Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, the sequel to 2014’s TMNT franchise reboot, returns the four crime-fighting super-sized teenage turtles to the streets of New York City.

The Ninja Turtles sequel sees Michelangelo, Donatello, Leonardo and Raphael battling against a slew of nasty villains alongside their faithful friend, reporter April O’Neil (Megan Fox) and Vern Fenwick (Will Arnett). This time around, they also benefit from the assistance of vigilante Casey Jones (Stephen Amell, Arrow). The turtles need all the help they can get with Shredder back out on the streets and accompanied by Bebop and Rocksteady, as well as the emergence of Krang.

Out of the Shadows Reviews

Few critics can say that Out of the Shadows is worse than the 2014 tentpole. However, the film has failed to earn more than a few positive reviews. Most convey a weariness of Michael Bay‘s gimicky productions, which rely on heavy CGI and gratuitous close-ups of his female stars, and are largely absent of a solid narrative plot and inspiring dialogue. The audience for the film remains small children and those hungry for a nostalgia fix.

“It’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows. Better title: When Really Ugly CG Creatures Fight. Those turtles — Michelangelo, Donatello, Leonardo and Raphael — are plenty homely, all brownish-green, scarred and lumpy-bumpy. Half-shell brothers only a reptilian mother could love. But they’re practically cute and cuddly compared to the baddies they battle: a rhinocerized mutated human named Rocksteady and a betusked plus-sized nightmare warthog with a purple mohawk answering to Bebop. When those two mix it up with the turtle bros, it ugliness times 10, in 3D no less. […] All of which is to say this is a production from producer Michael Bay, master of the cinema of CG run amok. And all we helpless mortals can do is cower and duck as those 3D fists fly.” – Soren Andersen, The Seattle Times

Too bad about the Ninja Turtles. In theory, these irreverent pizza-scarfers, who originated in a 1980s comic book, could have been the kiddie answer to “Deadpool.” They’re snarky teenagers, after all; they speak in surfer lingo and live in a tricked-out New York sewer with a Zen master rat. But this unambitious Michael Bay-produced version doesn’t seem interested in cleverness, cravenly settling for the usual generic CGI shtick.” – Sara Stewart, New York Post.

“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, the sequel to the 2014 reboot of the popular vintage kiddie franchise. To say that this installment of the latter series is superior to its predecessor is damning it with faint praise, but it’s likely to reasonably satisfy tykes (and certain nostalgic oldsters — you know who you are). […] The film fares best when it slows down a bit and allows the Turtles’ personalities, which are quite engaging, to shine through via their amusing comic banter. There’s genuine fun to be found in such scenes as when Michelangelo gleefully marches in a Halloween parade without anyone glancing twice.” – Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter.

“Way to go, America. You did it. You spent nearly $200 million seeing “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” in theaters in 2014 and earned yourself a sequel. That’s two hours’ worth of dead-eyed CGI turtles that look like Shrek if he started doing CrossFit battling CGI monsters while a scantily clad Megan Fox cheerleads from the sidelines. Get extra butter on your popcorn. You’ve earned it. […] this iteration of the ninja turtles remains a strangely joyless exercise. The Michael Bay production feels, as it did the first go round, like a barely disguised business obligation between movie studio, sponsors and toy manufacturers. And with audiences, too, who demand no more than something colorful to eat popcorn to.” – Barbara VanDenburgh, The Arizona Republic

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows is currently in wide release.