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After facing Shredder, who has joined forces with mad scientist Baxter Stockman and henchmen Bebop and Rocksteady to take over the world, the Turtles must confront an even greater nemesis: the notorious Krang.
I wish I could say, "Hey dude, 'cowabunga' says it all!" when asked what I thought of this film. However, as relevant, goofy, and as perfect of an answer that would be, it wouldn't exactly be accurate. You see, this is a real movie with real actors that goes a little bit deeper than your typical saturday morning cartoon show; an innocent but shallow depth that the older movies and cartoons often held. There is more to say about'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Out of the Shadows' than a simple "cowabunga". That being said, if I absolutely had to pick a single word to describe the movie, I'd instead pick "improvement".
I actually wasn't a big fan of the first movie. Do you know what stood out as far as its biggest weakness? It was the polar opposite themes that the film had which didn't work well together. A movie produced by Michael Bay that both had the goofy elements of the turtles as well as the high-octane epicness of a Michael Bay film - both of which didn't really fit well together. Understandably, that's what worried me about the sequel - and thankfully, they've seemingly learned from their mistakes.
You see, the first film had a lot of goofy things coming from the turtles, and rightfully so - but that seemed to be where the goofiness stopped. In 'Out of the Shadows', we were offered a variety of elements that matched the turtles in goofiness. There was unusual mechanisms from the turtle truck, two comic relief characters that were indeed very cartoony, a villain that seems like it was borrowed straight from the cartoon show - and yes, even more goofy things that the turtles say and do. In my opinion, it is this added material that makes the movie look and feel more rounded and balanced with both its comedy and action - which is what the first film needed all along. You still have to come to grips with the idea that the turtles are "teenagers" when they look like 35 year old body builders...but hey, what can you do?
As for the plot of the film - there are clear remnants of the film that mirror the original sequel in '91 entitled "The Secret of the Ooze". Here's an excerpt of my review:
Shredder is recovering from his defeat and is out for revenge. When the Ninja Turtles discover canisters of the “ooze” that created them, it’s a race to find the ooze before it gets in the wrong hands, as Shredder wants to use the ooze to create his own army of super mutant animal monster things. - Dave Examines Movies
In this movie, there is a canister of ooze that is referred to as ooze that Shredder uses to create super mutant animal monster things - just like the original sequel. However, this film also implements the use of Krang as the centered villain, which created more of an original story. That way, you can enjoy both...but I gotta admit, I both like this movie more than the previous film and...the 1991 movie.
The film's score sounds a little too much like Transformers.
I don't always talk about what the movie sounded like, unless it makes a lasting impression on me...whether that's a good or bad thing. The score in Out of the Shadows was created by Steven Jablonsky, who indeed also made the music for Transformers. I heard it, which meant plenty of other heard it. Now, composers often create compositions that seem similar to each other. Most composers are just as guilty - I've heard plenty of John Williams scores have remnants of other scores in them as well - but his songs are so well-made that you can still tell a difference. For these two scores...I can't. Obviously they are two different songs, but if I did a blind hearing test...I'm afraid I might list the wrong film.
That's not just dumb, that made me think of Transformers anytime something mechanical happened. I heard the sound effects Transformers made, I saw an actual Transformers Halloween costume, and something in the sky looked like a flying Transformer...it got a little insane. I was waiting for Optimus Prime to show up and save Mikaela from Megatron...
Overall, 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows' is a better movie than the previous flick. It still has its flaws, but those are flaws that'll likely never change - because sometimes you need those flaws in order to create the spirit and tone that you're going for. People who are obsessed with TMNT may still hate this film because it takes characters you love and ultimately changes them, especially their appearance...which is a change that doesn't make sense to many. Though, if you are going to review a film, you have to go into it remembering one thing - creative liberties are made specifically to introduce change. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't. The way to judge that is not based on the initial design, but rather if they did a good job if it was the first ever presentation of the character. To be fair and honest, I believe they did a fine job with characters this time around.
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