The Curator of Schlock #167 by Jeff Shuster
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows
Best movie Ninja Turtle movie of 2016. Hands down!
As you know, I don’t like it when movie studios try to tap into my nostalgia for the 1980s. Last year, we had Pixels, a stupid movie about 80s arcade games invading the Earth. The aliens communicated to us through 80s icons like Max Headroom. I thought about how we could have gotten a Max Headroom movie instead of this crap. Then I started thinking about TRON and how we’ll never see a TRON 3. I got angry and put a moratorium on reviewing any movie made past 1979 for the rest of 2016.
Last summer, the Hollywood studios made another play on my nostalgia for all things 1980s: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows from director Dave Green. I didn’t think the film would work. Okay. So Shredder shows up with the Foot Clan again. Oh, and they’re ninjas this time instead of mercenaries. Huh.
Tyler Perry is playing Dr. Baxter Stockman. Woah. Bebop and Rocksteady are in this movie!
The dude that plays TV’s Arrow plays Casey Jones? Krang is in this movie? Krang, the evil brain from Dimension X! Does the Technodrome show up? Does the Technodrome show up? The Technodrome shows up!
Your Curator of Schlock has a confession to make. He was a big Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fan back in the day. I watched the cartoons. I played the video games. I ate the breakfast cereal. Yeah, they had Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles breakfast cereal.
It consisted of marshmallows and sugar coated ninja nets (rice chex). My teeth would sting a bit after eating a bowl. It showed up years later as Spider-man cereal. You can’t fool me.
Anyway, consider The Museum of Schlock’s post-1979 boycott officially over. Dave Green, you had me at Krang! Unfortunately, I seem to be alone in my esteem of this fine film. I consulted Wikipedia (the acme of all knowledge and wisdom) to see what the critics thought and the results are not pretty. Lindsey Bahr of the Associated Press gave the movie one star, stating, “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows is a Saturday morning cartoon on Michael Bay steroids.” Lindsey, you say that like it’s a bad thing. Also, you gave Rogue One: A Star Wars Story three and a half stars. I’m sorry, but was I the only one who thought Peter Cushing’s performance was a little off in that movie? Stilted. Far from his best work.
Rotten Tomatoes expressed similar sentiments. The site’s critical consensus exclaims, “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows is a slight improvement over its predecessor, but still lacks the wit or anarchic energy of the comics that birthed the franchise.” I wouldn’t know anything about the comics because I don’t read comic books. I’m not a neeeeeerd. Also, how can a critical consensus make a singular statement? Is this a hive mind? I don’t care what they think. This was a worthy sequel and I look forward a third Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie. Oh, there’s not going to be a third movie. Box office wasn’t what the producers had hoped.
It’s TRON 3 all over again!