So, there are these four teenage brothers who fight crime, but they happen to be … turtles. Who knew that these Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles would be so popular thirty-two years after they first appeared in the comics? Of course, thanks to the production of Michael Bay, the second in this cinematic iteration has more bang for the buck, with explosions, wisecracks, and special effects that take live-action turtles to a whole new level.
Non-plussed by the last film (simply, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles), I was skeptical of the sequel, Out of the Shadows. But while the main plot involves the Turtles recapturing Shredder (Brian Tee) after he escapes, with the help of their intrepid friend April O’Neil (Megan Fox) and new accomplice Casey Jones (Arrow’s Stephen Amell), there’s a deeper level of plot going on here than meets the eye. [Yes, Bay packs in a few more ‘Easter eggs’ for those fans of his.]
As the turtles track Shredder, the alien Krang (Brad Garrett’s… voice), and Dr. Baxter Stockman (played perfectly by Tyler Perry), there’s an ongoing conversation about the way that the turtles are forced to hide. While they were more responsible than Vern Fenwick (Will Arnett) in capturing Shredder the first time, they have received no credit. The turtles are not all on the same page, but for the most part, they resent that they are forced to stay in the shadows, hiding and feared.
When a possible solution to their turtle problem arises, the turtles are divided about what might happen if they became human again. Is that what they need or have they found their true purpose as turtles? Can they do more as turtles than they could as humans? It’s a question about how one handles problems and tragedy, as well as what it means to accept one’s calling.
But never fear, there’s significant wisecracking to be had, complete with some NBA fans providing laughs on and off the floor (thanks, DeAndre Jordan and Melo). Fans will dig into the special features including deleted scenes, as well as looks at how they included new characters from the TMNT universe, the inside of the trash truck/van, and the motion capture that makes the magic happen. And yes, they’ll help you with the Easter eggs if you missed them.