Since the last time we encountered Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello and Michelangelo, the four ever-loveable pizza chugging ninja turtles have been keeping a low profile. That is until the mysterious Shredder emerges once more, and threatens Earth with a dangerous cosmic entity that could destroy all of mankind.
The bros are back and they’re just as we remembered them from 2014’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. But this time, their mission is far more personal as they have to become a cohesive unit while facing their toughest challenge yet. Director Dave Green really builds conflict amongst the brothers with their distinct personalities, and this leads to plenty of drama and even more comedy than before.
Also returning is Megan Fox as intrepid reporter April O’Neil, and while she’s got plenty of moves to get the scoop, this time she needs a little help, and that’s where action hunk Stephen Amell enters the film as prison guard/hockey fan Casey Jones. Jones has been a long time fan favourite, and Amell brings his intense physicality, and do-good attitude to the part. He’s also pretty talented with a hockey stick as well, and gets to go to town on plenty of Foot Ninja while wearing his trademark goalie mask. Fox and Amell trade-off of one another brilliantly, with April’s brains making up for Casey’s brawn. There’s plenty of give and take between these two, and they’ve each got a natural charisma that works for their characters, and respects the history and lore behind each of them.
Out of the Shadows also has some absolute scene stealers who fill out the supporting cast, and chief amongst them is Tyler Perry as over-the-top mad scientist Baxter Stockman. This scientific genius and devote pupil of Shredder has plenty of mad science to throw at the audience, and Perry appears to be having an absolute ball with his character’s bizarre antics. While there’s a certain Revenge of the Nerds gone haywire approach with Stockman, Perry’s goofiness makes him incredibly likeable, and you can’t help but be fascinated by him.
Following Stockman’s scene-stealing antics are his creations, the dimwitted muscle headed criminals, and long-time fan favourites Bebop (Gary Anthony Williams), and Rocksteady (Stephen ‘Seamus’ Farrelly), who Baxter mutates into Shredder’s own personal wrecking team. These thoroughly clueless criminals produce plenty of laughs, and also give the turtles a serious run for their money. These two crazed mutants know how to rumble, and their fight scenes are crazy as they take on the Turtles in the Brazilian jungle. Both Williams and Farrelly absolutely commit as these bruising sidekicks, and they both share real chemistry together onscreen. Fans have waited a long time to see these two come to life and they won’t be disappointed.
Fans of the Turtles should also expect plenty of kung-fu fighting with some crazy action set pieces. The most epic of which features the Turtles’ tactical garbage truck, which tears up the streets of New York as they pursue the Foot Clan. It’s subtle nods like this, as well as the appearance of the evil dimensional alien Krang, and the Technodrome, that will bring back plenty of nostalgic memories for lifelong fans.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows has plenty of wicked action, and fun comedic moments to entertain audiences both young and old. Given the presence of the franchise’s rich history in the film, it’ll be an especially poignant watch for lifelong fans.
Image: Paramount Pictures