Director: Dave Green
Cast: Megan Fox, Will Arnett, Tyler Perry
Release Date: September 20, 2016
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 7/10
Disc Rating: 8/10
Raphael, Leonardo, Donatello, and Michelangelo are back to battle bigger, badder villains, alongside April O’Neil and a newcomer: the hockey-masked vigilante Casey Jones. After supervillain Shredder escapes custody, he joins forces with two dimwitted henchmen, Bebop and Rocksteady, to unleash a diabolical plan to take over the world. As the Turtles prepare to take on Shredder and his new crew, they find themselves facing an even greater threat with similar intentions: the notorious Krang.
Everybody’s favorite butt kicking mutants are back in ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out Of the Shadows’ which rejoins our heroes sometime after the defeat of Shredder in the first film. When Shredder escapes custody during a prison transport gone wrong, mysteriously escaping in midair through an apparent portal, his escape initiates the beginning of a far more terrifying threat to earth than we’ve ever seen when he agrees to assist an alien warlord named Krang in teleporting his war machine to Earth. Now the turtles (along with some help from April, Vernon and newcomer Casey Jones) must race against time in order to prevent Shredder and his new mutant goons Bebop and Rocksteady from acquiring all of the necessary pieces and unleashing Krang, and subsequently the end of the world upon Earth.
Directed by Dave Green (Earth To Echo) from a script written by returning writers Josh Appelbaum and André Nemec who also penned the first film in the series, Green does a wonderful job at the helm of ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out Of the Shadows’ and captures the intended cartoonish tone and imagery beautifully. The film also owes a share of the credit to the folks who comprise the cast featuring both some new and returning individuals to the franchise including Megan Fox, Will Arnett, Tyler Perry, Laura Linney, Stephen Amell, Brian Tee, Gary Anthony Williams, and more, along with Noel Fisher, Jeremy Howard, Pete Ploszek, and Alan Ritchson stepping into the Turtles’ skin.
‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out Of the Shadows’ brings back the latest incarnations of our favorite mutant heroes and while serving as the follow up to the 2014 film ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ overall, it’s a drastically different film in many ways, primarily in its significantly goofier approach and more light hearted tone. Opting for primarily focusing on the 1987 animated series this time around, not only with a matching level of silliness, but the addition of many of its fan favorite elements and characters including Krang, the Technodrome, and of course Bebop and Rocksteady. While the goofy and more comedic approach doesn’t refrain from keeping things consistently fun, it does mean that the darker and more realistic aura of its predecessor is unfortunately entirely absent within the sequel and even the end of the world seems to be treated as a simple adventure to joke about. Perhaps the most disappointing result of this significant change is the absence of any actual hand to hand combat in Out of the Shadows; something I felt was one of the most impressive aspects of the first film. Nonetheless, after three viewings (so far) I can say it’s still a wonderfully run ride that delivers splendidly on repeat visits, only getting better with each subsequent viewing. While I may certainly prefer the first film personally, ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out Of the Shadows’ is a tremendously fun and action packed (in its own way) film and sure to be an incredibly enjoyable experience for any fellow TMNT fans. I also wouldn’t be the slightest bit surprised if many fellow fans of the franchise that are partial to the 80’s cartoon end up preferring it over its predecessor.
Overall, ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows’ is a goofy, often hilarious and just flat out enjoyable follow up to the 2014 reboot. The sequel forgoes the darker tone and more imminent sense of danger present in the first entry as well as the hand to hand combat fighting style in favor of focusing more on adapting the 1987 cartoon not only in tone but also with the inclusion of many prominent characters and ideas introduced within. Many fans such as me may find the film to be somewhat inferior to the first entry due to these changes, while others are likely to prefer this one a great deal more. Anyone who caught the first film and loved it or even enjoyed it in the slightest will definitely want to make sure to give this one a shot. It’s well worth the cost of a rental at the very least and many fellow TMNT nuts shouldn’t be disappointed if dropping the cash on a blind purchase.
The Blu-ray 3D release of ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out Of the Shadows’ features a full 1080p High Definition MVC encoded 3D presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.40:1 Aspect Ratio. The 3D presentation is fantastic and provides a clean, sharp and detailed 3 dimensional presentation with some impressive depth, plenty of enjoyable pop out effects that appear to stretch well beyond the confines of the screen and more, while always holding up beautifully and never suffering any notable faults throughout. Overall, this is another gorgeous 3D High Definition video presentation from Paramount that should easily thrill the fellow 3D enthusiasts.
The 2D Blu-ray release which is also included in the 3D Blu-ray combo pack features an AVC encoded full high definition video presentation also representing the film’s original 2.40:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The 2D video presentation looks outstanding in its own right and provides a consistently sharp, detailed and gorgeous video presentation from start to finish that should thrill those who aren’t fans of 3D or simply want to switch it up.
The Blu-ray release (both the 3D & 2D disc) features a Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 channel compatible) soundtrack. Please note that this review pertains solely to the lossless Dolby TrueHD 7.1 audio presentation. This lossless multichannel soundtrack delivers a consistently crisp, clean and wonderfully hard hitting audio presentation throughout. Constantly utilizing all seven available channels in order to send a barrage of flying debris, vehicles, and a plethora of action related auditory effects whipping throughout the various speakers, while never resulting in any dialogue which may be occurring simultaneously to become distorted or rendered inaudible. Overall, this is a marvelous Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 compatible) soundtrack that contributes yet another layer of enjoyment to this fun ride.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out Of the Shadows’ includes a few enjoyable extras all of which can be found on the 2D disc (no supplemental material is included on the 3D disc). Included on the release are a few ‘Deleted Scenes’ from the film (running approximately 5 minutes in length altogether), in addition to a number of Behind the Scenes Featurettes that include interviews/comments with the cast and crew, behind the scenes footage and more. The included Featurettes are: ‘We Are Family’ (running approximately 8 minutes), ‘Whoa! Expanding the Turtleverse’ (approximately 14 minutes), ‘House Party’ (6 minutes), ‘It’s Tricky: Inside the Van’ (4 minutes), ‘ILM – The Effects Behind the Shell’ (3 minutes), and ‘Did You Catch That? Turtle Eggs!’ (3 minutes).