Michael Bay’s 2014 “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” adaptation can only be described as polarizing. The Turtles have seen a multitude of iterations over the years, from the comic books, to the classic 1987 cartoon series, and the 1990’s live-action trilogy. A 2003 TV revival enjoyed a lengthy run, followed by the 2012 Nickelodeon show, now on its fourth season, with a fifth already announced.
While Bay’s film brought our beloved heroes in a half shell back to the big screen, it admittedly lacked the soul that made us fall in love with the Turtles to begin with. Beneath the eye candy of impressive CGI, there was a dreadfully predictable plot, and lackluster characters. Aside from Michelangelo, Raphael, Donatello, and Leonardo, most characters were decidedly one dimensional.
Yet the 2014 “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” despite its numerous shortcomings, wasn’t entirely awful. On the contrary, the sheer nostalgia factor helped overcome uninspiring elements. Plus, the revamped, more aggressive turtle styling added a contemporary feel. Most importantly though the goofy fraternization between the brothers felt like a throwback to the 1990’s trilogy.
Enter the “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows” trailer. Michael Bay’s forthcoming 2016 sequel returns in full force, and the trailer indicates that the sequel might (hopefully) supersede its predecessor. Notably, a slew of familiar characters from TMNT lore appear in “Out of the Shadows.” Mikey, Donnie, Raph, and Leo of course are back, alongside April O’Neil (Megan Fox), Splinter (voiced by Tony Shaloub), and Vernon Fenwick (Will Arnett). Added to the roster are fan favorites Baxter Stockman (Tyler Perry), Casey Jones (Stephen Amell), Bebop (Gary Anthony Williams), and Rocksteady (Myles Humphus). Brittany Ishibashi returns as Karai, Brian Tee as Shredder, and William Fichtner once again portrays villain Eric Sacks.
In addition to the returning cast members, and new but familiar friends and foes, “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows,” is packed with cameos. The likes of professional basketball player Carmelo Anthony, model Alessandra Ambrosio, and Judith Hoag (who depicted April in the 1990 “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” flick), pepper the cast list. With bolstered TMNT lore, cameos galore, and a decidedly retro vibe, “Out of the Shadows” might be a sequel poised to redeem its letdown of a predecessor. If the newest trailer is any indication, with Run DMC’s “It’s Tricky” prominently playing in the background, “OOTS” is a return to the roots of the franchise: goofy, pop-culture referencing fun. Granted it’s a bit of a techno remix which some, including Independent’s Clarisse Loughrey, aren’t particularly fond of.
Can’t wait for the “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows?” Wish it would crawl back into the shell from whence it came? Comment below or hit us up on Twitter, and let us know what you think!