Review: Turtle power back in ‘TMNT: Out of the Shadows’

Adam Graham
The Detroit News

They’re “Out of the Shadows” — and into the Oscar race.

Well, not quite. But the second entry in the rebooted “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” franchise, following 2014’s smash hit, has enough action and attitude to surpass the low expectations that greet it.

Sure, much of it amounts to a hyper blur of CGI effects. But like the wise turtles say, “cowabunga, dude,” which roughly translates to, “if you’re 14-years-old, you’ll probably like this.”

After defeating Shredder, the four Turtles are back, saving New York City while hiding beneath the city’s streets and catching an occasional slice of pizza.

But when Shredder escapes police custody — he does so in a rather thrilling chase sequence that front ends the film — he takes part in a plan that involves a mutated rhinoceros and warthog duo, a maniacal scientist (Tyler Perry!) and Krang (voice of Brad Garrett), the evil brain looking to open up an inter-dimensional portal above New York, or something.

The Turtles aim to stop the plan, along with the help of April O’Neil (Megan Fox, always looking like she just stepped out of a lip gloss ad) and Casey Jones (Stephen Amell, coming off like Diet Chris Pine). Will Arnett is back as the phony hero who takes credit for the Turtles actions, and somehow Laura Linney (as New York’s police chief) keeps a straight face when acting opposite the CGI heroes in a half-shell.

There are lessons about teamwork and acceptance, and there’s a Vanilla Ice joke for fans of 1991’s “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze.” “Out of the Shadows” is by no means a really good pizza, but if you liked the last film, it’s worth a slice.

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‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows’

GRADE: B-

Rated PG-13 for sci-fi action violence.

Running time: 126 minutes