Friday, June 3, 2016 marks the official theatrical release of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows. Nerd Nation Magazine was in attendance for the official early press screening two days earlier, courtesy of Paramount Pictures, Allied Marketing, and Regal Cinemas.

(image courtesy of Paramount Pictures)

Everyone’s favorite ninja reptiles are back to battle some old villains and a few new ones. This latest installment of the TMNT franchise takes us back to the original 80s cartoon series with the addition of Bebop, played by Gary Anthony Williams (The Soul Man) and Rocksteady, played by Stephen Sheamus Farrelly (WWE pro wrestler) as well as everybody’s favorite brainiac bad guy, Krang, voiced by Brad Garrett (Finding Nemo). But was it any good? Read on to find out in this 100% SPOILER FREE review!!

First off, I’m going to say that they made a good move by downgrading Shredder to his regular evil self rather than relying on big techno features to make him more sinister. Brian Tee (Jurassic World) does a perfectly fine job of looking evil and dangerous without the addition of over-sized gear. They did upgrade his outfit from the 80s, thankfully. They went with badass motorcycle/combat leathers rather than purple shiny fabric. Kudos to wardrobe. The Foot Clan got an upgrade as well. No more cheesy evil ninja wardrobes. They got the leather ninja military armor upgrade as well.

(image courtesy of Paramount Pictures)

The turtles are a bit smaller this time. Not as ridiculously over-the-top like the first movie, but as realistic as mutant turtles can get. They look less like monster turtles on steroids, which is another good move.

The CGI is just wow. Amazing. While I’m sure they used guys in costumes for a lot of the standing turtle scenes, I know they relied heavily on computer special effects for a lot of the action sequences. The opening scene with the turtles bouncing into the city before ending up in the sewers is epic, and nearly flawless in its realism. Don’t even get me started on Krang, Bebop, and Rocksteady. Their scenes looked to be entirely CGI, and yet, they are so well done it’s hard to see any places where the characters aren’t moving naturally.

(image courtesy of Paramount Pictures)

Stephen Amell (Arrow) and a returning Megan Fox also do excellent jobs as Casey Jones and April O’Neil, respectively. In fact, everyone did a fine job, and this turned out to be a surprisingly well cast film.

I’d love to tell you more about what this one is about, but that would lead to spoilers, and I really want you to see this one. Needless to say, despite some minor plot holes and maybe a bit of fudging with science and biology, the story line is almost straight out of the original series, right down to the stupid and crazy behavior of Bebop and Rocksteady, and the lunacy and violence of Krang.

(image courtesy of Paramount Pictures)

The Bottom Line:
Judging by the laughs and number of people singing along with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles theme song (mostly adult fans of the original series, of course) I’d say this movie is pretty darn good. Way, WAY better than the first TMNT movie of this franchise. Is it cheesy? Absolutely. Is it a perfect movie? Of course not. Will it be winning any major awards? Doubtful. Will it be enough to save this franchise? Well, let’s not even go that far. But it’s a really good step in the right direction, and at the end of the day, it was just fun. Personally, I think old fans and new ones alike will appreciate this one. – 7.0/10


-Hannah Collins
Staff Writer: Nerd Nation Magazine


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