Film Review: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows

Sequel Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows offers more of the same. Director Dave Green’s blockbuster is aimed at a juvenile audience; fans of the first film should be satisfied by this instalment.

A year after the Turtles’ defeat of Shredder, they cannot claim credit for their actions. When a new threat emerges in New York, the Turtles must team up with April O’Neil again to uncover the villains…

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows is made for a young audience. The film is teeming with CGI, silly dialogue, and formulaic plotting. As such, adults who accompany children to this film may find their minds wondering. Young children, however, should find the film’s vividness engaging enough.

Director Dave Green begins the film with an impressive opening shot. Indeed, there is some bold imagery of Manhattan in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows. However, this does not make up for the lack of depth and decent narrative. The plot is wholly predictable. There is never a real sense of peril for either the Turtles or their companions. The narrative functions to introduce Krang, the main villain of the cartoon series. Yet, this antagonist features briefly during the course of the film, and does not have the presence to be considered a serious threat. Whilst it may be that focusing on human antagonists is an easier feat, the fear is that there could be several more films in this franchise.

The heroes are as one-dimensional as in predecessor Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. There are some nice touches in the film, such as the subtle reference to the earlier series of films in a bar scene. However, producer Michael Bay’s presence is felt in April’s (Megan Fox) opening sequence. It is incredibly tired in its voyeurism; a scene that may have been passable in the 1990s but feels awfully dated now. The hijack sequence on the highway is well executed, but this is not enough the carry the film.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows is a CGI-laden blockbuster which will not appeal to the vast majority of adult viewers. Nevertheless, less sophisticated viewers may give the film a free pass.