Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 Reviews: Did Critics Shell the Sequel?

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 Reviews: Critics Weigh in on Megan Fox-Starring Sequel

This comes as probably no surprise. Critics didn’t like the first “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” reboot two years. They don’t like the new installment either.

The only difference, this time around, is how much more — or less — they care for “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows.”

The question is mostly academic. Paying audiences, unlike professional movie reviewers, flocked (crawled?) in 2014 to “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” a Michael Bay-produced special effects spectacular that paired the comic book sewer dwellers with a sexy Megan Fox.

So popular was “Turtles” that it came back with the same actress and the same CGI look and the same cowabunga vibe — and the same critic-proof protection. Still, “Shadows” gets a 33 approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, paltry to be sure but better than the 22 percent-scoring predecessor.

Most critics say the film earned that 11-point upgrade.

“While the final result is anything but a cinematic masterpiece, it’s at least an improvement over the original. … 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” Devan Coggan, Entertainment Weekly

“This movie is, it happens, easier to sit through than the 2014 film. … 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”Glenn Kenny, New York Times

“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. … ‘Out of the Shadows’ is by no means a really good pizza, but if you liked the last film, it’s worth a slice”Adam Graham, The Detroit News

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 Reviews Turn on How It Stands Up to First Reboot

A few critics, however, refused to go that far.

“The new ‘Turtles’ is a step backward from the passable first installment, taking the overblown mess of that film’s final 30 minutes and stretching it out into the entire 112-minute sequel. There are isolated moments of humor, and even charm. The visual effects are at times outstanding. But these positives are overwhelmed by the uninspired whole”Peter Hartlaug, San Francisco Chronicle

And some just panned it outright.

“It should be noted that ‘Out of the Shadows’ is not particularly good at its bottom line: sowing the seeds of merchandise-enforced nostalgia that will inevitably lead viewers to adulthood with the wrong impression of what a kid-friendly action-adventure blockbuster should be. This is the kind of movie that leaves you with the impression that more thought was put into catchphrases and fan service than into a compelling plot, thoughtful characterizations or imaginative action choreography”Simon Abrams, RogerEbert.com