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Cowabunga! Here’s The ‘TMNT: Out of the Shadows’ Trailer!

So much for waiting 24 hours!  Apparently the full trailer leaked elsewhere on the globe and instead of wasting hours trying to have it removed, Paramount and Nickelodeon Movies just said “to heck with it!” and officially released it here as well.  Without further adieu, here’s the first trailer for David Green’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows

Previously subtitled “Half Shell”, this sequel to the 2014 hit reboot of the popular franchise appears to have taken a hard left in terms of ton.  While packed with action and wild special effects, I found the previous film to be a bit of a slog overall.  The dark and dour tone that the film took wasn’t really conducive to the franchise.

Yes, the original comics did begin life as a dark satire on “Daredevil” and the works of Frank Miller as a whole.  Beyond that initial run and the first live action film, however, that hasn’t been the franchise for the past 25 years.  For better or worse, the original 1980s cartoon forever altered the course and tone of this franchise, not only causing New Line Cinema to tone things down in its theatrical sequels (and spin-off TV series), but coloring the property as a whole from there on out.

The 00s cartoon took a more mature bent and lasted a few years, but failed to reach the heights of what came before.  It’s no shock that things went in a more lighthearted direction with the 2007 animated film or the recent Nickelodeon series.  The latter seems to have revived the property overall and spawned a large new generation of fans, eventually paving the way for these new films.  While smartly written and once again filled with pop culture satire, it has smartly kept things light enough to find a childhood audience once more.

The 2014 film did well at the box office, but from what I’ve heard, merchandising sales were less than what was expected.  In fact, the merchandise for the current (wonderful) cartoon has outsold it at every turn.  With that in mind, I’m not shocked in the slightest that they have course-corrected the tone of this sequel to skew towards a more comic booky and entertaining vibe.

While I’m not particularly excited to see this film just yet, I do have to admit that it looks a whole lot more appealing now.  Whether it was the change in creative approach, in director, or both, Out of the Shadows seems to have a far better handle on the material and the franchise as a whole.  The new additions are much appreciated as well.

The Shredder (Brian Tee) actually seems integral to the plot now and has a personality, instead of being a glorified henchman, as in the first.  Bebop (Gary Anthony Williams) and Rocksteady (Sheamus) look as colorful and offbeat as they should.  The Foot actually look like ninjas, instead of SWAT.  Casey Jones (Stephen Amell) looks to be a fun addition, especially since I get the feeling that Amell will be allowed to play up his “vigilante hero” image a bit here.

The Turtles also look more appealing.  While the redesign given to them in the last film is still somewhat off-putting, they look brighter here.  Less creepy and more approachable, if you will, and I hope that can be said for the film as a whole.  April O’Neil (Megan Fox) still looks overly sexed up, but that is sadly to be expected for a Michael Bay production.  Then we have a cackling Baxter Stockman, maniacally brought to life by Tyler Perry and injecting a further dose of much-needed fun into the proceedings.

You know what, I was wrong.  This actually does look like it could be some fun.  It could also be a pile of mediocrity, but I’ll still take that over the dour boredom of the last one.  I would love to see this series improve as it goes on, instead of slipping further into the cinematic cesspool like the Transformers and G.I. Joe sequels before it.  Mutated fingers crossed…

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