Earlier this afternoon, the husband and I decided it was time to take our 3-year-old to his first movie theater experience. He wanted to see Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Out of the Shadows because he’s our child and for the last week I’ve been letting him watch the first movie once a day on Hulu. On weekends he and my husband watch the various cartoon renditions over breakfast. Now that we’re home and the kids are in bed, I’d like to share my spoiler-free thoughts with you.
First of all, this movie is so much better than the first one. I watched the first one purely out of love for the fandom and found it difficult to digest. For several reasons, I felt it didn’t do the TMNT franchise justice. This sequel however, does a much better (not perfect) job of giving me the feeling of the first cartoon while modernizing the series. (I freely admit that I did not get into the comics.)
Let’s talk characters for a moment…
- Megan Fox is still terrible as April O’Neill but hey, make your money girl. I haven’t been impressed with her acting chops any time I’ve ever seen her, though, so maybe that’s just me being a hater. Fortunately, we don’t have to look at her much this time around.
- Surprise! Tyler Perry gave me all the nerdy lack of morals that is Baxter Stockman. I feel like aesthetically he’s kind of a large man to play the role, but otherwise he did fine.
- Stephen Amell as Casey Jones. I was excited for this. Athletically and personality-wise, he was perfect. I am sad that his hair was so short, but I guess long hair doesn’t make sense for the backstory he gets in this movie.
- So Shredder’s outfit is toned waaaaaay down for this sequel, which I like. Honestly, I thought his armor in the first movie just looked excessive. I’m sad he didn’t wear the helmet more, though. Also, I’m sad Karai was largely an accessory through the whole movie. I’m a sucker for kick-ass females.
- Krang looked like something that is going to haunt me tonight and leave me all slimy in my dreams. *cringe* BUT, it was definitely what I thought he would look like, just squishier… is that a word?
- Bebop and Rocksteady. Period. OMG, I loved these two! I swear it’s not just because I’m a WWE fan, either. Gary Anthony Williams and Sheamus killed it! Their bro-tastically stupid chemistry had me cracking up throughout the entire movie and definitely reminding me of their OG cartoon equivalents.
- Honorable mention does have to go to the Bumblebee cosplayer in the parade scene. I clapped out loud in the theater at your on point transformation. Thank you for that. It gave me so much life, haha.
As far as plot, this movie did a better job of pulling from familiar Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle cannon. I only felt a couple of spots where I squinted at the screen like “wha??”, so that’s an improvement. I think I enjoy that this movie seems targeted to an audience that is already familiar with TMNT, not so much trying to generate a new fan-base or appeal to the mainstream masses.
The visual effects did not disappoint me. And there was only one moment when I truly felt disbelief at what happened on the screen. It’s a fantasy world. We already have mutant turtles and ninjas and multi-dimensional aliens; but just be aware that there was one scene with a tank that I may or may not have said GTFOH out loud. Suspended disbelief has its limits, haha. Overall, however, I liked it. My husband liked it. My son was focused on the screen the entire time and he loved every minute. Geek family success!
Have you seen Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Out of the Shadows yet? What did you think? I am by no means a movie critic. I’m just another fan who worries seeing stories from her childhood retold and rejoices when it is done right. You are welcome to agree or disagree, respectfully.
***I am not responsible for whatever spoilers people may share in the comments below.***