Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows doesn’t represent a failure conceptually, but a failure in potential. It’s unfortunate when a film gets this much right with its characters, presenting unique and interesting versions of its titular characters, but fails to grasp any logic for its story. While there are many good things in how the characters are handled, the story is all over the place, and the lack of development and ridiculous side characters make for a disappointing sequel.
Sensei Shredder (Brian Tee), the world’s most dangerous criminal, has escaped police custody with his sidekicks Bebop, and Rocksteady, joining forces with the mysterious alien Commander Krang. When Shredder threatens to destroy the world, it’s up to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to stop them, alongside allies April O’Neil (Megan Fox) and Casey Jones (Steven Amell). Along the way, Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello, and Michaelangelo must learn to work as a team, and embrace their differences to save the world.
Similar to the first film, the Turtles are handled wonderfully, given unique personalities and each getting their moment to shine. However, the film really stumbles with its villains: Krang is completely ridiculous and appears out of no where, Shredder is underused and uninteresting, and Bebop and Rocksteady prove to be unnecessary and quite irritating. Steven Amell gives his best as Casey Jones, but the character is severely underwritten and comes off as very shallow.
However, the film really fails with its story, as Krang’s plot for domination merely ties action scenes together and ultimately fails to make logical sense. There are fun moments for sure, but the overall weakness in characters that aren’t the turtles really lowers the film. The film isn’t uninspired, but it’s certainly underwhelming and a failure in living up to the characters’ legacy. Grade: C