Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of The Shadows is the cinematic equivalent of a glass of room temperature water – boring, unsatisfying and ultimately disappointing in every single way.
The titular turtles, Michaelangelo (Noel Fisher), Raphael (Alan Ritchson), Donatello (Jeremy Howard) and Leonardo (Pete Ploszek) are back and they’re taking the Big Apple by storm in the follow-up to 2014’s TMNT – a film so forgettable I presume the reason this film doesn’t have a two in its title is because they completely forgot it was a sequel.
Also back to cause trouble is the menacing Shredder who teams up with the alien conqueror Krang to lay waste to all of planet Earth for reasons that are never made clear, but who cares, the last one made money, so here’s a half baked sequel everyone!
Cynicism with the Hollywood system aside, my main gripe with the film is its near complete lack of narrative focus.
It’s so busy trying to get to the ‘exciting’ stunts that it barely even bothers to tell a story, which leads to multiple plot threads going absolutely nowhere before they’re abruptly cut short, even if they’re interesting.
Ironically, this lack of focus robs these CGI centrepieces of any tension or excitement because, if I don’t care about the characters, then why should I care if they survive their dramatic skydive or battle with a tank?
It’s irritating because the film, and this shocks even me, had a number of interesting plot hooks that it wasted, especially the central idea of belonging and identity, which the film flirts with before ultimately going to the big dance with the over the top explosions that no doubt gave executive producer Michael Bay a colossal hard-on.
Seriously, this film is lazy in the extreme and seems to bank on nostalgia goggles blinding us to its obvious flaws, which are many.
To damn the film with the faintest of praise, I will say it’s better than any of the Transformers sequels – but that should go without saying – and I also enjoyed some of the interactions between the titular turtles.
To sum up, however, this is another poor entry into the TMNT franchise that even my 10-year-old godson said was ‘really rubbish’ – and he liked X-Men: Apocalypse.
It’s a shame that they missed a ‘two’ off the title because that’s what this film is – a stinking number two that belongs in the turtles’ sewer home.
Unless you’re a turtle fanatic, I recommend you avoid it.