This sequel, with a title kind of similar to a video game, (actually, there's a video game from three years ago of the same name) takes place a year after the events of the first, where the turtles are still in hiding from humans but considering the Shredder and Eric Sachs were foiled, someone had to take the hero title to avoid more suspicion, so the turtles let the credit go to Verne, the cameraman and wingman. This is the sort of movie that really builds its story as it goes; the Shredder has been extracted from prison, but things don't quite go as smoothly. Well, actually, it couldn't have been smoother. Because now the Shredder has these wing mans that are always in a good mood even when they're escorted, and a plan to destroy the world thanks to a gum-based being from another world. And meanwhile, the turtles are getting a little tired of hiding after sixteen years, and I guess knowing they saved the world adds to the hurt. Some of the turtles think this is fine but someone else might say different. There is also a kind of technology brewing that Donatello thinks could lead to alternate dimensions, so yeah, the movie will have one or two kiddie friendly dialogue phrases.
I wanted to give this movie a perfect grade going in, because I thought the first movie set up unlimited ways to make another film, plus I have a soft spot for sequels. And though I can't, I'll say this; a few flaws aside, I never wanted this movie to end, and that's entertainment value. Especially since it was only an hour thirty-seven minutes. But it actually felt long enough. There's no Eric Sachs this time, and considering William Fichtner signed himself up for all the movies, I sort of missed him. And the antagonists were often actually annoying, the new additions to the villains, the clueless cretins Bebop and Rocksteady always were, a little over the top (though I will admit, they're sometimes guiltily funny). Plus the Shredder's actor sometimes just didn't know how to sing his lines and the mishaps are predictable. Twice. But you know what the movie improves on? The turtles. And more than just their front flips and capabilities. I thought Michelangelo played by Noel Fisher was tawdry and often annoying in the first film but this time I really enjoyed his presence. Maybe I got used to him or this time he doesn't remove his mask or joke about pepperoni and I prefer him getting hit in the head and eating a sandwich of cheesy pizzas. This movie is loaded with funny postures and cute expressions by each CG character and even the humans more than a few times, especially by Fox, who's as much of a treat to follow around as last time, also showing that anyone can beat anyone else of superior size or strength.
And this time I think there's more drama, or more of a stretch now that we're introduced to the turtles to get some of the drama. This time, they don't have Splinter to say you can't go out and have that for Leo to hide behind. This time they're in a lot bigger conflict about themselves not just in their differences, but about who they are on the outside. There's a scene where the turtles are looked at with scare and hate and want to shoot. This actually isn't farfetched, when all the violent influences from other countries are making the people from those countries all seem dangerous to North Americans like me (I hate Donald Trump, don't worry. Actually, be like Mikey and pretend you don't know what I'm saying.). Not to mention the way the turtles fight, it's almost like they're setting a barrier they will never crack. Personally, in this situation, I took a side and the other side made me infuriated. This is actually what happens in real life when someone else singles someone else out. I won't spoil it, but I'm itching to talk about it so I hope if you see the movie you get what I mean. There's a sense of conformity to this idea, a feeling you can get by taking a side and not thinking about the other (sometimes this is good to do), one of which fuelled by outside sources. If the movie set itself up to focus more on this in more of a direct way for the next film, I would've given it a point-higher grade but what can you do? I still think Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III from 1993 is the best Ninja Turtle film the way it stretches the border of conflicts and set pieces more than any other of these films, but damned if I said it would hurt to go watch it again.
Just like the first movie where there was an avalanche action scene, this movie has a spectacular bouncy action scene that's too good to spoil in a review. Let's just say it reminded me of Uncharted game action, a huge compliment. What I'll basically say is, the humour in the antagonists is hit-or-miss and there is a little I found missing, but this time there are story elements that will make people's hands go on their chins, the turtles are a delicious treat to watch even more than before, especially MC Mikey, there's fan service that doesn't feel too desperate, there are smiles and laughs as well as shocks, and just like last time, the credits song rocked enough to have me go out feeling like I had a blast!