The sequel to 2014’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is a story about four outcasts journey to becoming accepted by the same people who once looked at them in disgust – it’s suitably titled “Out of the Shadows”. The main plotline follows roughly along the same lines as the first Avengers movie: a group of powered misfits fight to save New York, and ultimately the world, from a mysterious villain with dodgy motives who’s assembling Alien technology. They must close the breach before it’s too late and everything they love is lost, becoming heroes in the process.
For the most part, the main cast return with a new addition of Stephen Amell, who you’ll know as Oliver Queen in Arrow. He delivers another almost-signature wooden performance, opting to express emotion via his voice and leaving his face as blank as Michelangelo’s mind. Amell plays Casey Jones, a copper turned vigilante who dons a hockey stick and tatty old mask, who aids the Turtles and April when needed. He didn’t do much wrong but he definitely didn’t blow us away; hopefully his character will be fleshed out more and Amell will improve a bit as he’s reportedly signed on for plenty of sequels.
The movie suffered from stuffing in too many villains; Shredder returns, Krang appears from nowhere, Tyler Perry’s Baxter is a bad guy in his own right, oh and the duo of Bebop and Rocksteady are introduced. The latter characters, played by Sheamus of the WWE and Gary Anthony Williams, were great to watch and the performances were over-the-top, animated bundles of joy in which we’d be happy to see again. Krang will inevitably return and when he does, we hope he comes back with a better motive than getting revenge on the turtles. There’s every chance Shredder will return too, will Michael Bay and his team learn from this movie? We can only hope.
Let’s touch on the title characters: they bring more of the fun and humour we enjoyed from the first movie and they improved upon it. The characters and their beliefs are fleshed out a little by the interesting use of a sub-plot that sees the team having the ability to turn into humans; it’s a great journey that shows the brothers accepting who they really are. The character dynamics were great, welcoming Casey into the extended family that already included April and Vernon, whilst exploring the ups and downs of brotherhood.
The movie did feel like it was missing something, and we think it may be down to the use of CGI. Since visual effects are relied upon so heavily from start to finish, it loses impact and the “wow” factor of big action sequences and stunts because there’s no sense of realism. We don’t think the characters look bad at all, in fact it’s quite impressive how good they look, but we’ve seen the use of practical effects and costumes in the past and it definitely gives a different feel.
Overall, the movie is exactly what you’d come to expect from a group of Ninjas, who happen to be teenagers, and also happen to be mutant turtles. If you enjoyed the first installment, then you’ll enjoy the sequel just as much (if not more), but don’t expect something new. We can see more movies coming out based on the turtles but they’re never going to deviate from this semi-winning formula.
Another decent outing from the guys in green, Out of the Shadows doesn't bring much new to the table but it's still great fun.
- Family dynamic
- Predictable storyline
- Humour and fun
- New characters