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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles:

         Out of the Shadows

                                review by Bobby Blakey

When they unleashed the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot in 2014 it was met with mixed results but there was no denying it was a hit. Love it or hate it the first film brought the turtles into a new direction with an updated look that some hated. Now the heroes in the half shell are back for a new adventure and the trailers promise the addition to numerous fan favorites, but can it step things up to the turtle film fans want or will it just be a bad mutation?

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows follows Shredder who joins forces with mad scientist Baxter Stockman and henchmen Bebop and Rocksteady to take over the world. Now the Turtles must take to the streets of New York to stop them as well as confront an even greater nemesis: the notorious Krang. All the cast from the original film have returned including Megan Fox, Will Arnett, Tony Shalhoub, Noel Fisher, Jeremy Howard, Pete Ploszek, and Alan Ritchson alongside newcomers Stephen Amell, Tyler Perry, Brian Tee, Gary Anthony Williams, Sheamus, Brad Garrett, and Laura Linney. The first film was a lot of fun despite some of its issues, but this latest entry is not only more out there, but falls more in line of what the fans have been wanting. This time around we jump right into the turtle action and re reminded that these are some fun characters and that their personalities are fully intact. They have streamlined their look a bit more this time around with less stuff packed onto them and even their faces seem a bit toned down. Their personalities and size differences make each of them feel like the individual characters that they are and each stands out to perfection. Fox is a decent April and looks to be having fun here while some may not like the often more sexiness of the character, but if you just look past that it fits for what they are doing.

While Splinter is here in some important sequences he is pushed more to the background for this adventure that may upset some, but isn’t too far off from how the stories usually go. Shredder looks a lot cooler this time around with a more classic Ninja approach, but most will be surprised that he is sidelined a lot of the film as well but is clearly setting some things up for his future in the franchise. The newcomers to the series are where things really shine. Arrow star Stephen Amell does a great job as Casey Jones despite the missing signature long hair. This might irritate some, but it’s still the early stages of the character so there is a chance of seeing the signature look later. Have no fear he is all Jones when that hockey mask is put on complete with some Friday the 13th jokes that are pretty funny. The most fun of the film comes in the additions of Rocksteady and Bebop who are perfectly silly and all around awesome. They chew up every scene they are in with their goofy banter and all around ridiculously fun moments. They have captured the look and personalities spot on and will surely have the hardcore fans cheering. While he doesn’t get a ton of screen time Krang is another that brings the ridiculousness to the next level perfectly. The look is spot on complete with slime and him messing with his tentacle mustache like appendages and the near perfect voice work by Brad Garrett. Tyler Perry is another that is perfectly cast here as Baxter Stockman and has some funny moments and a clear set up to hopefully get the fly version you know fans will be waiting on.

The story itself is nothing we haven’t seen before but everything comes together to create the most ninja turtle centric movie in this series so far. The effects and look of all the characters works great and the action this time around is smoother and better than the previous film in almost every way. If there is anything that might throw some off it is that the film feels like two different films at times. The first half works great and feels like a perfect continuation of the first film, but the second half while still perfect does feel like you have suddenly walked into a different film. Not sure if it needed some other kind of transition or what, but it just changed tone altogether. This isn’t a bad thing as it still feels more like the TMNT that fans love and those hardcore fans know that this insanity is part of the cannon, but it just might confuse those that are not all into the mythology.

Thankfully most of those going in will know and love what has been brought to the table in every way including the often bad dialogue. This is not only a sequel that is superior to the original this is the turtle film that true TMNT fans have been waiting on. Whether you enjoyed the first film or not get out and check out this latest adventure to a fully realized TMNT universe clearly made by someone with a passion and love for the property. 

In addition to the film this release also includes a ton of special features including more than 40 minutes of action-packed bonus content. Peek under the shell at the film’s eye-popping special effects, take a look inside the Turtles’ tricked-out van, go behind-the-scenes to explore the Turtleverse and much more! As if this wasn’t enough of a reason to want this film the DVD and Blu-ray Combo Pack comes with reversible Turtle Masks in all four colors, for a limited time while supplies last. 

For the hardcore TMNT fans they are also releasing a collectible metal lunchbox that includes the Blu-ray Combo Pack of 2014’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Digital HD copies of both movies, and the two reversible masks. Join in on the latest martial arts mutant fun when Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows hits Digital HD on September 6th and Blu-ray Combo Pack, Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack and 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack on September 20th from Paramount Home Entertainment.

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