TMNT: Out Of The Shadows review

I feel like this is going to be a controversial opinion, but I quite liked this movie. And I noticed that a lot of the kids in the preview audience, and a lot of other people liked it too.

Whether it’s a nostalgia for childhood or something undefinable about those green mutant teens, there’s an amazing energy and humour about them that makes this film kind of awesome. I’m sure there will be purists out there who feel like someone has besmirched their childhood, or misunderstood some really important point about Shredder and the foot clan. And yeah, Megan Fox as April is pretty weird casting. But forget about all that. At some point in your life you were introduced to stories about four turtles named after famous artists, who were mutated into teenagers, lived in the sewers and were trained to be ninjas. By a giant rat. Part of you was OK with that ridiculousness. And if that part of you is still intact, well, you might be happy to suspend your disbelief and get behind this silliness too.

This time around the four become privy to the information, via April, that Shredder is planning to escape from prison with the help of a recognition-hungry scientist named Baxter. The escape is set to take place during his move from one prison to another, so cue massive car chase. In the vehicle with Shredder are two other prisoners, hardened cons who go by the monikers Rocksteady and Bepop, and they are driven by a corrections officer called Casey Jones.

Part of the escape involves the use of a teleportation device that the scientist has discovered, but when it’s used, Shredder is pulled into another dimension, where he meets a villain who wants his help to take over the entire planet using a huge war machine.

The main criticisms behind the previous film were that what plotting it did have was incoherent and that the turtles themselves were made to look really weird and ugly. Actually, poor Splinter was quite grotesque. This time around some of that has changed. I think that the CGI characters look a bit better, their characters are certainly more defined. And the plot itself, while based around huge set pieces, is definitely there. There’s loads of banter between all the characters, which is really fun and allows relationships to be defined more clearly. But the film shines in its action sequences, which are HUGE. So huge, they’re kind of ridiculous. But even though they are, there’s so much fun, so much energy and adventure that I felt happy to just get caught up in it.

OK, so maybe this film isn’t for everyone. It another big, blockbuster film. But I love those. It’s not Shakespeare. It’s another franchise film. But you know what? I had a really good time, and that’s part of what going to the movies is all about.

Hermione Flavia is a Screenjabber contributor

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