Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - WEEK IN MOVIES -


Direc­tor: Dave Green (Earth by Echo) Star­ring: Me­gan Fox, Will Ar­nett, Laura Lin­ney, Noel Fisher, Jeremy Howard, Pete Ploszek, Alan Ritch­son Verdict: A shell game where you’ll never guess where the plot is hid­ing THE best thing that can be said of Teenage Mu­tant Ninja Tur­tles: Out of the Shad­ows? It is marginally su­pe­rior to 2014’s tol­er­a­bly turgid TMNT re­boot.

You will need a very pow­er­ful mi­cro­scope to mea­sure that mar­gin, but it is there. The im­prove­ment is prin­ci­pally tech­ni­cal in na­ture: the de­ploy­ment of high-end spe­cial­ef­fects dur­ing ac­tion se­quences is in­deed im­pres­sive.

How­ever, while Out of the Shad­ows more than holds its own as a vis­ual spec­ta­cle, you may be tempted to hold your nose when taking a whiff of what oc­curs be­tween the fights, ex­plo­sions and break­ing of stuff.

The Tur­tles them­selves? Phys­i­cally, they’re still in re­mark­ably good shape. You’d think af­ter eat­ing all that pizza be­side an open sewer for all those years, at least one of them would have con­tracted hospi­tal-grade gas­tro by now.

Emo­tion­ally, how­ever, Leonardo (Pete Ploszek), Donatello (Jeremy Howard), Raphael (Alan Ritch­son), and Michelan­gelo (Noel Fisher) are in need of some heal­ing.

In their qui­eter mo­ments, the Tur­tles all dis­play the symp­toms of a strong case of It’s Not Easy Be­ing Green syn­drome. Shucks, they just want to hang out above ground, do­ing the nor­mal things that other teenage boys do.

In­stead, they have to spend their time van­quish­ing an un­fea­si­ble num­ber of vil­lains (at a rough count, Out of the Shad­ows makes room for five bad dudes), only to have any sub­se­quent, hard-earned pats on the shell go to oth­ers.

It must be said that in this par­tic­u­lar ad­ven­ture, the Tur­tles spend a lot of time air­borne. While this isn’t re­ally held to be a spe­cialty of their species, it does trig­ger one un­de­ni­ably en­joy­able (and quite in­sane) ac­tion se­quence.

This scene kicks off with the Tur­tles sky­div­ing be­tween planes to con­duct a pitched bat­tle with a warthog and rhino, one of whom is op­er­at­ing an ar­tillery tank in­side their air­craft. The sur­real skir­mish ends on an even stranger note at a much lower al­ti­tude.

If that is the ex­tent of it for high­lights, there are far more low­lights if you look too hard at Out of the Shad­ows.

The promi­nence given to Me­gan Fox as the to­ken guy-candy of the fran­chise re­mains prob­lem­atic, par­tic­u­larly con­sid­er­ing the young­male de­mo­graphic be­ing ag­gres­sively tar­geted here.

Scenes where the cam­era is lit­er­ally drool­ing over the lead­ing lady (such as when she goes un­der­cover in a skimpy school­girl out­fit) are im­print­ing the wrong im­age of women on im­pres­sion­able minds.

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