The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows film, following the lukewarm response of its predecessor directed by Michael Bay, is likely to achieve the same feedback from die-hard fans and critics alike. The film was everything it was expected to be, for the good and the bad.
Directed by David Green, this sequel follows Ninja Turtles Michelangelo, Donatello, Leonardo, and Raphael as they take on Shredder who has joined forces with mad scientist Baxter Stockman and henchmen Bebop and Rocksteady to take over the world. Enlisting the help of April O’Neil (Megan Fox), Vern Fenwick (Will Arnett), and a newcomer: the hockey-masked vigilante Casey Jones (Stephen Amell) as they are faced with an even greater nemesis: the notorious Krang.
Green’s adaptation of the ’80s-’90s cartoon and comic was rather flawless and brought back pure nostalgia in respect to the Turtles and their contrasting personalities and demeanor. As far as Megan Fox’s role as April–just like the first movie, that’s still questionable. However, Green’s strategic execution in focusing on her playing more of a secondary, light-hearted role made it more tolerable to sit through this time around. Is she gorgeous? Yes. But April O’Neil wasn’t exactly created to be known as the sex symbol that Fox is.
Although, according to Deadline, the film made approximately $35 million during its opening weekend it is seemingly falling short of expectations in comparison to its forerunner, which banked approximately $65 million during its opening.
In spite of its less than spectacular showing, the TMNT sequel shed light on important societal issues, including acceptance and self-esteem. The underlying messages of being true to oneself, not judging a book by its cover, and accepting those for who they are were threaded throughout the plot line and gave the film a substantial amount of depth creating heartwarming moments.
In all, the movie adaptation of the Mirage Studios comic was entertaining and stayed true to the essence of the main characters, however as reminiscent as it was, it was unable to capture the authenticity that the TV series and graphic novel provided to its audience.