teenage mutant Ninja Turtles: Out Of the Shadows
Pizza the action
released OUT NOW! 12a | 111 minutes Director dave Green Cast Megan Fox, stephen amell, alan ritchson, Will arnett
Pizza is the ultimate comfort food. Easy to make, even easier to consume, there’s a reason it’s such a popular dish. That said, there is room to go wrong. There’s an almost infinite amount of toppings you can sprinkle on top – mess up the combination, and your pie will be inedible. Which brings us to Out Of The Shadows, a pizza with a lot of toppings.
It contains live-action debuts for alien warlord Krang and his robot-shaped transport device, mad scientist Baxter Stockman, thugs Bebop and Rocksteady – all iconic characters, much-loved by fans of the ’80s cartoon. There’s a new take on vigilante Casey Jones, alongside a returning Shredder and his Foot clan. Reporter April O’Neil and her cameraman Vern are back. Oh, and those four titular turtles (and their rat dad Splinter) also feature in a scene or two.
It’s a lot to cram into two hours, but director Dave Green (mostly) manages it – even if the base sags a bit in the squeeze to make it all fit. The story’s the first thing to melt, with character motivations sacrificed to make everything connect. The Turtles want acceptance, Casey Jones wants Bebop and Rocksteady, Krang wants to invade Earth, Shredder wants to help. Everyone non-green is interchangeable, the Foot can’t fight civilians (let alone the Turtles), and nothing really makes sense.
Performance-wise, Megan Fox must have looked the wrong way when the wind changed, freezing her in a permanent pout. Bebop and Rocksteady are cartoons before they mutate. Stephen Amell’s Casey is earnest, but doesn’t have much to do. The Turtles are the best thespians, with CGI geniuses throwing some neat details into their performances.
There are a lot of nostalgic nods,
If you’re feeling lazy, the film’s fun to watch
mostly in the form of background Easter eggs, including a couple of key music cues. The unexpectedly faithful renditions of the new guys probably also count as fan-service – it’s as close to the source material as a Michael Bay production gets. Meanwhile, the action setpieces are so goofy you probably won’t be shocked to find out that Green blocked some of them by smashing official action figures together (seriously, he did).
One word of warning: if you’re thinking of taking young children, there are a couple of surprisingly scary scenes, including a mutation that could have appeared in An American Werewolf In London.
If you’re feeling lazy, the film’s fun and uncomplicated – just like pizza. Neither’s good for you though.
Judith Hoag, who played April O’Neil in 1990’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, shot a cameo, but it was cut.
The dentists’ new advert wasn’t universally loved.