Back in July when I wrote about the campaign for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows I came away feeling like the movie was completely forgettable, a flying bit of cinematic detritus that would be gone on the next breeze and out of everyone’s lives. While that was true at the box office, the campaign didn’t nearly hint at how actually bad the movie is.
The story, such as it is, follows the Turtles as they struggle with their place in their world. Some of them want to go public after their big win against Shredder while others want to stay in the shadows as true ninja. While they’re arguing over tactics, a new threat to the city has emerged in the form of a scientist (played by Tyler Perry) who is working with Shredder, who since his escape from prison is working with the extra-dimensional being Krang. April O’Neil (Megan Fox) is on the tail of that same scientist, who with Shredder has recruited the tough guys Bebop and Rocksteady, who are being tailed by Casey Jones (Stephen Amell), the prison guard who was on duty when they and Shredder escaped.
All of that sounds way too complex and it doesn’t really matter because as convoluted as it looks on paper it’s even moreso on film. More than that, the screenplay doesn’t worry about setup, explaining coincidences or anything else. It all just kind of falls into place because the story demands it. We’re never told why April is tailing the scientist, she just is. Everyone just knows right where to go to find whatever piece of the puzzle is next required. We’re just supposed to accept that even the “let’s stay hidden” faction of the Turtles are cool with the huge light-up garbage truck that they take into battle against Shredder.
And if the plotting is bad, the dialogue that moves the plot along is even worse. Everytime a character opened his or her (or its) mouth I cringed. It’s so offensive I even felt bad for Megan Fox, who deserves better than what she has here.
I knew it wouldn’t be great, but this is something else entirely.