Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows is a lot like its title – over-long and messy.
The film yet again follows the adventures of the titular heroes. They’re certainly turtles, mutants and ninjas (being human size talking turtles trained to be ninjas by a talking rat) but they certainly don’t seem like teenagers. In this current franchise they all feel like they’re in their early 30s.
This time round rather than facing William Fichtner‘s evil businessman, the villains take a more familiar shape in that of Shredder, Bebop and Rocksteady and behind it all the talking alien brain Krang. To say the film is overstuffed is an understatement – it’s an utter mess but is bizarrely hypnotising.
If you’re a fan of Donatello you’ll be happy to know that he is he is basically the only turtle New York needs to protect it. Living in the current world where technology is so vital, the gadget making member is by far the most important. The others seem completely unnecessary while Donatello moves the plot forward, and generally figures out how to save the day. Leonardo is an incredibly poorly organised and somewhat divisive leader, Raphael is simply depressed and Michaelangelo is confused and lost throughout.
The supporting cast is a mixed bag. Megan Fox is back as April O’Neil and yet again is predominantly used as eye candy (one plot point even forces her to dress up as a school girl). Also returning is Will Arnett as the comedy relief in a film consisting solely of comedic characters but he stands out giving by far the funniest performance. Gary Anthony Williams and the wrestler Sheamus join the cast as the bumbling idiotic mutant monsters Bebop and Rocksteady and provide little humour or danger. The worst addition to the cast is Stephen Amell as Casey Jones; instead of playing it as a vigilante man of the streets, in this film Jones is desperate to get a promotion in the police department.
It’s a hard film to recommend but at the same time it is hard to criticise as it is openly silly, doesn’t take itself seriously and tries to entertain at every opportunity. I never found myself bored in the two hours but I did not find myself to be particularly entertained.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows works best as a two hour distraction for kids. It’s too long and is without an original idea but isn’t as annoying as you might expect.
| Harry Davenport
Action, Adventure | USA, 2016 | 12A | Paramount Pictures | 30th May 2016 (UK) | Dir.Dave Green | Megan Fox, Will Arnett, Stephen Amell, Stephen Farrelly, Tyler Perry, Brian Tee, Pete Ploszek