<Review by: Sailesh Ghelani>
Directed by Dave Green. Starring Megan Fox, Will Arnett, Stephen Amell, Laura Linney, Brian Tee, Tyler Perry, Gary Anthony Villiams, Stephen Farrelly and the voices of Alan Ritchson, Noel Fisher, Jeremy Howard, Pete Ploszek
Running Time: 1 hour 37 minutes
While I appreciate Michael Bay and his writers actually following the original TMNT cartoons rather than ditching them totally like in the Transformers films, the new TMNT movie doesn’t do anything new apart from introduce characters from the animated series.
Out of the Shadows takes place a while after the events of the first TMNT reboot film. Shredder (Brian Tee) is in jail and the city of New York is safe thanks to the Falcon (Will Arnett) who took credit for capturing him since the Turtles feared being hunted down and burnt at the stake by humans who ‘fear what they don’t understand’. A new plot to break Shredder out and dominate the world unfolds as the intergalactic brain Kraang decides to enter Earth through New York with help from the Foot Clan.
April O’Neil (Megan Fox) and her heroes in a half shell must set out to stop Shredder and his accomplices Baxter Stockman (Tyler Perry), Bebop (Gary Anthony Williams) and Rocksteady (Stephen Farrelly) from collecting pieces of an inter-dimensional device that will bring Kraang’s warship to Earth.
Cute cop Casey Jones (Stephen Amell) helps out, balancing Megan Fox’s ‘I’m a girl, I won’t fight bad guys’ persona, as he whips out an ice-hockey stick and mask to take on the ‘rhino’ and ‘warthog’. Fans of the animated series from the 80s will remember these characters as well as Kraang very well and will rejoice seeing them in the film, as did I. Of course, the filmmakers have included a guy in a Transformers outfit parading a Halloween even in the city as he transforms to the original sound effect made by the robots in disguise in the animated series. I actually hate Michael Bay for ruining that hallowed TV show for me by making a mess of the robots and how they look and behave. He has made his millions but doesn’t have much by way of quality movies in that franchise.
And while Turtles stay truer to the original series, Out of the Shadows seems to be just more of the same thing from the first film with elements copied from Avengers films like the final scene where the bad guys come out from the sky to wreck havoc on the city of New York. Surely they can think of something new!
The Turtles are played and voiced very well though and it is their interactions that keep you interested in the film. Also, the use of CGI characters has been done pretty seamlessly and sometimes you wonder why they even had human characters in the film. They seem pretty superfluous and superficial. Except for maybe Megan Fox in the short skirt, of course!