Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Out of the shadows

In 1990 New Line Cinema found themselves a surprise hit with their adaptation of “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.” The movie earned over $100 million, more of a milestone in those days, and the studio wasted no time getting a sequel out, “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: The Secret of the Ooze.” Fans were excited when they saw the poster of the movie which featured the four turtles bent over looking at a canister of ooze, while two ominous shadows lurked in the background. Everyone assumed those shadows belonged to two of the turtles greatest enemies, Rocksteady and Bebop. Instead, to great disappointment, they belonged to Tokka and Rahzar. The mutant Rhino and Warthog finally make their big screen debut today, June 3 in “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows.” Unfortunately the outing is almost a big a let down as the original sequel.

It’s been one year since the Teenaged Mutant Ninja Turtles, Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello and Raphael defeated Shredder (Bran Tee) and saved New York City. However, you can never keep a good super villain down, especially when you get the help of a mad scientist and a couple of dimwitted errand boys in the form of Rocksteady and Bebop. Can the turtles save the day once again?

“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows” is just flat out bad. The reboot of the franchise a couple of years ago was actually a fun time, but if it was anything like this entry, it’s doubtful a sequel would have ever gotten greenlit. There are so many problems here they are almost hard to list, but let’s give it a shot. The first big action sequence, involving the turtles assault vehicle, never meets its full potential. It looked like it would have been a great scene in the commercials, but the final product is poorly executed. The first action scene involving Casey Jones (Stephen Amell) while wearing his famous hockey mask, also fails to be fully realized. There is also another famous Turtles villain in this movie, it won’t be revealed here, but his first on screen introduction could have been a lot better. The music never works, the movie never finds it’s footing and never feel cohesive from beginning to end.

Who is to blame for all this? Naturally that falls squarely in the director’s lap, Dave Green. He made his feature length debut a couple of years ago with his family film, “Earth to Echo.” That movie was far from perfect, but this column stated he deserved another shot to see what he can do. Now he has gotten that shot and the verdict is in, don’t give this man anymore work. There is some drama in “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows” too, but he can’t handle that. He can never make the audience feel the impending danger that was written in the script. “Earth to Echo” was one of those “found footage” types of projects and for some reason he feels he has to have jerky camera work in this movie too.

The target audience for “Teenaged Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows,” young teenage boys, will probably like the movie. The best element of it is Rocksteady and Bebop. Fans of those two will not be disappointed on how they turned out. The 3D is not bad either, but in this case, the normal admission price is not even worth paying. It is rated PG-13 for sci-fi action violence.