MOVIE REVIEW: TMNT: Out of the Shadows (2016)

Directed by Dave Green

Following the 2014 film which is a decent entertaining film but still feels underwhelming for a movie that wants to expand as a franchise, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows isn’t anywhere near better than its predecessor.

Megan Fox returns as April O’Neil who isn’t clear what she is really doing in the film, whether she’s still a full-time reporter continuing her job from the first film or just a freelance reporter who does reporting whenever she wants and does full-time in helping the Ninja Turtles in fighting crime and stopping Shredder. She’s still good looking and all though, the typical Megan Fox character from Transformers as Mikaela and now, April O’Neil. Not that she’s not good with her job, it’s just that it’s the same thing, just different names.

Mentioning Transformers, the film still feels like it’s a spin-off from Michael Bay’s robot fighting film. He did co-produce Out of the Shadows but the scoring and some dialogues does feel a bit Transformers to me. It is Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles after all. It doesn’t need to have the same feel as another franchise because it is already a beloved and existing property long before its cast were born. But I guess it needed to have that appeal, that look, so that the audience will embrace the same formula, the same atmosphere Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movies will give even though it’s unoriginal.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows is emotionless from start to finish. And that alone will make it hard for the audience (or at least for me) to enjoy the film or the scenes the characters are actually enjoying. Some did work but it didn’t last, most are just plain and boring because everything just passed by, there are some sentiments about its brotherhood but it’s hardly the focus of the film, the things that it should emphasize on are overlooked and replaced by what is supposed to be fun and action—packed sequences.

It’s weird to watch Stephen Amell in his good guy look and voice, llke even though he not does feel like Oliver Queen from the hit TV series show “Arrow,” it almost feels uncomfortable watching him as another character. He tries to give a different package as an actor for his character as Casey Jones but some of it doesn’t feel a hundred percent right. Tyler Perry as Baxter Stockman does have moments where it wants your attention but ultimately has nothing more than that. Laura Linney and Will Arnett and Splinter are surprisingly underused for the film, especially Splinter who mostly hangs with the Turtles. Bebop and Rocksteady likes to steal the scene every now and then, some are actually entertaining.

The intention of the film is clear, it’s a popcorn flick and nothing more than that. It boasts and takes pride in its CGI or visual effects for the family audience to get what they want. And the film gives that wholeheartedly but that doesn’t mean that it’s enough. You got to give the audience what they deserve, and frankly, with the ticket prices these days, the audience deserves better.

TMNT 2 Poster


1.5 Stars

“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows” is now showing in cinemas nationwide from United International Pictures, locally distributed by Columbia Pictures. Also available in 3D,4D and IMAX 3D. Rated PG by the MTRCB.

Leave a Reply