Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Out of The Shadows: The 80s Cartoon Series Reincarnated [Blu-ray Review]

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of The Shadows is directed by  David Green (Earth to Echo) and stars Megan Fox, Will Arnett, Tyler Perry, Stephen Amell, Brian Tee, Alan Ritchson, Pete Ploszek, Jeremy Howard, Noel Fisher, Stephen “Sheamus” Farrelly, Gary Anthony Williams and Laura Linney.  It is due for home release on Blu-ray Combo Pack, Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack, 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack and DVD September 20, 2016 from Paramount Home Media Distribution.

The turtles face a new challenge when Shredder escapes from custody and joins forces with Baxter Stockman, a mad scientist who plans to use a serum to take over the world. Along for the ride are Bebop and Rocksteady, two dimwitted henchmen who provide plenty of muscle. Luckily, the turtles have their own allies in April O’Neil, Vernon Fenwick and Casey Jones, a hockey-masked vigilante. As the pizza-loving heroes prepare for battle, the notorious Krang also emerges to pose an even greater threat.

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Review

If you had a problem with the first live-action reboot of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise, it was probably that you didn’t get any legit turtle action until well over a half-hour into the thing. You don’t have that problem with the sequel ‘Out of The Shadows’, which is an apt title considering that this time the brothers are front and center, beginning to end, all over this thing. In fact, the film is so ‘in-your-face’ that it’s both awesome and messy – think of the sequel as a live-action reincarnation of the late 80’s cartoon series and you’ll start to understand what director David Green was going for here.

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The Shredder is back! And recast! Brian Tee does a terrific job here, I just wish they would have utilised the main man more wisely this time around… I won’t ruin anything, but let’s just say the final encounter between he and the turtles is lacking – a lot… More than a lot to be honest. Although I enjoyed Out of The Shadows SLIGHTLY more overall, I do think the fight at the end of the first movie is superior to the flying alien robot ship thing that we get here. Say what you will about that first film, the final half hour was spectacular.

The scene stealers for me were Rocksteady and Bebop (Stephen “Sheamus” Farrelly and Gary Anthony Williams) who wholly embraced the silliness of the project and truly brought out the best in the fan favorite warthog and rhino baddies. They even managed to pull off a fart joke and not make me cringe (and there was a bad fart joke in the first flick that made me shake my head in shame). In a film overstuffed with villains (including Krang for some reason), Bebop and Rocksteady were easily the best of the bunch. As much as I loved the live-action look and voice performance of Krang (Brad Garrett), there was no reason to have him be involved right now in this franchise. He was more shoe-horned into this thing than Spider-man in Civil War.

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The dynamic between the turtles was also vastly improved this go-around, with every single brother getting their chance to shine. Pete Ploszek gets to be Leo in both mo-cap and voice this time around (Knoxville didn’t return) and he does just fine as the leader who battles with major game-changing decisions to keep the family together. Noel Fisher as always knocks it out of the park as Mikey (love that quadruple pizza stack man – nice) and Alan Ritchson/Jeremy Howard round out the team as Donny and Raph to perfection. I have no criticisms towards our turtles – at all.

Now…. Casey Jones… Yeah Stephen Amell plays Casey, but you get the mask for about 2 minutes. The trailer – that’s the only time he wears it. Sorry to spoil that for you, but there was no need for Casey to be injected into the sequel either which is a shame, because Amell was actually REALLY good at capturing the angsty dumbass vigilante spirit of Jones, the script just didn’t give a shit about him. Megan Fox as April is OK, because she shows up, makes her model stink-face and gets the hell out of the way this time. Perfect. Tyler Perry as Baxter Stockman? Wonderful – that nerdy laugh he delivers is amazing.

Michelangelo in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows from Paramount Pictures, Nickelodeon Movies and Platinum Dunes

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of The Shadows is goofy-ass fun and turtle fans will get a kick out of it. There’s not one true TMNT fan that has a right to outright ‘hate’ this film, because it is truly a straight adaptation of the oldschool animated show. It’s silly, action–packed and captures the essence of what made me fall in love with the franchise as a kid on Saturday mornings.

Special Features

The Blu-ray is a wonderful package, loaded with some cool featurettes. One of my favorite aspects was seeing the guys who suited up in turtle shell mo-cap suits and acting out the scenes. You truly get a better sense of just how much performance made it through the CGI after seeing the cast behind-the-scenes. There was also a lot of work put into the sets, like the turtles’ home in the sewers. Lots of love and attention was paid to making Out of The Shadows the spectacle that it is and you get a wonderful view into how all of that happened in the Blu-ray.

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  • We Are Family
  • Whoa! Expanding the Turtleverse
  • House Party
  • It’s Tricky: Inside the Van
  • ILM—The Effects Beneath the Shell
  • Did You Catch That?  Turtle Eggs!
  • Deleted Scenes

Rating:

 

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