A year after defeating the evil Shredder and ensuring his captivity, the teenage mutant ninja turtles; Leonardo, Donnatello, Raphael and Michelangelo, still live in the sewers and keep their existence hidden. When Shredder escapes police custody, he is taken into another dimension by alien Krang who makes a deal with Shredder to open a portal between the two worlds, and gives him a substance that can change humans into mutants. Now, to be the heroes they are destined to be, the turtles may be forced to be seen out in the open but an internal conflict could tear the lives of the four brothers apart forever.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (2016) – Director: Dave Green

Is Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows appropriate for kids

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Rating: 12

Running Length: 112 mins

Starring: Megan Fox, Stephen Amell, Brian Tee

Genre: Action, Comedy

REVIEW

The sequel to the 2014 TMNT movie, ‘Out of the Shadows’ continues the high-octane action with bags of comedy to make it yet another energetic and consistent movie which, while mostly appealing to kids, is likely to get plenty of fans from the older members of the audience. Those who remember the 1980’s cartoon and subsequent live-action movies, are still likely to have mixed feelings over these reboot movies, however ‘Out of the Shadows’ should do a lot to allay the fears of ruining the nostalgia with this being a faithful and respectful continuation of the TMNT ethos.

The four brothers: Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael and Michelangelo, all have their unique skills which ensures that they have equal importance to the team and, due to their martial arts abilities, each one of them pulls their weight regardless of their individual interests and personalities. Megan Fox, who plays journalist, April O’Neil, does little to enhance the movie other than be pouting eye candy but this does not substantially harm the movie. Will Arnett (Vern Fenwick) is comically arrogant and pompous and fans of his alter ego, (Gob Bluth from the sitcom Arrested Development) will enjoy a subtle joke referencing his character’s chicken impression early in the movie!

While ‘Out of the Shadows’ may not be appealing to everyone, it’s ability to balance the action and comedy makes it a great movie for kids – it’s target audience and it’s pacing ensure that it never drags or seems to be anywhere close to its relatively long running time of almost 2 hours.

IS ‘TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES: OUT OF THE SHADOWS’ SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN?

When April O’Neil is first seen in the movie, she is at a bar, wearing a top which shows some cleavage. She then walks away, steals a skirt from a stall and creates a ‘sexy’ schoolgirl disguise of the stolen short, pleated skirt, a white blouse which she ties to expose her stomach and knee-length socks. While not a lot of skin is on show, her look is clearly a sexualised one.

Several bikers attack a police convoy by placing small devices on the vehicles which explode, potentially killing or at least seriously injuring the occupants inside. No suffering is shown and these characters are never seen so kids are unlikely to pick up on what is happening but some may be sensitive to it, especially those who have been affected by a traffic collision in real life.

The character, Krang, could be a little frightening for younger children. He is a giant brain-like creature who is attached to the torso of a huge robot that only has the bottom half of a face, most of which is covered in a metal helmet but enough can be seen to be somewhat disturbing.

Shredder’s armour has numerous large, sharp blades which can either suddenly protrude or be shot out at high speeds. In one scene, he is threatening a male character and as he walks towards him, he casually allows one of the blades to slice into a table that the character is sitting at. As Shredder gets closer, the character appears more and more uncomfortable until Shredder holds the blade at the man’s chest.

As seen in the trailers, two of the characters get transformed into mutant animals. During this transformation, neither character appears to suffer or be in any kind of pain. They are at first surprised but quickly become loudly happy with their changes. There are a couple of times when their faces swell and distort briefly which could be a little disturbing but it is unlikely to be too upsetting for kids. When their transformations are complete, they both pull the waistlines of their trousers and look down, they are extremely proud of what they see and congratulate each other. While adults will know this is an obvious ‘penis size’ joke, it is likely to go over the heads of most children.

CAN I SEE A CLIP?

VERDICT

‘Out of the Shadows’ is a wonderfully fun and action-packed movie that kids will love and any adult accompanying them is likely to enjoy it a lot more than they expect. With some violence that could be a bit strong for little ones and some infrequent moderate cursing, we feel this movie should be appropriate for most kids aged 7 and over.

  • Violence: 2/5 (mostly child-friendly action. In one scene, a woman is surrounded by a number of ninjas who are covered from head to toe on black. They are threatening, have swords and it is clear that they are prepared to kill her)
  • Emotional Distress: 0/5
  • Fear Factor: 1/5 (During a Halloween parade, numerous pretend skeletons and skulls are held aloft which could be scary for some younger children. This scene is fun and in no way meant to be frightening so any upset is likely to be short-lived)  
  • Sexual Content: 1/5 (April O’Neil sometimes wears clothes that show off some cleavage/skin. While this is clearly meant to be sexual for the eyes of the audience, the men in the movie do not objectify her and she is treated as an equal to them)
  • Bad Language: 2/5 (some infrequent mild to moderate cursing and blasphemy) 
  • Dialogue: 0/5
  • Other notes: Deals with themes of family, trust, loyalty, standing up for what you believe in, supporting a loved one even when you don’t agree with them, teamwork, accepting and understanding other people’s differences, not seeking the limelight for good deeds and putting disagreements aside when necessary.

Words by Laura Record

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