Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (2016) – Honest Review

The first live action Ninja Turtles movie was dreadful, so most people were not expecting a great deal of change coming into the second instalment in the series. But the world’s most muscular reptiles certainly made an improvement this time around.

There are several good things to say about the newest instalment, most notably is the reduction of Megan Fox’s role in this sequel. Fox’s Razzie winning performance in the first film is one of the major reasons why it was such a failure with critics and long-time franchise fans alike. Though Fox also is undeniably bad in this instalment, it is less noticeable as she spends far less time on-screen.

Main men Stephen Amell and Will Arnett are also a comedic breath of fresh air throughout, though neither of their performances will be remembered by future audiences as legendary, they do provide the textbook comedic prowess that the TMNT franchise is known for.

The CGI animation of the turtles is very easy on the eye throughout, though there is a certain videogame-like feel to the end fight sequence, whether this was done intentionally or not is unclear, but it was certainly an interesting direction to take things.

The cinematic debut of WWE star Sheamus, as repulsive rhino-man Rocksteady is also rather humorous and the animation of the character and his warthog counterpart Bebop (Gary Anthony Williams) is very accurate to their appearance in the original source material.

Now on to the bad, as I previously mentioned Megan Fox was repugnant once again, but this time it was not as noticeable, again as I have mentioned. Tyler Perry made a particularly dreadful appearance as ungainly, scientific weirdo Baxter Stockman, who spends most of the film being quite pathetically evil for literally no good reason. Honestly, none of the villains in this movie have a motive; Shredder, Rocksteady, Bebop, Stockman, and Kraang seem to want to destroy the world but give very little thought to reasoning or consequences.

Of course there was also the regular inclusion of puerile toilet humour, with many a moment of flatulence and whatnot, however this is a Nickelodeon Studios film so obviously and very unfortunately this is to be expected.

Back onto the topic of terrible villains, Shredder, portrayed in this picture by Brian Lee, may as well not even be on the screen, he makes about as much impact as a hose pipe ban in the Sahara desert and his death, if you can even call it that, is the biggest example of pandering to a PG rating I’ve seen in a long while.

But the absolute worst thing of all about this movie is Laura Linney as the monumentally infuriating Chief Vincent, for a woman who has been praised as a great actress for most of career, it is sad to see such a bland, un-interested performance.

Couple all these things with a relatively directionless script and sleep inducing run-time, and you get a film with some redeeming qualities over the one that came before it, but not enough to save the franchise in the eyes of its viewers.

But hey, at least Johnny Knoxville wasn’t voicing Leonardo this time.

I give this movie a generous rating of: 4/10


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