Thursday, June 2, 2016

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles : Out of the Shadows Spoiler Free Review

The second film in the Dave Green saga of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has officially launched, and though it's predecessor two years ago carried a darker, more sinister tone, #TMNT2 offers an alternative with more lighthearted comedy, goofy antics and fun one liners.

Right off the bat, fans will notice, and it's documented over on IMDB, there is a different actor cast for the role of The Shredder. Brian Tee now replaces the previous incarnation of Shredder played by Tohoru Masamune. There is a huge comparison between the two actors, as the previous was more menacing, dark and mysterious; whereas Brian Tee brings forth a more cartoon, retro throwback feel to the role.

The animation and CGI on "The Turtles" themselves is more realistic, and fluid than the previous 2014 film. At times, the animation seems to be so fast paced, it's hard to keep up with everything that's going on in the scene. But, rest assured, little fans of "Heroes in a Half Shell," will cheer, laugh and be in awe.

The film itself felt very straight forward, the plot was pretty predictable, but let's face the facts, the audience for this film isn't just us hardcore 80's cartoon geeks, but a new generation as well. Films like this are hard to critique as they appeal to both crowds individually. A 13 year old will have a much different experience with this film than a 33 year old. Fans from the cartoon franchise will appreciate the subtle pop culture nods and references to the 80's television show, and new fans will have a new found love for them as well.

The film is a huge improvement over the last, offering us moments of sheer pandemonium as Green and crew embrace the sheer insanity and science fiction fun of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise. I enjoyed the fact that his team was not afraid to offer new characters like Bebop (Gary Anthony Williams) and Rocksteady (Stephen "Sheamus" Farrelly). Even going as far as introducing a new more sinister villain, the evil KRANG, voiced by Fred Armisen, former SNL fan favorite and comedian/musician. The team made some bold leaps forward in this film, and I think it's those leaps that truly set this film apart from it's predecessor. Let's be honest, it's not supposed to be realistic by any means, it's mutant turtles, who are ninjas fighting an evil brain with tentacles and a looming global domination plot. It's nothing unfamiliar to die-hard TMNT fans. But it was executed boldly and beautifully in this sequel. Lest we forget about Green Arrow himself Stephen Amell playing the role of Casey Jones, and this role could not have been better cast and suited. 

My final thoughts on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles : Out of the Shadows. There is no doubt this movie is light years beyond the previous film in the franchise. Out of the Shadows is sure to be a fun family night out type film that will make old "Turtle Fans" feel nostalgic, and new fans feel like a ninja who can conquer the world. Though the plot and finale are somewhat predictable and lackluster, it's sure to entertain both traditional and new fans alike. Does this film have a spellbinding plot? Certainly not. Will this film entertain you, make you chuckle and smile? You can count on it! I like the fact that they left some key plot points unfinished, and left the franchise certainly open for future films to look forward to. As always, be sure to listen to this week's upcoming PopXcast Episode 18 as we dive into the film more, and reveal spoilers, plot points and details about the film. We'll say it again, #SpoilerAlert

-Joe Burke (POPX host)

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