Photo Credit: Goliath
There is little argument among critics: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, released in theaters nationwide on June 3, should have stayed in the shadows. However, they do admit that it is slightly better than the 2014 franchise reboot that was a big failure among critics and audience members.
The consensus, according to Rotten Tomatoes, is that the film is a “slight improvement over its predecessor, but still lacks the wit or anarchic energy of the comics that birthed the franchise.”
The sequel brings back Megan Fox, Will Arnett and Laura Linney, with the addition of Stephen Amell as Casey Jones. The Hollywood Reporter’s Frank Scheck writes that its major draw is for “nostalgic oldsters and certain male viewers” who will appreciate watching Megan Fox in a “fetish-ready schoolgirl outfit.”
Variety’s Geoff Berkshire remarks that it is “every bit as noisy, brain-numbing and lowbrow as its predecessor,” adding that it “never strays from basic blockbuster formula.” He calls it “fast food entertainment destined for a short run atop the box office charts and an even shorter lifespan in the pop culture zeitgeist.”
Like the Turtles video game that came out in 2013, this will be quickly forgotten — and perhaps it is a “subliminal signal to the franchise faithful that this too shall pass, soon enough,” he surmises.
While TMNT 2 currently has a 33% “rotten” rating on Rotten Tomatoes, which is slightly higher than the 2014 film which earned just a 22% rating, that isn’t saying much.
The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Tirdad Derakhshani calls it a “headache-inducing $135 million sequel,” adding that it “becomes intolerable after about 32 seconds.” He sums up his disappointment, and sheer boredom, writing, “The first TMNT made half a billion dollars. I’m sure this one will do just as well, even though the whole predictable mess, with its absurd, explosion-fueled action and flat one-liners, feels like it’s old hat from the very first frame.”
But not all hope is lost: most critics believe that Turtle fans will find something to like about it, and Glen Kenny of The New York Times goes as far as saying that the movie is admittedly easier “to sit through than the 2014 film,” explaining that there are a “couple of amusing albeit unmemorable, sight gags and one-liners.”