As I’m writing this at the moment, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 has a (very) early score of 7.3 on IMDb.com which is certain to come down to a more realistic and accurate score of mid 5’s early 6’s. I’m from Ireland and sometimes we get some films before the rest of the world. Luckily we’ve gotten Civil War, Avengers: Age of Ultron and many others. Unluckily, we got TMNT 2.
I didn’t mind the first film, I thought it had a lot of flaws, but it was really easy-going, funny and had some memorable scenes. The same can’t quite be said for the sequel, where in Hollywood, no matter how much you try to be “bigger, better and bolder” than a previous film, it always ends up coming out falling short. TMNT 2 is no exception to this trend as what we get in this sequel is a very forgettable, insignificant, summer blunder.
I went in to this film with an open mind, seeing very little footage, maybe one trailer but thats it. The thing I found most frustrating about this film is the sheer, blatant overuse of cliches. I really don’t think I’ve seen a more cliche-ridden film in my entire life! They came off predictable and just cringe-worthy at the very least. These cliches brought each of the films characters tremendously down, belittling them to one-dimensional characters with very little depth. I found myself caring for almost nobody in this film apart from Michelangelo (also known as Mikey) who did offer up some giggles throughout the film.
One of the things I was most excited for with this film was the casting addition of Stephen Amell to play the masked hockey player Casey Jones. Stephen Amell is no stranger to the vigilante life playing the Green Arrow in the hit TV show Arrow. Despite all this excitement for the actor to star in his first major blockbuster, I must admit I was a bit under-whelmed. I love watching Amell on the silver screen, but seeing him in a movie didn’t look quite as natural to him. Maybe he was nervous or maybe it suits him better to work on TV shows (which is the case with some actors). The rest of the acting in this film wasn’t a whole lot better, Megan Fox was, as per usual, decent but pretty flat. Will Arnett had a small (wasted) role that saw him completely under-utilised as he is probably the funniest guy in the movie. Laura Linney role as the chief detective role was one of the more frustrating in the film. Her by the book attitude is something we’ve seen all too many times before and its a worn out character at this stage, no depth whatsoever.
One of the biggest questions you may have if you’re reading this is; what were the villains like? The quick answer is, woeful. Most of the film is looking at a blank-faced Shredder walking slowly around the place to have no real climax to his arc! We also see the (very ugly) introduction to the classic villain Kraang. The way I feel about this villain is, just because you can do him (with advancements in special effects) doesn’t mean you should. Yes he looks pretty realistic, but he looks absolutely horrible. Once again, a completely underused villain with a very poor end fight that feels like it’s over before it even begins.
In this film we also saw some more iconic TMNT characters join the movie-verse with the addition of Rocksteady and Bebop, strangely played by Stephen Farrelly (aka Seamus, the wrestler) and Gary Anthony Williams respectively. For me the casting was a bit off on this pair, they never did capture the way I wanted Rocksteady and Bebop to be. But that could be due to how the CGI is and makes them look horrifying rather than comical. Speaking of the CGI, the special effects in the film are decent overall. Not the best Hollywood has to offer, but definitely not the worst. Michael Bay, as usual, brings the explosions but not too much this time, by his standards that is.
The snow scene from the first film is one that stands with me to this day and I wanted another scene like that to feature in this one, but I never quite got it. The scene that comes closest involves an aeroplane, but that’s all I’ll say.
The strangest thing about the film is that despite it’s terribly over-long run-time, it still manages to be horrendously forgettable. After seeing it a mere 2 hours ago, I can’t remember 40 minutes worth of the film never mind two hours! But that brings me back to the start of the review, once this film is released the reviews from both fans and critics alike will pour and they will not be kind. I highly doubt there will be a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3, unless they reboot it in like 6 years again. The first one wasn’t great and this was a chance to improve, but instead they took a step backwards and I think it’s going to cost them. I wouldn’t recommend going to see this movie, it’s probably better not to support it, but I will say they are some laughs in it and there are some cool actions scenes. I saw X-Men: Apocalypse too and if you’re deciding between these two films, I’d go for X-Men.