‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles…’: Narrative lost in tech-heavy display (IANS Review, Rating: **)

Film: “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows”; Director: David Green; Voice-overs: Megan Fox, Will Arnett, Laura Linney, Stephen Amell, Noel Fisher, Jeremy Howard, Pete Ploszek, Ala Ritchson, Tyler Perry, Brian Tee and Stephen Farrelly; Rating: **

“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows” is the sixth film of the series and is a derivative of similarly-themed films. It fails to deliver on the promise and potential set up by its predecessors.

The narration begins with a quick introduction of the four, six-foot-tall teenage mutated turtle brothers with lethal ninja fighting skills. They are; Leonardo (Pete Ploszek) in blue – the leader, Ralph (Alan Ritchson) in red – also known as “the muscle”, Mickey (Noel Fisher) in orange – the jovial, wisecracking flirt who loves pizza and Donnie (Jeremy Howard) in purple – the tech geek – also known as “the brain” of the team.

This is followed by a snappy voice-over that gives an insight into the antagonists and explains the crux of the situation.

This edition takes off from where the last 2014 released film left. Unfortunately, the turtles even after they saved the city in the last film, are resigned to living a secret life in the sewers with the sagacious rat known as Splinter (voiced by Tony Shalhoub).

Shredder (Brian Tee), the samurai who was arrested for terrorising the city now escapes from custody. He joins forces with Baxter Stockman (Tyler Perry), a scientist who plans to use his newly invented serum to take over the world. In their endeavour, they are assisted by Bebop (Garry Anthony Williams) and Rocksteady (Stephen Farrelly), two dim-witted henchmen who are transformed into a rhinoceros and a warthog. They provide plenty of muscle in the narrative.

There is another sub-plot, when the notorious, disembodied, alien Krang (Voiced by Brad Garrett) emerges to pose an even greater threat.

Luckily for the turtles, they have their own allies in the reporter – April O’Neil (Megan Fox), her cameraman Vernon Fenwick (Will Arnett) and the hockey-masked aspiring detective Casey Jones (Stephen Amell). They eventually and rightfully introduce the turtles to Police Chief Rebecca Vincent (Laura Linney).

The performance of every actor is perfectly tuned to the character they portray. But unfortunately, the characters written by scriptwriters Josh Appelbaum and Andre Nemec are designed like in the comic book — shallow and one-dimensional. Little has been done to flesh them out to all-rounded perfection.

Packed to busting with over-the-top action set pieces that are so ridiculous, the film has a frenetic pace that you lose track of the narrative. The computer generated images, over a period of time, actually are an eye-sore, especially with cars flying through the air, turtles skydiving and the alien invasion which is directly picked from ‘The Avengers’ stylebook.

Overall, this film, with its tech-heavy sequences, fails to deliver what even fans would expect.

–IANS

troy/rb/vm

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