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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Jun 5, 2016

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out Of The Shadows Movie Review - Entertaining Sequel From Beginning To End

TO BE HONEST, we were not that keen on watching “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows” as we didn’t enjoy the first reboot shown two years ago that re-introduced them to a new generation of moviegoers. But our grandchildren want to watch it, so off we went and surprise, surprise, the sequel is much better than the first one. It’s so fast paced and has a more engrossing story.

The manic opening scene is so frenetic, with the Turtles jumping on and off rooftops from the iconic Chrysler Bldg. then sliding in and out of New York City tunnels and sewers to eat pizza while watching a Knicks game from the roof the Madison Square Garden. In the first movie, they were able to capture the villain, Shredder (Brian Tee), but they opt to make their existence a secret so they gave the credit to a TV cameraman, Vernon (Will Arnett), who emerged as the hero and made him a celebrity.

Now, Shredder’s cohorts are determined to free him with the help of a scientist, Stockman (Tyler Perry), so they can hook up with an alien, Krang (a creature that’s actually a disembodied big brain using the body of a giant robot), They aim to open up a portal or wormhole in the space-time continuum that will bring in dangerous weapons from outer space that will then be used to kill human beings.

Also used by the villains to be their errand boys are two dumb thugs imprisoned with Shredder, Bebop (Gary Anthony Williams) and Rocksteady (wrestler Sheamus), who they mutate into a warthog and a rhinoceros-looking man. They are like dimwitted cartoon characters who provide much hilarity in many scenes.

Also around is the TV journalist friend of the turtles, April O’Neil (Megan Fox), who helps them investigate nefarious activities of Stockman and finds romance in a hunky new cop armed with a hockey mask and a stick, Casey Jones (Stephen Amell of “Arrow”), plus three-time Oscar nominee Laura Linney as the NYC police commissioner who initially thinks the turtles are monsters and should be commended for managing to keep a straight face all throughout the funny proceedings.

You’ll never get bored watching this fast paced movie that has a series of wonderful action set pieces, like the turtles figuring in an excitingly staged cargo plane crash where they get to jump into another plane then they land into a river with whitewater rapids that end with them crashing into a waterfall.
The movie also slows down a bit for viewers to get to know more of the turtles through their entertaining comic banter and some serious interaction about the chance of them turning into humans that give the film some emotional resonance. The actors who give life to them through motion-capture technique are all good, even with their vocal work: Noel Fisher as Michael Angelo, Alan Ritchson as Raphael, Jeremy Howard as Donatello and Pete Ploszek as Leonardo.

Produced by Michael Bay and full of well conceived thrilling action sequences, this new movie, where the turtles are no longer operating in secret but now out in the open, is surely more engaging than any other other Turtle movie made before, thanks mainly to new director Dave Green who certainly knows how to mix amusing whimsy with hardcore action that will please not only kid audiences but also their oldies.