focus. The ninja turtles don’t even really fight in this one. In fact they’re the motherfucking Harlem Globetrotters of combat! How can I knock this guy down without using any actual violence? Hmmmm we’re gonna need more props and gags.

The thing is I no longer know what to think about this movie. I watch this movie now and I want to sit here and tell you it’s garbage. Nothing but juvenile nonsense and it isn’t worth your time. However I have to consider the memories that come flooding back. I absolutely loved this movie when it came out and ignored all flaws for years following. Maybe this is a great movie because it captured me as part of the obvious target audience. Maybe what I think about it now fails in comparison to the magic I saw as a seven year old.

If nothing else this movie continued the turtle story line and deepened their characters. That can’t be said for the third in the franchise. I don’t think this movie was worth my time to sit down and watch again within a certain time frame. Upon deep consideration I would say that it is most definitely worth the time of your preteen child. Even though it is silly I think there is still plenty to like about the film for any Ninja Turtles fan.

NEXT MOVIE: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze (1991)