By: Oberst Von Berauscht (Six Pack) –
Less than a year after the release of the first film, turtles Rafael, Donatello, Michelangelo, and Leonardo returned to the big screen for yet another battle against the Foot Clan. These genetically altered, human-sized, surfer-dude warriors of virtue are once again challenged by evil when their old foe Shredder comes back from the dead, bent on revenge. When one of his minions discovers the mutagen which made the turtles into what they are, the Shredder decides to make some mutants of his own. Will the Turtles once again defeat the Shredder, and make New York city safe once again for the Pizza-loving public?
Credit should go where it is due; this film doesn’t have all that much product placement in it, as compared to the first film. The first TMNT film had more product placement than the coupon section of the Sunday newspaper. In fact, other than the appearance of a certain early-90s pop culture icon, it seems as if the producers went out of their way to avoid it, as many scenes pass with people eating pizza, chips, doughnuts, and other things which could so easily have included a corporate logo.
Actor Elias Koteas did a fantastic job in the first film as Casey Jones, who served as a comedic everyman foil to the Turtles. His character was quite vital to making the first film work as well as it did. Casey Jones is totally missing from this film, replaced in part by the character Keno, a teenage kid who does kung-fu.
This film’s story is an hectic mess of plot-holes and contradictions which are never explained. The Shredder seems to have survived a fall from a tall building into a working trash compactor, sustaining only a handful of face-scratches. Also, how does the Shredder know that the giant dandelions were caused by the same mutagen which created the turtles? Later in the film the Shredder is exposed to the mutagen and instantly turns into the Super-Shredder; a giant muscular maniac. But earlier in the film they establish that the mutagen takes days to work effectively.
Vanilla Ice has never, and will never be a good music choice. Hit that it was, the “Ninja Rap” is atrocious, and the way it is shoe-horned into the film is clearly meant to capitalize on the plain white rapper’s fly-by-night success. Vanilla Ice would later find his true calling as an interior designer, and get a T.V. series based on the pure nostalgic value of seeing a home restored by the star of Cool as Ice.
Actor David Warner plays the scientist who created the mutagenic ooze. It is clear how quickly the script was revised, because his character’s demeanor seems to change from scene to scene. At times it feels like he’s being built up as a villain, and yet other times he is depicted as a kindly scientist trying to right his past wrongs. Either way, neither pays off, as he mostly disappears near the end. This is a terrible waste of Warner, whose gifts were more aptly utilized in films such as Tron and Time Bandits.
The film’s abrupt ending is the final nail in its coffin. As mentioned earlier, the Shredder grows to a giant size and resumes attacking the turtles. And by “attack”, I mean that he starts knocking supports out from under a building until it collapses on him, killing him. You’d think a nearly doubled budget would allow for at least a reasonably decent action scene, but the producers clearly saw otherwise…
A terrible mess of a film, though still watchable for nostalgic viewers looking for another slice of that early-90s pizza-pie
Take a Drink: each time the turtles speak 90s slang
Take a Drink: each time Tokka and Rahzar speak (and it is way more adorable than it has any right to be)
Take a Drink: each time you see someone eating pizza
Drink a Shot: for Vanilla Ice
Drink a Shot: if you wonder where the turtles are getting their money for all that pizza