Friday, 23 December 2011

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze; fantasy action comedy, USA, 1991; D: Michael Pressman, S: Mark Caso, Michelan Sisti, Leif Tiden, Kenn Troum, Paige Turco, David Warner, Fran├žois Chau

A year after the first events, ninja turtles Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello and Michelangelo have cozily settled into April O'Neil's apartment, much to her annoyance. However, Shredder survived and using a toxic chemical creates two mutants, Rahzar and Tokka, unleashing them against the turtles. The four heroes manage to transform the two creatures back to their form while Shredder dies trying to make a dock collapse on them.

"Turtles II" starts off with such a stimulative, charmingly engaging opening sequence and entrance of the four title heroes that it instantly brought a smile to children's faces and topped the opening of the first film. The sharp cinematography is also an improvement to the first film. And Paige Turco is a more charming April O'Neil. However, that's where the praise stops since part II is palpably inferior to the original on every other level. Unlike "Turtles I", this film shows the four ninja heroes without charm, presenting them as nearly identical characters without any distinguishing features (could anyone tell the difference between Michelangelo or Raphael, for instance, without the color on their bandana?), the fight sequences are naively choreographed (instead of the whole Foot gang attacking the turtles at once, they wait in the background until they fight one-on-one?), the story has too much plot holes to handle, especially in the rather ill-considered trashy Frankenstein concept involving around the mutating Oooze, whereas the low point was achieved in the embarrassing sequence in the night club where Vanilla Ice continues to sing and the audience continues to dance (!) despite six mutants suddenly storming the place and fighting there. The humorous final sequence brings the movie right on the back tracks again, and the costumes are again amazing, yet by that time the audience wished for a different kind of film.

Grade:+

2 comments:

Mario500 said...

"Unlike 'Turtles I', this film shows the four ninja heroes without charm, presenting them as nearly identical characters without any distinguishing features (could anyone tell the difference between Michelangelo or Raphael, for instance, without the color on their bandana?)"

I disagree with this point of view. The turtles are as different from each other as they were in the first movie. For example, Raphael did not always stay close to his brothers in both movies.

I saw the second movie before the first movie and I like both of them.

Marin Mandir said...

I think we respectfully disagree on this issue. I saw the movie just recently after more than 10 years and was quite surprised at how little the four turtles distinguish from each other. Only ocassionally do we get a glimpse of their fully fleshed out personalities (i.e. in the scene where Donatello talks with the scientist, we get a little better impression of him being the most educated of the turtles; Raphael being a little bit more rebellious than the others), yet for the most time they all act the same.

The 2nd movie is a "guilty pleasure" to me, just for the sake of nostalgia, yet the 1st film really took more care of the story and took its time to get to know the turtles better, showing clearer, different features among their personalities.