NEW YORK (CNS) — Genetic engineering explained so that 13-year-old boys can easily comprehend it is one of the features of “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows” (Paramount).
Deep thoughts about science aren’t the point of this, the second film in the franchise since its 2014 reboot. They’re more like passing considerations as the nocturnal, sewer-dwelling crime-fighting terrapins take on their familiar nemesis, Shredder (Brian Tee).
Shredder has come up with a DNA-altering substance called Purple Ooze, the application of which turns humans into the violent primitive animal to which they’re most closely related.
This way, his henchmen Bebop (Gary Anthony Williams) and Rocksteady (Stephen Farrelly) can turn into a giant warthog and rhinoceros. Shredder’s goal, once he joins forces with the slimy Krang (voice of Brad Garrett) and mad scientist Baxter Stockman (Tyler Perry), is to create a giant army for world domination, as bad guys like to do.
Michelangelo (voice of Noel Fisher), Donatello (voice of Jeremy Howard), Leonardo (voice of Pete Ploszek) and Raphael (voice of Alan Ritchson) learn that when the ooze is applied to themselves, they can go the opposite direction and transform into at least a semblance of human form. This way, they’ll finally be able to fit into society.
So, a discussion of what it means to be fully human? In a Mutant Ninja Turtles movie? Are you kidding?
We’re not, but director Dave Green and screenwriters Josh Appelbaum and Andre Nemec sort of are.
The moment of self-doubt flitters by in a minute, then the filmmakers remain faithful to the tropes of action pictures with ramped-up CGI animation.
The green guys, helped as always by their pal April (Megan Fox), return to the importance of teamwork as they resume their hyperkinetic adventures, which include skydiving, racing down highways around New York City, zooming down the Amazon River in search of a missing part needed for a teleportation device, and befuddling human police officers.
This is a film with a clear target audience of adolescent boys. It has no more larger purpose than any thrill ride, video game or bag of candy. No learning will take place.
The film contains intense action sequences, cartoonish violence and a single scatological reference. The Catholic News Service classification is A-II — adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association of America rating, PG-13 — parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.
Jensen is a guest reviewer for Catholic News Service.
Help keep Catholic media free, support CatholicPhilly.com
You may have noticed “pay walls” greeting you when you visit the websites of newspapers and magazines, both large and small. These mechanisms allow you to read a few articles for free before you’ve got to pay an annual fee if you want to see more.
You won’t find a pay wall on CatholicPhilly.com because we’re more than a news organization. We’re informing, inspiring and forming readers in the Catholic faith every day through the news, features and commentaries that we post on this site and share across social media.
It costs money to provide high-quality coverage of the local Catholic communities we primarily serve, while also distributing national and world news of interest to Catholics, plus the orthodox teachings of the Catholic faith.
Help us in this mission by making a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Or by credit card here: