Out Of The Shadows May Ruin The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

On June 3, 2016, Paramount pictures will release the next sequel in its ubiquitous Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows marks the return of many characters from the 2014 reboot, including the titular turtles, April O'Neil (Megan Fox), Vern Fenwick (Will Arnett), and Eric Sacks (William Fichtner). It will also feature, for the first time in a motion picture, iconic characters from the cartoon series and comics like Rocksteady, Bebop, and Krang. While your inner child might be excited by this news, don't be fooled: there are more than a few reasons why this second movie may already signal the death of this rebooted franchise...

Too little, too late

Krang, Bebop, Rocksteady, Dr. Baxter Stockman...they're all elements from the TMNT comics and cartoons that kids wanted to see in the original sequel, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
2: Secret of the Ooze
(1991). Instead we got unfamiliar weirdos like Tokka and Rahzar (pictured above). Now, Hollywood is finally giving audiences familiar characters, but the viewers who care anything about this nostalgia have aged out of the under-18 demographic. This is aside from, of course, a few man-children still in the audience.

Trailer spoilers

Like many contemporary movies, the recently released trailer and Super Bowl spot spoiled all the film's action set pieces. So far we know the movie will include the following: the turtles fighting Krang on top of a skyscraper, the turtles fighting Bebop and Rocksteady, Rocksteady chasing Casey Jones while destroying cars, the turtles using their van to chase after goons, Casey Jones saving April from thugs, an action scene on an airplane, and a fight between the turtles and Bebop and Rocksteady in the water. Given all this, what's the point of even seeing the movie? Where are the surprises?

Overuse of CGI

Certain scenes in the 2014 reboot felt like watching a Pixar or Dreamworks CGI-animated feature, not a live-action movie. Given what we've seen so far, the sequel will likely be more of the same. The problem with this is the jarring juxtaposition between the live action and CGI elements. Nothing feels real, and that robs the movie of suspense. This dissonance makes us wonder why the movie wasn't entirely CGI to begin with...

Hackneyed plotline

The sequel's storyline involves the villainous brain-in-a-jar, Krang, invading Earth along with his gang of creatures from Dimension X. The trailer shows a portal opening above the New York City skyline with alien spacecraft entering our world through it. Why does that scenario sound familiar? It's because that's almost the exact same situation as the first Avengers movie. You'd think that, given all the time and effort put into the visuals and technical aspects of Out of the Shadows, that the filmmakers would attempt to come up with an original premise. Even kids will be able to easily recognize the similarities.

Lame humor

The trailer, again, shows some crappy attempts at merrymaking. Most of the bad jokes come from lines spoken by Michelangelo. When he sees Casey Jones and April O'Neil together, he remarks in a silly voice, "Are you two guys, like, a thing?" You know what isn't a thing? These turtles actually landing a joke. Ugh.

Strange casting

The filmmakers cast Tyler Perry as the mad scientist Baxter Stockman. Look, no one's saying that Tyler Perry isn't talented in his own right, but this seems like a strange choice. Tyler Perry doesn't strike us as the nerdy scientist type. Also, based on the trailer, Stephen Amell is a far cry from the awesome Elias Koteas who also portrayed Casey Jones in the 1990 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie. Like many Hollywood flicks these days, and especially superhero films, the casting process seems centered on what actor is popular versus who might actually be good for the role.

Too many villains

Featuring too many villains in a movie makes a mess of its storyline. It's what we like to call the Spider-Man 3 effect. This sequel features Shredder, Beobop, Rocksteady, Krang, and Baxter Stockman. Will the the filmmakers devote time to developing these characters, or will they simply exist? Someone needs to reel in the fan service. Plus, it's a bad marketing decision. If the filmmakers introduce all these characters in the second movie, then what recognizable villains will be left if there is a third film?