Warning – This review contains moments of ’80’s nostalgia.

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are back to save the world and this time they’re facing more bad guys than a Donald Trump rally.  So is it any good?


Unlike most sequels, this second instalment in the rebooted Turtles franchise is superior to the first.  They’ve learnt from their mistakes and listened to the fans – Although unfortunately there’s nothing they can do about their previous character design.  The story picks up 1 year later after defeating Shredder (Brian Tee), in which time Vernon (Will Arnet) is given credit for the turtle’s heroics while they’re forced to lurk in the shadows.

teenage-mutant-ninja-turtles-out-of-the-shadows-image-35 (1)Directed by Dave Green (Earth To Echo) this movie has all the hallmarks of it’s Producer Michael Bay. This becomes obvious early on during Shredder’s action packed Jailbreak – Lens flares, car chases and slow mo explosions light up the screen.  This is one of the film’s few action scenes that isn’t completely dominated by CGI.  The rest make it feel like you’re watching a cartoon – Which isn’t a bad thing as the Turtles jump out of planes, surf the sewers, and fight in yet another rooftop battle against a big guy covered in metal.Group ShotWhereas the first movie was centred around the human characters, this sequel feels more like the cartoon/comic as it’s stuffed with references for the more mature fanboy.  So much so that Judith Hoag (April O’Neil) from the 1990 movie makes a cameo, unfortunately she didn’t make the final cut.  She could have been joined by other original cast members but Elias Koteas (Casey Jones) and Sam Rockwell (Head Thug) declined to return.SteveSo now the humans are given very little do apart from a few mundane side missions.  With the exception of a couple of snatch and grab scenes, Megan Fox’s April O’Neil just fills out a few fan boy fantasies.  Stephen Amell as Casey Jones, flirts with April and keeps some of the bad guys busy but his character doesn’t really get a chance to shine or given any decent one liners.  Noel Fisher as Michelangelo keeps all the best lines for himself even if they do sometimes sound like your mate’s Dad trying to be cool.  Tyler Perry plays Baxter Stockman and seems to relish his role as a mad scientist, where he could have just as easily phoned it in.Bebop and RockSteady dThe new editions that really entertain the most are Bebop (Gary Anthony Williams) and Rocksteady (Sheamus).  Yes they’re mindless goons with little to say but they are responsible for the ‘Bromance’ of the year “My Man!”.  At first Brad Garrett’s voice as Krang didn’t gel for me, but after a few seconds of being grossed out you can see why he was a solid choice to replace Fred Armisen.  Packing in such a large amount of characters from my childhood was enough to get the nostalgia tastebuds tingling.  Having said that, maybe they could have dropped one or two bad guys to give the others a chance to shine.  It does make me wonder who they’ll bring back for the third outing – Yojimbo, Leatherhead or Rat King?3dIs the storyline new?  No. Does logic play a role in the narrative? No.  But who cares, you’re watching a movie about pizza eating teenage mutant ninja turtles kicking ass.  I’m glad they reformatted the movie into 3D (although I’m not usually a fan) because when there’s glass flying at your face and a Mutant Rhino plummeting over a waterfall firing a tank at the screen, you can’t help but grin.  Just because this is a movie that pays a lot of fan service doesn’t make it exceptional but it does make it bloody entertaining.  This is an action packed kid’s movie – Michael Bay Junior.  Flush your disbelief down the sewer, and strap yourself in for a great time.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows – In Aussie Cinemas June 9