TEENAGE MUTANT TURTLES: OUT OF THE SHADOWS — Review by Susan Granger

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Filled with Michael Bay’s usual high-octane action, this new 3-D sequel in the blockbuster franchise finds Leonardo (Pete Ploszek), Raphael (Alan Ritchson), Donatello (Jeremy Howard) and Michelangelo (Noel Fisher) battling villainous Shredder (Brian Tee) and his henchwoman Karai (Brittany Ishibashi). When Shredder escapes from a police convoy, he joins forces with mad scientist, Dr. Baxter Stockman (Tyler Perry), and two idiotic ex-cons, Bebop the giant warthog (Gary Anthony Williams) and Rocksteady the rhinoceros (WWE’s Stephen ‘Sheamus’ Farrelly), to open a trans-dimensional portal to another galaxy, where the diabolical, disembodied Commander Krang (voiced by Brad Garrett) plans global domination, utilizing his Death Star-like Technodrome warship. Read on…

Tipped off by resolute TV reporter April O’Neill (Megan Fox) and her cameraman Vern Fenwick (Will Arnett), the heroic, hard-shelled quartet – named after famed Renaissance painters – come out of hiding in the sewers, catching the attention of former corrections officer Casey Jones (Stephen Amell), who has become a hockey stick-wielding vigilante, and skeptical NYC Police Commissioner Rebecca Vincent (Laura Linney).

Idiotically scripted, once again, by Josh Applebaum and Andre Nemec, the nostalgic silliness is earnestly directed by Dave Green (“Earth to Echo”), who does the best he can to captivate the attention of youngsters with the motion-capture animated mutant heroes-in-a-half-shell who long for a normal life.

Working with cinematographer Lula Carvalho, Dave Green’s city action sequences and in the Brazilian rainforest are particularly memorable.

FYI: The reptilian-hero concept first surfaced in 1984 as a Mirage Studios comic-book. Its success led to toys, video games and several Saturday morning TV-cartoon series. At one point, the Turtles represented 60% of all movable toy characters sold in the United States. The brand was rebooted in 1990 with Michael Bay’s first MTNT movie.

On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10 “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows” is a fan-friendly 5, another funny-book brought to life.

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Susan Granger

Susan Granger

Susan Granger is a product of Hollywood. Her natural father, S. Sylvan Simon, was a director and producer at R.K.O., M.G.M. and Columbia Pictures; her adoptive father, Armand Deutsch, produced movies at M.G.M. As a child, Susan appeared in movies with Abbott & Costello, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Margaret O'Brien and Lassie. She attended Mills College in California, studying journalism with Pierre Salinger, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, Phi Beta Kappa, with highest honors in journalism. During her adult life, Susan has been on radio and television as an anchorwoman and movie/drama critic. Her newspaper reviews have been syndicated around the world, and she has appeared on American Movie Classics cable television. In addition, her celebrity interviews and articles have been published in REDBOOK, PLAYBOY, FAMILY CIRCLE, COSMOPOLITAN, WORKING WOMAN and THE NEW YORK TIMES, as well as in PARIS MATCH, ELLE, HELLO, CARIBBEAN WORLD, ISLAND LIFE, MACO DESTINATIONS, NEWS LIMITED NEWSPAPERS (Australia), UK DAILY MAIL, UK SUNDAY MIRROR, DS (France), LA REPUBBLICA (Italy), BUNTE (Germany), VIP TRAVELLER (Krisworld) and many other international publications through SSG Syndicate. Susan also lectures on the "Magic and Mythology of Hollywood" and "Don't Take It Personally: Conquering Criticism and other Survival Skills," originally published on tape by Dove Audio.