Say what you want, but TMNT: Out of the Shadows actually had some totally rad moments that left us shell-shocked in a good way. After all, it’s got slimy Krang, comical Bebop and Rocksteady, and those teenage turtle bros who’re making me crave for a cheesy slice of pizza. What’s not to like? Here are five of the most awesome moments (spoiler-free!) of these heroes in a half shell that we all love so much.
Fan Service at Its Finest
When did movie-goers start becoming experts in film critiques? If we shut off our overly analytic brains for a bit and just enjoy the ride, Out of the Shadows can actually be pretty good. It’s kiddie, yes, but whatever happened to watching movies for escapism? This time, though, the franchise forgoes the gloomy stuff from the first movie in favor of more fan favorites that are just…so damn fun. We get to see more laughs out of the four brothers, with Leo being all holier-than-thou, Donnie being too wrapped up in his tech, Raph seemingly hopped up on steroids all day long, and Mikey just being Mikey. Casey Jones brings a whole lot of hockey fun into the more spirited film (although it’s quite odd to see Stephen Amell all talkative after being the brooding Green Arrow on CW for so long), and April O’Neil has that sorta-sexist montage at the beginning, with her being the Megan Fox that she is. We get to see Krang pull off some signature robot-y moves against the turtles, and seeing the Technodrome just reminded me of those good ol’ cartoons with that thing in the sky. The creators even sneaked in some throwing stars at the beginning of the Paramount Pictures logo—a nice little wink for the fans.
Bebop and Rocksteady
Speaking of fan service, there’s no better homage than Bebop and Rocksteady. The two idiotic but lovable thugs sort of take the spotlight when it comes to the villains, despite Shredder’s presence and even Baxter Stockman’s (yes!). As much fun as it is to see the turtle team goofing around and having fun, these two villains are also a blast to watch, especially with all their shenanigans and the very apparent bromance. I give mad props to Gary Anthony Williams and Stephen “Sheamus” Farrelly from WWE for making these two beastly brutes come to life on screen. Even their costumes are totally accurate, so kudos to the costume designers and makeup artists (and of course, the animators) as well!
That Pimped out Turtle Van
The Party Wagon had many versions over the years, but thanks to Donnie’s upgrades, this one has hydraulic nunchucks and shoots sewer covers from the grill. Aptly labeled as the Tartaruga (Italian for “tortoise”) Brothers, the garbage-truck-cum-Turtle-Van does remind me of the pizza-thrower toy from the good ol’ days.
The Ridiculous but Jaw-Dropping Action
The best scene of the film for me is the one that’s highlighted in the trailers—that slow-mo battle with the turtles, Bebop and Rocksteady, and a river-floating tank. From the heart-stopping skydiving to the fist fight in a cargo plane, these characters—albeit in CGI—make the unbelievable believable. There’s a lot of wild and wacky enthusiasm between the heroes and the villains even as they’re duking it out in the roaring rapids of a remote jungle, and everything here is as thrilling as a high-speed car chase.
Will Arnett. ‘Nuff said.
The turtles kicking ass is one thing, but in Out of the Shadows, we actually get to see Vern Fenwick kick some serious bad guy butts, too. After taking credit for saving New Yorkin the last film, Vern is now dubbed “The Falcon” and is hailed as the hero everyone is so madly obsessed with. He’s reveling in his unmerited fame and fortune, and with Will Arnett playing the goofy cameraman, his scenes are as delightful to see as that prized Key to the City dangling around his proud neck.
Overall, Out of the Shadows doesn’t really take itself too seriously, and that’s actually a good thing. In this Hollywood era that’s filled with dark and gritty reboots of everything, it’s a breath of fresh air to have a feel-good, live-action take on our favorite ninja turtles for nostalgia’s sake. Out of the shadows, indeed.