A live action cartoon.
Is how I would describe Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Out of the Shadows in a few words.
Following on from the 2014 film (and yes I do recommend watching the first one first as there are story reflections that will only make sense if you have seen the previous movie), the Heroes in a Half Shell once again face off against Shredder and the Foot Clan, but this time Shredder has some familiar companions.
Having been captured at the conclusion of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014) Shredder enlists the aide of a scientist; Baxter Stockman to flee the law and locate three artifacts that will open a portal and give indescribable power to those that are in possession of the three pieces, which are parts to a larger device which will ensure total Global domination.
It is not long out of prison before Shredder enlists two sidekicks, BeBop and Rocksteady.
Those familiar with the 80’s cartoon series will remember BeBop and Rocksteady starting out as human, then mutating into a Warthog and Rhino, respectively.
Baxter discovers that the power these artifacts contain have the ability to mutate human genes by activating residual animal genomes that are in the human DNA since the dawn of evolution. In easier terms, what ever animal you may have evolved from millions of years ago, is what this purple power juice will mutate you into.
While Vern Fenwick (the cameraman from the first film) takes credit for the heroic duties of the Turtles a few years back, and becomes a celebrity, the Turtles get wind of Shredders plan after they failed to stop his escape from prison.
The Turtles also discover that the ‘Ooze’ (as it is called) can also reverse mutant effects, which would turn the Turtles in to human.
Our four heroes; Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello and Raphael become divided over how the public perceive them, as monsters, despite being heroes having saved New York City once before. With Splinter offering wisdom to keep the peace, tension rises within the four Turtles over the use of the ‘Ooze’ and whether Vern should be getting the credit for their hard work, while they, the Turtles, have to live in the shadows with no recognition at all.
April O’Neil – the reporter – and friends of the Turtles uses her journalistic prowess to infiltrate Baxter’s laboratory, with the aide of Vern and the Police officer who was a victim of Shredders daring escape; Casey Jones.
Yet with an even bigger group than before, they all still fail to stop Shredder acquiring the three artifacts. And the Portal to another dimension is opened above NYC.
In steps Krang. The brain-tentacle warlord that’s housed inside a robot.
With the portal now opened Krang can amass the parts from his world to build his Terror Dome above the horror stricken city.
It is now up to the Turtles to put a stop to a new enemy, a powerful enemy and bring down the Terror Dome before it is built.
I spent much of the time reminiscing back to my childhood and after school cartoons when watching Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 as it intertwines beautifully with the animated series and remains wholly faithful.
There are some humour-esque cringe worthy moments with BeBop and Rocksteady, who at times are nauseatingly annoying, and it’s a fair statement to say that the film is choc loaded with cheesey-ness.
That aside, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 is full of enough action to make the cheese easier to digest.
Attending the New Zealand premier I noticed alot of other invitees turning up with their young children. While they, the adults enjoyed a romp down memory lane to their youth, the kids in the audience took on the Turtles as a new generation.
And that’s exactly what it is; Turtles for new gen.
The Turtles are definitely back. Again.
Running Time: 112 MIN
Director: Dave Green
Starring: Megan Fox, Stephen Amell, Will Arnett, Brian Tee, Tyler Perry, Brittany Ishibashi, Laura Linney Spall
Distributor: Paramount Pictures