Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2
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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 (DVD) (25th Anniv. O-Sleeve)
Back by bodacious demand! Leonardo, Donatello, Michaelangelo and Raphael return for their most thrilling adventure yet. This time the evil Shredder has learned the secret of the ooze, the force behind the Turtles' mutation and amazing fighting abilities. Now more dangerous than ever, Shredder is determined to destroy the Turtles, bringing along new villains Tokka and Rahzar for a battle to the end.]]>
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This is a review I can write from two angles. One from when I was a kid, seeing this for the first time, and now, after I had just researched it digitally. Both kid me and adult me have reached the same conclusion. That it's a fine popcorn film that just unfortunately had to be the sequel to the first film, which is just so much better in every way.
In some ways this is a bit of a retread. Shredder comes back after an apparent murdering by Casey Jones' (who does not appear in this film, and is sorely missed) oops hands. There's also a bit of a retcon in the backstory of the turtles, which did annoy me slightly as a kid. The film also has a teen sidekick, much like the first. But much like the overall tone of this film, this one is far more positive and goofy, and even gets to fight along side the turtles.
Possibly the biggest character shift is that Donatello is actually allowed to be more like his comic and cartoon self, as the brains of the group. In the first film, possibly as a result of him being voiced by Corey Feldman, he was more of a second Michelangelo, wise cracking it up. Here, he does do some science stuff, and is a defender of one of the scientists responsible for creating the ooze which created them.
The fight scenes are less about martial arts, and more about slapstick and gags. More kid friendly sure, but also more disappointing to the kids who want to see more roundhouse kicks.
I will say that I was very hyped up over the Vanilla Ice concert which hosted the last real proper fight sequence in the film. Even now, in spite of the scene very much showing the film's age, it's a really well done scene that has some of the best action in the movie. It's my favorite scene in the film now, as it was when I was a kid. Real 90's cheese done right.
Overall, not a bad film. Though I think my opinion of it hasn't really changed over the years. It's an okay film with some good scenes, but it just compares unfavorably to the first film. And as an aside, reaffirms the fact that I have just as little interest in seeing the third film now and I did not back then.
While this movie doesn't quite measure up to the original, it's definitely worth your time which is more than can be said for the lackluster follow up Turtles 3 whose only redeeming quality is the return of Casey Jones.