Now this is a Turtles movie. Whereas the original 1990 “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” owed a lot to the original Mirage comic series, the latest live-action TMNT film is heavily — heavily — inspired by the 1987 cartoon. If you’re someone that grew up devoted to the animated exploits of these heroes in a half-shell, then odds are parts of this trailer had you grinning like a kid again.
The first film in the rebooted franchise, 2014’s “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” drew a lot of criticism from fans for taking too many liberties with the property (remember that hot second when the turtles were going to be aliens?). The Michael Bay production course-corrected, and that correction seems to be continuing in the new “TMNT: Out of the Shadows,” which features the debut of five characters and one vehicle that come straight from the beloved source material. These characters are wild, radical and totally tubular, and we can’t wait to see them hit the big screen in 2016.
It’s hard to believe that the turtles have gotten around in four live-action feature films without the help of the Turtle Van. The foursome’s totally radical ride was heavily featured in the 1987 cartoon but didn’t debut on film until the very, very end of 2014’s “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.” The version seen in the new trailer is different from the Assault Van briefly seen before — and that’s a good thing. The new van is yellow, for one thing, which makes it look more like its predecessor, and it’s tricked out with sewer-based weapons. Finally, the brothers ride in true turtle style.
You can’t have a Turtles movie without Casey Jones — except, you know, when you do get a TMNT film without him. Thankfully, “Out of the Shadows” will not be jonesing for some Casey, as Stephen Amell will bring the vigilante sports fan to life in the rebooted film series. We get a formal introduction to Amell’s Casey in the trailer, which comes after he saves April from a gang of villains. Michelangelo, faced with some human competition for the reporter’s affection, calls out the chemistry between Jones and April O’Neil right away. But Jones isn’t limited to hockey pucking around, he also gets in some rollerblading and car chase action too!
While a lot of “Out of the Shadows” draws heavily from the ’80s cartoon, the film de-whitewashes Baxter Stockman and presents him as he was portrayed in the original comic book. Still, Tyler Perry, of massive Tyler Perry film empire fame, may seem like an odd choice for the role seeing as how he’s mostly known for being a director or playing the larger-than-life Madea. But with just one line — “This is gonna be good!” — Perry infuses Stockman with a big dose of maniacal glee. Fingers crossed Perry’s Stockman gets to stick around for a future film so we can see Tyler Perry play the fly creature he was apparently born to play.
The first film in the rebooted “Turtles” franchise had a Shredder problem. William Fichtner was initially cast as a Caucasian version of the character, which was a fundamental change to the character that the production decided to abandon way late in production. Re-shoots added in Tohoru Masamune in a supporting role as Shredder. The sequel seems to have fixed the Shredder confusion, though, with Brian Tee stepping into the role (and the wrist blades) with a commanding intensity. Tee kicked plenty of ass as Noburo in “The Wolverine,” so there’s no doubt that his Shredder will be a force to be reckoned with.
Bebop & Rocksteady
And finally, the moment that every American human in their late 20s to early 30s has been waiting decades for — the live-action debut of Bebop (Gary Anthony Williams) and Rocksteady (Stephen “Sheamus” Farrelly). Film after film has refused to bring the warthog and rhino henchmutants to life, opting instead to use more ninjas or different creatures. Since “Out of the Shadows” is doing everything in its power to pull from the ’80s cartoon, though, the filmmakers had no choice but to use these two — and they look bodacious. Every detail is right on, from Bebop’s Mohawk (which Mikey admires) to Rocksteady’s inexplicable aviator helmet. These two are ferocious, ridiculous, and totally awesome. Plus — Rocksteady knows how to drive a tank!
“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows” opens on June 3, 2016
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