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'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2' reviews: What did the critics think?

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Lula Carvalho

After 2014’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was dragged across the coals by critics, the half-shelled heroes are back for a sequel — and they’re not alone. Casey Jones (Stephen Amell), Shredder (Brian Tee), Bebop (Gary Anthony Williams), Rocksteady (WWE’s Sheamus), Baxter Stockman (Tyler Perry), and Krang (voiced by Brad Garrett) accompany April O’Neil and the gang in Out of the Shadows.

Did the new story and new director (Earth to Echo‘s Dave Green) make a difference?  

As the title suggests, the sequel sees the titular heroes come out of the shadows to take on a new threat to their city while the humans adjust to their existence. According to EW’s Devan Coggan, TMNT 2 “leans into the ridiculousness that is Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.” She writes, “So while Out of the Shadows may not be any smarter than the first installment (or really all that smart at all), it’s certainly a lot more fun.” 

The majority of critics’ takes echo that sentiment. Check out more reviews of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Out of the Shadows below. 

Devan Coggan (Entertainment Weekly)

“There’s a heavy-handed emphasis on the importance of brotherhood and being true to yourself, but mostly, the emotional stuff takes a backseat to all the pizza, pranks, and flaming garbage trucks that shoot manhole covers like projectiles.”

Geoff Berkshire (Variety)

“The heroes in a half shell return for more halfhearted fun in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows. Every bit as noisy, brain-numbing and lowbrow as its predecessor, the Michael Bay production never strays from basic blockbuster formula. It’s fast food entertainment destined for a short run atop the box office charts and an even shorter lifespan in the pop culture zeitgeist.”

Frank Schek (The Hollywood Reporter)

“The film fares best when it slows down a bit and allows the Turtles’ personalities, which are quite engaging, to shine through via their amusing comic banter. There’s genuine fun to be found in such scenes as when Michelangelo gleefully marches in a Halloween parade without anyone glancing twice, although the joke is undermined by a gratuitous reference to producer Michael Bay’s other franchise, Transformers.”

Michael Nordine (The Wrap)

“Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo, and Raphael’s place in today’s superhero landscape is an odd one, operating somewhere in the space between Marvel’s streamlined efficiency and DC’s foreboding inconsistency. Out of the Shadows, the second of the new TMNT series, tries to incorporate elements of both and ends up a soupy mess — director David Green’s sequel has turtles, but not much power.”

Mike McCahill (The Guardian)

“Approached as commerce – as any 3D Ninja Turtles movie should be – it’s soon clear that OOTS follows the model of Bay’s Transformers sequels. Longer, louder and boasting even more hardware, it does everything to generate the illusion of bleeding-edge bang-per-buck, while cribbing shamelessly from 1991’s Secret of the Ooze.”

Michael O’Sullivan (The Washington Post)

Out of the Shadows is, at least, deliciously silly, even if it is also decidedly forgettable. Like a well-plated but nutrition-free meal, it registers on the senses while being bad for you.”

Glenn Kenny (The New York Times)

“This movie is, it happens, easier to sit through than the 2014 film. The 3-D action, overseen by the director Dave Green, is not wholly incoherent. The production values (showcasing new mutants and many gear-heavy extra-dimensional machines undreamed of in any actual engineering philosophy) are ultrashiny. And there are even a couple of amusing, albeit unmemorable, sight gags and one-liners.”

Overall Metacritic rating (1-100): 41

Rotten Tomatoes: 33 percent

Rated: PG-13

Length: 112 minutes

Starring Megan Fox, Will Arnett, Stephen Amell, Tyler Perry

Directed by Dave Green

Distributor: Paramount

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