Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows

The friendly anthropomorphic turtles return in the sequel to this second film adaptation, this time under the orders of the virtually unknown Dave Green, in a new adventure that brings us more of the recognizable characters from his murtiverse. This young American director has not yet had the opportunity to be very prolific, so that he can show the world of cinephiles what his style as an audiovisual narrator and the interests he harbors with his work are really made of.

Before this big-budget, commercial-pretentious sequel *I had only done Earth to Echo (2014)a simple film that combines found footage metacinema, thanks to the use of recordings made by the characters themselves, as in Blair Witch Project* (Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sánchez, 1999), *Paranormal Activity (Pray Peli, 2007), chronicle (Josh Trank, 2012) or The Visit* (M. Night Shyamalan, 2015), with the 80’s science fiction youth adventure, what *reminds us of Super 8* (JJ Abrams, 2011) in more ways than one**.

And if we find something curious when viewing Earth to Echo and *Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of The Shadows* is that, in both films, there is a fundamental element of an identical nature that is built in exactly the same way in its last section, piece by piece, despite changing its dramatic role completely. Apart from this peculiarity, **the link between “boys” and their ups and downs is also present** in both films.

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles emerged in a standalone comic by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird in 1984, and none of the first four film adaptations, which are set in the same narrative arc, were even acceptable. nor the chocarrera TMNT (Steve Barron, 1990), nor the crappy *TMNT 2: The Secret of the Ooze (Michael Pressman, 1991), nor the disastrous TMNT 3: Turtles in Time* (Stuart Gillard, 1993) nor the forgettable animated continuation of the original, TMNT (Kevin Munroe, 2007), which ignores the two sequels, meant more than one disappointment after another.

So **it is, to say the least, remarkable that the last two adaptations, which moviegoers feared so much due to being produced by pyrotechnician Michael Bay, have at least saved the furniture**, unlike their predecessors.The ninja turtles
‘TMNT 2’ contains a greater number of action sequences, much more spectacular, and in varied settingsBut you don’t have to throw the bells on the fly either, because they limit themselves to fulfilling their objective of entertaining the spectators, discarding any pretense of depth in the characters and their circumstances, which are only subject to the service of action and spectacle. It is very true that the disagreements between the mutant brothers are there and determine some twists in the story, but they are not significant twists, nor can we say that the disagreements resemble anything other than schoolboy fights.

There is also no doubt that the first film of this cycle, TMNT (Jonathan Liebesman, 2014), was somewhat inferior to the sequel that has just been released, but only because the rhythm of the latter is better managed and the development of the action is more profuse and, therefore, contains a greater number of sequences of this type, which are even more spectacular, and in varied settings. It seems that the screenwriters Josh Applebaum and André Nemec have been aware that they had to go beyond their previous script in this regard, and they have fulfilled it, but their work keep dragging the trivia of the characters:

Neither the turtles have any charisma despite the antics of Donatello (Jeremy Howard), nor Splinter (voiced by Tony Shalhoub) commands the slightest respect, nor April O’Neil (Megan Fox’s bland) ceases to be the New York reporter less talkative of the boundless city, neither Shredder (Brian Tee) gets rid of craving us a sulky bad guy, nor Casey Jones (Stephen Amell) impresses with his appearance, nor Vernon Fenwick (television Will Arnett) has any comic potential nor does Baxter Stockman (Tyler Perry) come off as the mad scientist he should.

Also, Police Chief Vincent (Laura Linney) could have been perfectly played by someone less cachet, and some other villain lacks the strength that should be expected of him. The only ones who seem to be in their place are Rocksteady (Stephen Farrelly) and Bebop (Gary Anthony Williams), but their essential stupidity lacks wit..

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In the first film, the only thing that managed to get a laugh was the tortuguil beatbox scene in the elevator, so imagine the rest; and in this sequel there is none even comparable as unexpected nonsense. But perhaps the worst thing about it is that the feeling of mortal danger is conspicuous by its absenceand we do not perceive that our heroes, despite the seriousness of what they face, can come out badly at some point, and the lightness of the general approach, which was already in the comics and in the other adaptations, does not work to justify it.

The outcome seems somewhat rushed, with a very easy resolution of the conflict that accentuates the feeling that it is not a life or death struggle against the danger that hangs, not only over the city of New York at this point, but also over all humanity. One thinks of how well a movie like *The Avengers* (Josh Whedon, 2012) combines lightness, humor and catastrophe and you can’t turn a blind eye to these mutant turtles.


In spite of everything, as they say, we knew what we were coming for when we sat down to watch *Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows*: the proposal has always been light but cumbersome action, goofy humor and adventure without major pretensions, and given that it does not suffer serious problems that throw it to the ground, such as implausibility, the only thing we can conclude is that it is seen as entertainment that we will have forgotten in the weeks to come.


  • The good rhythm.
  • The most profuse development of the action.
  • That at least Rocksteady and Bebop are where they belong.


  • The triviality of the characters and of the proposal itself.
  • That the feeling of danger is conspicuous by its absence.
  • The hasty outcome and the easy resolution of the conflict.

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows

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