If you walk into Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows expecting anything other than ridiculous nonsense, then you probably can’t read English. Seriously, it’s called TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES. The heroes are GIANT TALKING TURTLES, named after legendary painters, trained to be NINJAS by a GIANT TALKING RAT, and for unexplained reasons, love to eat PIZZA. Not plants, not small insects, not worms, but fucking PIZZA! The villains are Pumba from The Lion King, a giant talking RHINO, a slimy BRAIN (who also talks btw), and a JAPANESE DUDE! Okay, maybe the Japanese dude part isn’t that weird. But if all that doesn’t scream crazy to you, this definitely will: Megan Fox plays the role of a JOURNALIST.
But, we’ve seen how ridiculous movies can turn out to be absolute masterpieces. Mad Max: Fury Road has a bald headed cyborg lady as the lead, grannies on motorcycles, the love child of Bane and Darth Vader, AND A GUITAR FLAMETHROWER MONSTER ALIEN RIDING A TRUCK FULL OF AMPLIFIERS, while Deadpool has Ryan Reynolds’ penis. But, TMNT: Out of the Shadows is definitely not one of those movies, not even close, not in a million years. What we have on our hands, is pretty much Transformers, except instead of robots, we have turtles.
Yes, this is a Michael Bay movie, don’t let the credits fool you. Sure, Michael Bay may not have directed it, but the director, Dave Green, is from Michael Bay’s studio. Traces of Michael Bay’s semen are all over this movie, from the unnecessary, overabundance of 360° shots, to the saturated colours and Megan Fox’s boobs. And as with almost all Michael Bay movies, character arcs and storytelling take a backseat for an orgy of crashing building, giant robot spaceships, and of course, Megan Fox’s boobs.
Side note: I actually really like the Transformers franchise, not limited to the first movie. Yeap, that’s right. INCLUDING Age of Extinction. Hey, I don’t think they’re good movies (besides the first one, which is GREAT), but rather guilty pleasures. But that’s okay. Feel free to judge me, as I have those of you who love “It-that-must-not-be-named.” Hint: Check my bio.
Side note end. What’s interesting, and not in a positive way, is, for an action movie about ninjas, it contains very little ninja-styled, hand-to-hand combat, which was one of the more interesting aspects of the badass 90s cartoon. Leonardo used Twin Katana, Donatello had a Bo, Raphael a Sai, and Michelangelo used Nunchakus. In TMNT: Out of the Shadows all that is ignored and replaced with extreme sports. The Turtles kick off the movie by skateboarding off a rooftop, somewhere in the middle they jump off a plane, and squashed in and around these scenes are more flips and free running. So I guess they’re Teenage Mutant Parkour Turtles? What?? Then again, few years back, we had a movie called The Karate Kid featuring Kung Fu, so screw it. Besides, I don’t think Americans give a shit, considering their favourite sport is called “football” – a sport that requires little to no usage of FEET!
Guys, the story is as simple as it gets. Bad guys want to destroy the planet; Turtles must save the day. Boom! Bang! Parkour! Boom! Parkour! Megan Fox’s cleavage! Boom! Done. But it’s a lot of fun because the Turtles themselves are a joyride. Each of them has unique characteristics – Leonardo (Pete Ploszek) is the leader, Donatello (Jeremy Howard) is a techy, Raphael (Alan Ritchson) is all brawn, no brains, and Michelangelo (Noel Fisher) is pretty much an idiot, but he can beatbox and wants to make a Christmas album, so there’s that. Every time the Turtles come on-screen, I can’t help but smile. Sometimes, even burst out laughing. Their diverse personalities provide an interesting dynamic and drives the underlying theme of this movie: self acceptance.
The humans though, that’s a whole other problem. Just like in Bay’s idea of a porno (aka the Transformers franchise), the human characters are completely disposable. Megan Fox aside, the screenwriters, Josh Appelbaum and Andre Nemec, along with Dave Green and Michael Bay’s prodding penis, completely butcher one of the coolest characters of my childhood, Casey Jones. C’mon, Casey Jones is supposed to be a badass, hockey loving rebel with LONG HAIR, not a clean cut correctional officer with a huge smile on his face. Casey Jones bro. Bukan John Cena! If you’re a fan of the cartoon, and hoping for a Shredder VS Turtles rematch, then get ready to be terribly disappointed. Shredder is nothing but a tool here, so much so that he makes Megan Fox look like she’s not a complete waste of space. Which makes me wonder, why bother recasting him anyway?
At times, it gets a little annoying. Why does the Giant Rat not help the Turtles kick ass, when he’s clearly the best ass-kicker, as evident from the first movie? Or, how does Megan Fox manage to remove her pants in public, in under two seconds, without anybody noticing? Then I remember that in this movie, a rhino and pig ride motorcycles.
Photos sourced from TMNT 2 Official Movie Site.