Review: TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES: OUT OF THE SHADOWS (2016) | Casey's Movie Mania | Movie Reviews, Features & Others

Thursday, 2 June 2016


In this sequel, the Turtles (voiced by Alan Ritchson, Noel Fisher, Pete Ploszek and Jeremy Howard) must once again stop their nemesis Shredder (Brian Tee), who has escaped police custody with the help of mad scientist Baxter Stockman (Tyler Perry). Apart from Shredder, the Turtles are also facing new threats in the form of two animalistic mutants Bebop (Gary Anthony Williams) and Rocksteady (Stephen "Sheamus" Farrelly) as well as the otherworldly creature Krang (voiced by Brad Garrett).

REVIEW: When producer Michael Bay and director Jonathan Liebesman came on board to revamp the TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES movie for today's generation two years ago, the result was a limp reboot that failed to capitalise the once-popular franchise. Despite terribly mixed reviews over the 2014 reboot, the movie managed to make enough money at the box office and (not surprisingly) paved way for an inevitable sequel. Although the sequel still retains Michael Bay as the producer, at least he finally gets the tone right by adding more action, more fun and... yes, more Turtles than the first time around. It is also a relief that EARTH TO ECHO director David Green, who replaced Liebesman from the first movie, injects more colour and personality that has been sorely missed in the 2014 reboot.

As for the Turtles, it's nice to see them getting more screentime where each of them has their moments. Other returning characters, in the meantime, are more or less the same: Megan Fox is nothing more than a distracting eye candy as April O'Neil while Will Arnett pops up every now and then playing a comic relief as Vern Fenwick. However, it's a pity that Shredder is a bigger disappointment than he already is in the first movie. How disappointing? Let's just say his character is largely neglected in the background to make way for the new villains. And speaking of new villains, both fan favourites Bebop and Rocksteady have finally made their first live-action appearances. In fact, just like the classic 1987-1996 animated series, Gary Anthony Williams and WWE superstar Stephen "Sheamus" Farrelly each give spot-on yet faithful performances as two dim-witted human thugs-turned-animalistic mutants. Then there's another fan favourite in the form of Krang, whose accurate character design ranging from the talking brain to the robot body are pitch-perfect. Not to mention Brad Garrett's wildly over-the-top voice performance hits the right spot playing the iconic villain well enough. Finally, Tyler Perry brings a right amount of silliness as the mad scientist Baxter Stockman.

Back in the '90s, Elias Koteas made a good impression playing the hockey-masked vigilante Casey Jones in the original TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES franchise. But the same cannot be said with Stephen Amell (TV's Arrow) who is sadly undermined as the new Casey Jones in this sequel.

While the sequel does improve in many areas, the story remains a disappointment like the first movie. Not only the story is riddled with expository dialogue, but also suffers from an erratic pace that drags the momentum from time to time. The jokes, which attempt to be bold and juvenile to please both kids and adults, are mostly lame and unfunny. Adding to the injury is the uninspired yet déjà vu ending that feels as if it was cut from an unused footage of a TRANSFORMERS movie.

During the press screening, TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES: OUT OF THE SHADOWS was presented in a 3D version. While the previous 3D version of the 2014 reboot was disappointingly murky, the sequel is thankfully tolerable this time around.

Although TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES: OUT OF THE SHADOWS manage to improve upon the 2014 reboot, this sequel still unable to shake off some of the predecessor's major flaws.

* This review is written courtesy from United International Pictures (UIP) Malaysia 3D press screening *

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