The “Turtle Power!” part is more necessary than you think. “Heroes in a Half Shell” could just as easily be oysters.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows pits the turtles against all their old enemies from the original cartoon, from Shredder and his henchmen Bebop and Rocksteady to Baxter Stockman and Krang. Is it a radical good time or as bloated as a turtle after eating a whole pizza? Well, let’s take a look at the trailer and find out.
So who stars in this trailer? Megan Fox and Will Arnett return as April O’Neill and Vernon Fenwick, as do the turtles, played once again by Noel Fisher, Jeremy Howard, Pete Ploszek, and Alan Ritchson. Newcomers include Stephen Amell of Arrow as Casey Jones, Laura Linney of The Truman Show as Chief Vincent, Tyler Perry of Madea fame as Baxter Stockman, Brian Tee from The Wolverine as Shredder, wrestler Sheamus as Rocksteady, and Gary Anthony Williams of The Boondocks as Bebop.
The director is Dave Green, who previously directed Earth to Echo. It was a fun little film, and I’m interested to see how he handles the bigger budget blockbuster that is this Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie.
The trailer begins with Michelangelo sneaking out of the sewers to join a Halloween parade (or possibly the latest Suicide Squad trailer), since it’s “the one night of the year we actually fit in.” His brother Raphael doesn’t take kindly to this, dragging him back into the sewers and asking, “What part of move in the shadows don’t you understand?” I don’t know, guys; you were all hanging from the top of a building in broad daylight in the last film. I think you’ve already blown the whole “move in the shadows” thing.
Suddenly, our TMNT trailer is interrupted by a Transformers trailer as the sky opens up and spaceships pour out of it. “I’ve never seen anything like this before,” one of the turtles says, the one who clearly has never seen a Michael Bay movie before. But April has a lead, and she leaves her undercover position, uncovering her midriff in the process because Megan Fox is in this movie, and by gosh, the trailers are going to leverage that.
Shredder and his henchman pay a visit to scientist Baxter Stockman, bringing him an ooze that will help them build an army. “This is gonna be good,” Stockman declares with a cartoon grin on his face as he mutates Bebop and Rocksteady into, as Bebop puts it, a rhinoceros and a little piggy. If he doesn’t go to a market and cry “wee wee wee” all the way home, I’ll be very disappointed.
April steals some of the ooze, gets cornered by Shredder’s Foot soldiers, and then gets rescued by vigilante hockey player Casey Jones. Then Michelangelo arrives on scene and wants to know if the two are a thing. They literally just met, Mikey; only plot contrivances would make them a thing that quickly. But Donatello has more than romance on his mind, making the questionable scientific leap that the purple ooze made people animals, it can make the turtles human. Everybody’s on board with the idea except Leonardo, who says, “We’re turtles, whether you like it or not.”
The turtles grab their weapons and leap into the action montage, leaping between alien ships, running from a tank in a river, and Leonardo complains that their team isn’t working. “Keep the team unified, and you shall always succeed,” Splinter tells him. Unless your enemy is more powerful and skilled than you are, in which case you’ll probably still fail. Rocksteady chases Casey through a parking garage, the Turtle Van shoots exploding manhole covers at the bad guys, Raphael clotheslines two bikers, and the turtles turn the sewers into a waterslide (try not to think about what they’re sliding through).
And the trailer ends with the turtles jumping out of a plane to land on another plane. Mikey does several graceful aerial flips, but Raphael pulls his parachute too late and smacks into the plane windshield. And that, my friends, is that you make turtle soup. (He’s fine, but let’s be honest, that should have killed him.)
So based on the trailer, do I recommend the movie? Kind of, yeah. It’s got our turtle boys and their special brand of action and humor, plus plenty of throwbacks to the original comics. The last movie was a bit mixed, so I’m hoping this one improves on what came before. That said, if you don’t like mindless CGI fun-fests, this one probably isn’t going to be for you. I probably won’t get to see this one in theaters, but I’m looking forward to checking it out on DVD.
Besides, Turtle movies are always best enjoyed with quality pizza.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows is owned by Paramount Pictures.