Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out Of The Shadows Blu-ray Review
“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows” is a must see for TMNT fans.
As a child of the 80’s and 90s, I grew up on TMNT cartoons, movies, toys, the works. To this day, I still have a great fondness for the film franchise. When I learned that a new sequel (“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows”) was going to contain characters I’ve been wanting to see on screen for 26 years, my curiosity was piqued. So, how does this new installment fare? It’s a pretty radical movie.
In this sequel to the 2014 reboot, the story finds scientist Baxter Stockman trying to break Shredder out of jail. As he does so, Shredder is accidentally transported to another dimension where he encounters an alien being known as Krang. Krang instructs Shredder to find the pieces of a transportation device that would open a portal to Earth. Needing help to get those pesky turtles off his back while he carries out the quest, Shredder is given a canister of purple ooze by Krang. We soon find out that the ooze mutates humans when Bebop and Rocksteady are used as test subjects. With their new rhino and warthog forms, these two “errand boys” are used by Shredder to do his bidding.
The Turtles (Michelangelo, Raphael, Donatello, and Leonardo), meanwhile, are going through some growing pains as they struggle to work as a team and accept being different from everyone else. On top of that, they have to stop Shredder, Bebop, Rocksteady, and Krang. Luckily, they get some help from April O’Neil (once again played by Megan Fox), Vernon, and a Police Officer named Casey Jones.
If you are a longtime fan of the TMNT franchise, there’s so much to geek out about with this latest sequel. Not only does it include fan favorite characters like Bebop, Rocksteady, Krang, Baxter Stockman, and Casey Jones, but there’s also plenty of extra goodness such as the Turtle Van (which looks like a toy come to life), the massive Turtle Lair, and the Technodrome. It may sound like the movie is overloaded with material, but director Dave Green juggles everything well. The film moves at a nice pace and every character has their moment to shine. It doesn’t hurt that the movie is filled with incredibly intense action set pieces such as the freeway chase, the climactic Krang battle, and, my personal favorite, the elaborate and complex 7 minute plus sequence which begins with skydiving and ends in a river with a tank.
As exciting as the fanservice and action is though, it is the characters that make this movie work so well. Thanks to ILM’s outstanding CGI work and the pitch perfect motion capture and voice work by Pete Ploszek (Leonardo), Alan Ritchson (Raphael), Noel Fisher (Michelangelo) and Jeremy Howard (Donatello), the Turtle characters are magically brought to life. If they didn’t come off as convincing, these new movies simply would not work at all. It’s a real testament to ILM and the actors that we buy these characters anchoring these movies. As for the rest of the cast, I have to give major props to Tyler Perry (who is gleefully over-the-top as Baxter Stockman), Brad Garrett (who steals the show voicing Krang), Laura Linney (who plays it straight as Police Chief Rebecca), Brian Tee (portraying the power hungry Shredder) and Gary Anthony Williams and Sheamus who nail the beloved baddies Bebop and Rocksteady.
With all of that said, the film is not without a few problems. First off, Will Arnett returns as the irritating Vern. Yes, his role is at least different here, but he’s still taking valuable time away from the other characters. Secondly, I hate to say it, but Casey Jones was botched here. It is no fault of Stephen Amell (of “Arrow” fame), however, as the writers (Josh Appelbaum and Andre Nemec) are the ones who messed up the character. Having Casey Jones be a Police Officer just doesn’t make any sense whatsoever. He’s supposed to be a hockey mask wearing vigilante with a hockey stick period. Lastly, while they are fine in their roles, Megan Fox (April O’Neil) and Tony Shaloub (voice of Splinter) have very little to do here. They both have a few key moments, but the characters are mostly sidelined. That’s not necessarily a bad thing given how much is happening in this film, but their absence is noticeable.
Presentation: 2.39:1 1080p. How does it look? The Blu-ray disc boasts a pristine transfer. It doesn’t get much better than this.
Audio Track: Dolby Atmos. How does it sound? A dynamic track that really delivers in the action department.
* DVD copy and Digital copy.
* “Did You Catch That? Turtle Eggs”- A short extra on the easter eggs featured in the film.
* 3 deleted scenes that involve April. Look for a cameo by the original film version of April O’Neil Judith Hoag!
* “ILM- The Effects Beneath The Shell”- A 3 minute bonus feature compares shows final scenes and pre-CGI scenes to show the amount of amazing CGI work that has gone into this movie.
* “It’s Tricky: Inside The Van”- A featurette and tour of the bodacious van.
* “House Party”- A featurette and tour of the massive redesigned Turtle Lair set.
* “We Are Family”- A featurette on the Turtle family dynamic in this sequel.
* “Whoa! Expanding The Turtleverse”- This bonus feature covers the new character additions to the rebooted film franchise.
Overall Thoughts: It’s a shame “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows” underperformed at the box office. Not only is it one of the better summer movies this year, but it’s also a top tier TMNT film. Hopefully fans will discover it on home video.
Note: “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out Of The Shadows” comes to Blu-ray, DVD, Blu-ray 3D, 4K, and a 2 movie Blu-ray gift set on September 20, 2016.
Packaging Note: I’m not sure if every standard Blu-ray comes with it it, but the review copy I received contained a detachable package that comes with two reversible turtle masks. Be careful in removing it though as it can easily tear the slipcase.
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