The turtles face a new challenge when Shredder escapes from custody and joins forces with Baxter Stockman, a mad scientist who plans to use a serum to take over the world. Along for the ride are Bebop and Rocksteady, two dimwitted henchmen who provide plenty of muscle. Luckily, the turtles have their own allies in April O’Neil, Vernon Fenwick and Casey Jones, a hockey-masked vigilante. As the pizza-loving heroes prepare for battle, the notorious Krang also emerges to pose an even greater threat. – Paramount Pictures
So Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Out of the Shadows is out and I am not remotely embarrassed to say I thoroughly enjoyed the movie. The movie does have some problems but it is a movie targeted for children nonetheless it is still enjoyable for any Ninja Turtles fan. Now this movie is getting a lot of hate from critics and I can see why but they are just being too harsh, it is not Shawshank Redemption it is a movie about teenage mutant ninja turtles. Maybe I am a bit biased because I grew up on those four turtle brothers. I loved the original cartoon, I loved the 2003 one and I’ve seen some of the new one and I enjoyed it too. I’ve also seen all the older movies and enjoyed them all too except for the third one, that one is trash. Anyways the first movie in this rebooted franchise also didn’t do well critically but I liked it too and I think I like this one better.
The cast in this movie is somewhat solid. In my opinion Will Arnet steals the show, the dude is just hilarious. I have always liked him from Arrested Development to Bojack Horseman. He had me laughing in all his scenes. I don’t really have found memories of Vern from the show so Arnet’s portrayal is a breath of fresh air. Megan Fox is an okay April, she doesn’t really look the part but she is attractive and her acting is okay. Stephen Amell, I had very high expectations for his take on Casey Jones. I love Stephen Amell, he is awesome on Arrow even though the writing has gotten terrible and he just seems like an all around good dude. A total bro. But I was very disappointed and it definitely wasn’t his fault. Besides the turtles Casey was always one of my favorite characters, he is just a crazy vigilante who wears a hockey mask. Tell me that isn’t badass? But the movie did not show him that way, they changed his backstory no big deal but he was just so under utilized that you didn’t care about his backstory. Amell had so much potential for the role but the writing screwed him just like it does on Arrow. I do hope he returns for the sequel. I really think he could be a great Casey Jones. Tyler Perry surprisingly did a solid Baxter Stockman and I look forward to what they are going to do with him in the future of the series same thing with the new Shredder, Brian Tee but like Casey Jones he was also under utilized.
Moving on to the CGI characters. I enjoyed the turtles in this one just as much as I did in the first but they definitely look less monsterish in this one which is a plus. All four of the actors do a good job of portraying each turtles different personalities. What made me the happiest about the turtles was that Leonardo was actually voiced by the same actor that did the motion capture, Pete Ploszek apposed to Johnny Knoxville like the last one. Typically I am a Michelangelo guy but I really enjoyed Raphael in this one, he had me cracking up. Moving on, Tony Shalhoub does a solid Splinter. These next two almost gave Will Arnet a run for his money, Beebop and Rocksteady. I have always loved those two ever since seeing them in the cartoon and I have waited for their big screen appearance since the original movie and I wasn’t disappointed. The actors Gary Anthony WIlliams and Sheamus crushed it, had me laughing in almost every scene. And the last CGI character, Krang another character from the cartoon I’ve been waiting to see. I thought he was pretty spot on to the old cartoon aside from changes to his robot suit but I’ll get to that later. The voice actor Brad Garret was good but he was not nearly as creepy as Pat Fraley from the cartoon. Solid overall performance though.
So like I said I liked this movie a lot. It is my childhood. What I liked most about this one is that it perfectly captured the spirit of the old cartoon maybe that’s why all the critics are hating on it. This film also had a bit of fan service which is always nice. I only noticed two big easter eggs but I am sure there were more. The first one was Shredder’s new mask which looks like it is out of the 2003 cartoon and the second one is something we see on Krang’s ship and only diehard fans will get it, I got it. So there was lots of good but there was some bad. So many Michael Bay explosions, like a lot. Krang’s suit looked like a damn Transformer, why not make his suit just like the one from the 1987 cartoon, seriously.
I give Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Out of the Shadows an 8 out of 10, would watch again and will be seeing it again next week.