For Reel


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (2016)
September 11, 2016, 4:40 pm
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: Dave Green
2.5 Stars
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Out of the ShadowsAmong the most baffling of enduring franchises is Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which until now has always sought reinvention more than the continued love of the nostalgia-driven fans (their most infamous instance of “selling out” occurring with an ill-fated touring rock show). If the first installment of this new franchise didn’t leave a remarkable impression on pop culture and, in fact, alienated the fans of the series, Out Of The Shadows plays as a panicked reinvention. Hearkening back to the roots of its cartoon series, this new film incorporates many of the beloved baddies who somehow haven’t made their ways to movie screens until now, and embraces more than ever its goofiness—when Michelangelo accidentally drops a slice of pizza from the rafters at a Knicks game, the scene feels pulled right from the Saturday morning cartoon. This nostalgia is filtered through the gauze of an unmistakable Michael Bay influence (Bay’s Platinum Dunes company is one of many producers), including low-angles, highly-saturated oranges and blues, and the sometimes infuriating mobility of an endlessly roaming camera. It feels like a Gatorade advertisement—it’s all color and flash, and even the turtles glisten with a sheen of sweat. And yet, if this is unmistakably trash, it is admirable in the way it juggles its competing interests. While Suicide Squad was torn at the seams and lost its sense of focus, Out Of The Shadows finds modest success in both creating a sexy, modern blockbuster and pleasing the now twenty or thirtysomething fans who used to bash these likenesses together in a sandbox with the same physics-defying incomprehensibility.

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