‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out Of The Shadows’ (2016, 12A)

The sequel to 2014’s ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’, has ‘Out Of The Shadows’ left me shell-shocked or disappointed?

After saving New York from Shredder, the Turtles still remain in hiding beneath the city-streets, living their days in the sewers and fighting crime during the night. But, after Shredder (Brian Tee) escapes from a police-van while being moved between prisons, the Turtles must come out of the shadows and fight their enemy and foil his plan before it’s too late.

I must say, this film is definitely an improvement on the last one. For what I can remember (which isn’t much; I don’t like to remind myself of it) it was quite poor and the only good thing was the occasional good action-sequence and one-liner. It was much the same with ‘Out Of The Shadows’, however these action-scenes and one-liners were a lot more frequent, although a lot of them had been spoiled in the trailers. At least snippets – usually considerably more – of each big action-scene was included in the promotional videos for the film, and all of the funniest scenes were also spoiled before entering the cinema.

The film definitely had a lot of plot-holes as well. There were a lot ‘as if’ moments – apart from walking, talking ninja turtles and a rhino and warthog equally able – and things that just didn’t add up: the Foot Clan, for instance, reminded me a lot of stormtroopers from the ‘Star Wars’ films – made out to be the elite, the best of the best, yet are defeated easily by amateurs with no training at all.

The film suffers from pacing issues as well. I felt a lot of scenes were forced in to cut down the run-time and push the film forward, keeping the story going. Toward the beginning there are a lot of scenes with very little explanation (if at all any) and exist purely to start the ball rolling, as it were. Without giving too much away, the one scene that kick-starts Shredder’s grand plan is one such scene, forced in to start the story and made completely no sense.

This is my biggest criticisms with films like the ‘Turtles’ franchise – all style and no substance. Of course, the action scenes were beautiful, but I just wasn’t engaged in the final battle at all, purely because I had no idea what was going on. I seem to remember being in a similar situation when watching the last ‘Turtles’ film, losing focus on what was happening out of sheer lack of knowledge as to what I was watching.

I’ve critiqued ‘Out Of The Shadows’ quite a lot, however it did have its strong points. Apart from the brilliant action-scenes, it really developed the characters of the Turtles, offering quite a few scenes that show how different the bothers really are and their clash of personalities. I liked this as it’s a more interesting approach to the characters as oppose to having them as ‘one big happy family’.

Overall, ‘Out Of The Shadows’ is a mixed bag. It had its good moments, definitely, however it had quite a few bad. Because of this, ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out Of The Shadows’ get six-out-of-ten, good action but rushed and illogical scenes disappointed.



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