Susan Granger’s review of “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows” (Paramount Pictures)
Filled with Michael Bay’s usual high-octane action, this new 3-D sequel in the blockbuster franchise finds Leonardo (Pete Ploszek), Raphael (Alan Ritchson), Donatello (Jeremy Howard) and Michelangelo (Noel Fisher) battling villainous Shredder (Brian Tee) and his henchwoman Karai (Brittany Ishibashi).
When Shredder escapes from a police convoy, he joins forces with mad scientist, Dr. Baxter Stockman (Tyler Perry), and two idiotic ex-cons, Bebop the giant warthog (Gary Anthony Williams) and Rocksteady the rhinoceros (WWE’s Stephen ‘Sheamus’ Farrelly), to open a trans-dimensional portal to another galaxy, where the diabolical, disembodied Commander Krang (voiced by Brad Garrett) plans global domination, utilizing his Death Star-like Technodrome warship.
Tipped off by resolute TV reporter April O’Neill (Megan Fox) and her cameraman Vern Fenwick (Will Arnett), the heroic, hard-shelled quartet – named after famed Renaissance painters – come out of hiding in the sewers, catching the attention of former corrections officer Casey Jones (Stephen Amell), who has become a hockey stick-wielding vigilante, and skeptical NYC Police Commissioner Rebecca Vincent (Laura Linney).
Idiotically scripted, once again, by Josh Applebaum and Andre Nemec, the nostalgic silliness is earnestly directed by Dave Green (“Earth to Echo”), who does the best he can to captivate the attention of youngsters with the motion-capture animated mutant heroes-in-a-half-shell who long for a normal life.
Working with cinematographer Lula Carvalho, Dave Green’s city action sequences and in the Brazilian rainforest are particularly memorable.
FYI: The reptilian-hero concept first surfaced in 1984 as a Mirage Studios comic-book. Its success led to toys, video games and several Saturday morning TV-cartoon series. At one point, the Turtles represented 60% of all movable toy characters sold in the United States. The brand was rebooted in 1990 with Michael Bay’s first MTNT movie.
On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10 “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows” is a fan-friendly 5, another funny-book brought to life.