The heroes in a half shell return in the second installment as they battle a nemesis from another dimension. The good news for this movie is that “Out of the Shadows” better than its predecessor. The first movie in the rebooted franchise failed at its “darker and edgier” premise that a lot of non-Marvel films are taking nowadays. I know that the 1990 “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” had some of the darker elements from the original indie comic, but it also has some comedic moments to relieve the tension. Gary Anthony Williams and WWE wrestler Sheamus work as the comic relief characters Bebop and Rocksteady respectively. They provided most of the movie’s comedic moments. Stephen Amell also did a good job of playing Casey Jones even though he didn’t have a lot to work with.
Despite being better than its predecessor, “Out of the Shadows” still a lot of problems. For example, the movie has some serious pacing issues. It takes a long time to get the plot moving. As a result, the film felt a lot longer than it actually is. There was a subplot about Michelangelo wanting to be human that ended up going nowhere. It was explored for a decent amount of the movie but then it just stopped. Most of the film’s dialogue is essentially exposition. Despite the fact that the movie is called “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows”, the ninja turtles felt like background characters instead. The supposed protagonists of this movie are overshadowed by the other characters of the movie. The same could be said about their sensei Splinter. I won’t spoil anything about this movie but the third act is just a replay of the first movie’s third act.
While Megan Fox isn’t overtly bad as April O’Neil, she wasn’t very good either. One of my main gripes of the previous TMNT movie is Will Arnett’s wasted potential. His character of Vern Fenwick came off as a douchebag rather than the deadpan snarker the filmmakers had intended him to be. While his character wasn’t annoying this time around, Fenwick was pretty much a background character who had little to no effect on the main story. Say what you will about the “Madea” movies, but Tyler Perry has proven himself to be a pretty capable actor thanks to 2014’s “Gone Girl”. However, Tyler Perry’s portrayal of Baxter Stockman felt rather over-the-top despite the effort put in the role.