Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows.
Didn't even know they were making this until it came out.
Intermediate Spoilers Ahead
So as you may or may not recall, I gave the first entry in this Micheal Bay Produced (PRODUCED, not directed) reboot of the first franchise that took over my childhood a glowing review. So I was all set to love this one as well.
And...well, I can't say I "loved" it. I liked it a lot, most of what I loved about the first was still there, but while the first one was "great", this one's just "pretty good." Please don't think I'm damning it with faint praise - I actually think this is a better sequel than "Secret of the Ooze". This one has 99% less Vanilla Ice in it (sadly not 100%, but it was a brief lyrical reference during the end credits so I'll forgive it)
So, okay, what was good? Well, the same thing that made me instantly love the first one is returned here: The Turtles themselves. While the details of their personality and mannerisms are more in line with today's youth then that of when they started, they are still 100% the Turtles we grew up with and they are appropriately the best part of the movie.
I was also surprised at how much I adored the film debut of Bebop and Rocksteady. I had a ton of fun watching them in their roles of "those two idiots" and yet for all their comic bungling they did feel like they posed a serious threat.
I was also surprised to not only see Tyler Perry play Baxter Stockman (what's he doing in a movie like this?), but enjoy him as well as sort of an evil version of Neil Degrasse Tyson. And Laura Linney, where the hell have you been lately?
Megan Fox as April O'Neil feels like she has much less to do outside of a few specific moments. Tony Shaloub's Splinter was underused, and Casey Jones as played by the Green Arrow was okay, but unnecessary.
Will Arnett took a level of annoying in this film. Yes, it makes sense why and has a place in the story, but it just rubbed me the wrong way.
The Shredder looks, sounds, and feels so different from the first, and almost all the threat of him is decimated in this. He tries, he really does, but he really feels more like a second banana.
And that's what really bugs me about this film - it's trying to be the old 80's cartoon. Which is fine, I guess, it has a nostalgic place in a lot of our hearts, but it's not quite consistant with the tone of the first film in this reboot. Sure, it had goofy humor, but it was still played semi-seriously. Here....not as much. Those moments didn't feel, to me, consistent with the first.
Especially in my biggest point against the film:
Krang needed to be dialed back about 1000%.
In terms of level of over-the-top-ness, Krang makes Jim Carrey look like Steven Wright. He makes Jar Jar Binks look like Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Even in the show, and I realize it's been decades since I've watched it, but I do not remember Krang bouncing and slurping NEARLY as much as this.
And even then, if it was a finale reveal with the mysterious device that summons him being built up and clues slowly leaked up to that point, I might have had a better reaction to him. But no, after an entire film of playing it semi-realistically and about 20-ish minutes of this film doing the same: Boom, weird aliens. We're doing this now. Deal with it.
But even with these criticisms, I still enjoyed the film, I still think most aspects are well-done on a technical level, and I still recommend fans of the franchise at least give it a shot.
Keep the team unified, and you shall always succeed.