Director: Dave Green
Cast: Megan Fox, Stephen Amell, Tyler Perry, Will Arnett, Laura Linney, Noel Fisher, Jeremy Howard, Pete Ploszek, Alan Ritchson
Plot: Slightly mad scientist Baxter Stockman helps break Shredder out of prison. Shredder teams up with Krang, an alien from another dimension to help bring the latter's war machine to Earth. The turtles join forces with April, Vern and rookie cop Casey Jones to stop them.
Review: As it turns out, director Dave Green is actually a huge fan of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles growing up, which would probably explain why he brought in some well loved characters that were not in the previous instalment, such as Bebop, Rocksteady, Baxter Stockman, Krang and Casey Jones. But unfortunately, the end result isn't quite satisfying.
Just like the first film, Out Of The Shadows has our four heroes team up to stop Shredder, who has yet another diabolical plan in store. This time, he has a bit of help in the form of two thugs turned mutants, Bebop and Rocksteady. His plan is to collect three items which allows him to open a portal to another dimension, where Krang, a talking brain with tentacles resides. Krang will use the portal to come over to Earth with his big machine, the Technodrome and destroy everything. The turtles team up with April, Vern and a hockey loving cop named Casey Jones to save the day. In the meantime, the foursome once again deal with personal issues, particularly when they discover they can possibly turn human using the same substance that created Rocksteady and Bebop.
Plotwise, it doesn't sound too bad, right? Except that Green's execution isn't quite as good as it ought to be. Despite running at 112 minutes, Green paces the film too fast, barely allowing the plot to simmer, instead choosing to throw out all the necessary information quickly and furiously, ignoring logic along the way. The script itself is problematic, heavily borrowing from Avengers and Transformers (that final sequence is very reminiscent of Transformers 4, but it's Michael Bay, so not surprising at all) and just too juvenile overall. It's clear the filmmakers are aiming for the kiddie audience, which is fine. But there isn't enough stuff for the adults to chew on, even if they were fans of the 80's cartoon, like I was.
The humor was the script's biggest problem, as it pales in comparison to the cartoon. Most of the jokes are either juvenile or slapstick. Bebop and Rocksteady are reduced to dumb CGI effects spewing size and fart jokes. The cartoon version had them being dumb too, but extremely funny. Shredder was a solid yet flawed baddie in the cartoon, but here he barely registers as a threat, mainly looking constipated most of the time. Krang looks and sounds okay, but he doesn't seem very threatening either. And Tyler Perry? Why the heck is he here as Baxter Stockman? Total miscast.
But with all that being said, the film is for the most part serviceable. Megan Fox doesn't add as much to the plot as she did before, her role as a reporter only coming in at the end, but she does what she can with the role. Will Arnett provides the good humor as Vern while Arrow's Stephen Amell is watchable as Casey Jones, though I wished he was a little more serious in the role. The best thing about this film is the turtles arguing with each other, caused by Donatello's discovery that they have a chance to be human and not having to hide anymore, as well as people's perception of them when they run into the cops later on. These are the moments when the film actually works and not feel like a cash grab.
To sum it up, despite the first TMNT film being somewhat flawed, it's a tad better than this sequel. We all know there will be another sequel coming up, it had damn well be better than this. (6/10)