‘TMNT: Out of the Shadows’ needs to go back in

- Advertisement -

I used to laugh at people who wrote things like “Michael Bay raped my childhood” about the 2007 Transformers movie, partially because I liked the first one. It was about a young boy getting his first car to impress a girl, something that I could relate to…and then there were cool sci-fi elements. And even with the abysmal sequels the Transformers, to me growing up in the 80’s, were just cool toy robots that turned into cool toy cars. When I was a few years older, it was Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles that I really formed an emotional attachment to as characters. TMNT is about brothers who bicker with each other and who come together in times of trouble. And, yeah, Michael Bay raped my childhood again with TMNT: Out of The Shadows.  Or at least liposuctioned things from it that neither he, nor the people he works with as producers and directors, fully understand.

First, the positive elements. TMNT: Out of the Shadows makes the turtles a couple heads smaller than they were in the 2014 reboot. They are less the hulking monstrosities you remember from the previous film. Does this make them better ninjas, better able to sneak around like they did in the 1990 film? It does not. They are still smacking normal, human-sized bad guys into walls with one punch, saving their actual ninja fighting for larger, equally monstrous characters, which this movie has in abundance.  Second, the movie does focus more on the turtles themselves.  The personalities, teasing and interaction between the four turtles was the one thing the previous movie got right and I am happy to say that there is more of it here.

But the rest of it…a bunch of visually impressive action scenes, made watchable by the aforementioned brotherly interaction of the turtles duct taped together with a story that makes no sense, gives the human characters something to do, and does not explain many of the admittedly cool things that are in it.  There are many lazy explanations for more complicated sci-fi elements in this movie, especially when we get to the laughably underused Krang and how Donatello figures out inter-dimensional travel and what he is up to.  It is stuff that would be better explained in a better script.  Even Ant-Man had more believable explanations for a guy in a suit who shrinks.

The dialogue in this movie is horrible. Say what you will about how dated the 1990’s Jim Henson Ninja Turtle suits look and how Mikey talked like a surfer, but Splinter had better dialogue and more emotion in 1990 than in this film. “I have tried to channel your anger, Raphael, but more remains. Anger clouds the mind.”  Yeah, you remember that scene. The Ninja Turtles taught me that it was okay for a man to cry when I was 11.

- Advertisement -

picture-191

And then there’s Casey Jones. I have no problem with him being better looking than he is in other versions. He is an ex-hockey player who got hit in the face with a few hockey pucks, so it makes more sense if he’s not that pretty. My problem with Casey Jones in this movie is the same I had with Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor. Great actor. Cool character, but such a drastic deviation from previous versions of said character that you don’t know what THAT character is supposed to be. This Casey Jones is a prison security guard who only wears his hockey mask and fights with a hockey stick in one scene. And the next time he fights somebody, he uses roller blades with no hockey mask so the moms who took their kids to see this movie can gawk at his handsome mug. He is not crazy. He forms no friendship with Raphael and actually seems more buddy-buddy with Mikey.  And he’s underused and underdeveloped just like Krang, Bebop, Rocksteady and Baxter Stockman. Was Karai in this? Yeah, I think she was. And the ending is just stupid for a bunch of reasons I won’t spoil here.

I’ve written articles  about how I feel about these new turtle movies. Real fans know the best versions of TMNT are always combinations of the more serious indie comic book and the more humorous 1987 cartoon (the 1990 movie, the 2003 cartoon, the 2012 Nick cartoon, the current IDW series). The 1987 cartoon was, like most cartoons in the 80’s, based on the toy line and NOT the comics that the toy line was taken from. This movie tries to be an adaptation of the cartoon only, going for that mindless nostalgia factor when the only elements taken from the comics were the letters T.C.R.I. and Baxter being black. And it fails miserably at being a good adaptation of the cartoon.

But the saddest part is, there are people who grew up with the 1987 cartoons, who consider themselves die-hard Ninja Turtle fans who know nothing of the comics.  Try talking to them about Fugitoid or the Triceratons (or even Eastman and Laird) and get blank stares.  They think TMNT is supposed to be silly, because the cartoon was the only version they are familiar with.  They don’t think something like TMNT: Out of The Shadows has the potential to be a more adult sci-fi thing, (Men in Black meets Avengers).  Well, those are the people who going to make this movie a hit.  And Platinum Dunes will make more of them and until hopefully, Michael Bay loses the rights to someone who understands this franchise.  I just have to accept it and go catch up on some good Ninja Turtles, watching season four of the Nick cartoon.

What did you think of TMNT: Out of The Shadows?  Did you like the 2014 reboot?  How about Armaggon on the Nick cartoon?  Isn’t he awesome?  Sharknado meets Boba Fett.  He’s from the old Archie TMNT series y’know?  Comment below.

Save 50% on graphic novels, statues & more!

TRENDING THIS WEEK

Review: An Ending And A New Beginning In FAITHLESS #6

Faithless #6 from BOOM! Studios, is a thought provoking, love letter to fashion, theatre, and Art. A gorgeous end to the first, exhilarating arc.

Meet The Next Guardians Of The Galaxy In BLACK PANTHER AND THE AGENTS OF WAKANDA #1

You might not know a lot about the Agents of Wakanda right now but it’s only a matter of time before some of them become breakout stars. 

Review: NAPOLEON DYNAMITE #1 is Flippin’ Sweet

For a generation not raised on Rocky Horror Picture Show, Napoleon Dynamite might be the absolute definition of a cult film. So when IDW...

G.I. JOE #1 Is a Joe-Tastic Start For New Readers

This Wednesday the action-packed first issue of IDW's newly rebooted G.I. Joe releases, where everyone can be a Joe, even you! The G.I. Joe comic...

Review: SPIDER-MAN #1 – J.J Abrams And Henry Abrams Take Spidey In A Bold New Direction

Spider-Man #1 by J.J. Abrams, Henry Abrams, Sara Pichelli, Elisabetta D'Amico, Dave Stewart and Joe Caramagna is an intriguing and beautifully illustrated book that...

Review: YEAR OF THE VILLAIN: LEX LUTHOR #1 – Another Year, Another Ode To A Classic Villain

Year Of The Villain: Lex Luthor #1 is a strong collaborative effort that is a true celebration of one of the most complex villains...

What A Dangerous World In WONDER WOMAN COME BACK TO ME #3

Wonder Woman Come Back to Me #3 forces Wonder Woman into a setting where she can’t use her powers to solve everything. It’s a refreshing take on a character we all know and love.

HOUSE OF X #5 – Get Ready For Your Mind To Be Blown

This week Marvel's mutant mania continues with HOUSE OF X #5. Jonathan Hickman's brain keeps spilling brilliance right into our hearts and minds, this chapter is particularly creative.
Avatar
Chad Descoteauxhttp://www.turtlerocketbooks.com
I am a 37-year-old science fiction geek who has loved writing ever since I was hit in the face with a canister of mutagen ooze fifteen years ago. I live in Rhode Island. I am married. I have Aspergers. I write science fiction Kindle e-books for Turtle Rocket Books (website below)...and articles about the Marvel Cinematic Universe for Monkeys Fighting Robots.

SPONSORS

If you want your BUSINESS to be part of something bigger than itself, you might be a good fit to partner with Monkeys Fighting Robots.

'TMNT: Out of the Shadows' needs to go back in 3

CONTACT US

'TMNT: Out of the Shadows' needs to go back in 4

Are you a creator looking for a review of your book?
Use the form below to end us a message.

Are you a fan of the website and have a comment, question, or concern? Drop us a line, and we will gladly answer all your questions.

JOIN THE TEAM

Monkeys Fighting Robots is looking for passionate writers to drive the site’s coverage of the comic book industry. Authors will be responsible for a particular niche, providing reviews, opinion and news coverage, while building a reader community using his or her multimedia storytelling skills. The best candidates have solid writing skills, WordPress knowledge, and are engaged on social media. Do you love comic books and have a strong opinion, then we would like to speak with you.

'TMNT: Out of the Shadows' needs to go back in 5

MEET THE TEAM

COMIC REVIEW DIGEST, sign up today! At Monkeys Fighting Robots, we strive to talk about ALL aspects of a comic book, instead of just giving you a recap of the story.
  • Did you notice how epic the colors were?
  • That was a wicked panel layout by the artist!
  • What was the letterer thinking?
  • How did this comic book make you feel?
  • Most importantly, should you buy it?

Every Wednesday you will receive an email with our latest reviews and analyses, as well as our original comic strips and exclusive editorial content.
Thanks for signing up!