It’s time for the sequel. TMNT 2: The Secret of The Ooze. Pretty catchy title, don’t you think? I always thought so. It was one of the first movie-titles that stuck in my head. No matter how much new information I learned, I could never seem to forget that title, The Secret of The Ooze. And it’s a pretty good sub-title to if you think about it, ’cause it gives you a sample of what the story of the movie is about. Wich in this case is about that green slimy ooze that created the Turtles in the first place.
So, about the story of the movie. Again, it’s pretty basic but with the first movie creating a mythology of it’s own, the sequel was pretty much bound to follow it, so ofcourse some changes were made from the cartoon. Some of’em good and some of’em bad. We start of with introducing a completely new character (Keno), finding himself in an outnumbered situation and is about to get his ass kicked by some criminals robbing a supermarket. Ofcourse, the Turtles comes to the rescue as suspected and unwillingly gets themselves a new allie. This allied relationship grows all through the movie and concludes with, in my case, a pretty unsuspected way, when Keno bursts in, kicking the ooze out of Shredders hand. But I digress.
In one scene, we see Splinter sitting up on the roof watching the news, when April O’Neil interviews a scientist working for a company called TGRI, wich we learn is the company that made the ooze. After some serious meditation, Splinter calls the Turtles up to the roof and begins to tell their story, revealing to them that the cannister that held the ooze has the letters T.G.R.I on them. The Turtles then sets out to find out more of the ooze, only to find that the Foot is after the same thing. A battle ensues and the Foot disappears with the last cannister. But let me take you back a bit. The first movie ends with the Shredder defeated. The last thing we see of him, is his bladed helmet crushed in a garbage truck. So ofcourse, when I first saw the sequel, I was on pins and needles to see who the bad guy would be in it. And much to my joy, the Shredder returns, darker and angrier then ever. We get to see his shadowed face all torn up and scarred and when he speaks, his voice is all distorted. And when asked about his plans. instead of rebuilding the Foot, all he wants now is revenge on the Turtles, so he sends his remaining Foot-soldiers to recover the ooze.
And here comes the part that put my disappointment to the brink. In the cartoon, the Shredder turns some of his punk hooligans into monstruos mutations of various animals. The ones that have the biggest part of it all is Bebop and Rocksteady, a rhino and a warthog. Two of the most beloved characters of the cartoon, with their stupidity and clumpsy ways of failing in everything they do. I have laughed so hart at their endeavours over the years that I could even say that they are two of my favourite TMNT-characters of all time! And now, I’m about to see them for real, in a live-action movie. Eh… no, I wasn’t. Instead, I was treated with the infant wolf and snapping-turtle, Tokka and Rahzar. Sure, they looked badass but they don’t even hold a candle to Bebop and Rocksteady. The storyline progresses and we find our protagonists fight it out with these new mutants a few times and with the help of the scientist behind the ooze, they manage to defeat them. And here comes the part I mentioned where Keno bursts in. He knocks the big canister, that in some mysterious way is full again, out of Shredders hand and saves the day. Yeah, you would think so, but no. The Shredder shows them that he still have a small vial of the ooze and then he is literally blown out of the building by a blast from one of the giant speakers on stage. When the Turtles rushes out to look for him, he has drunk the ooze, turning him into what they call a Super Shredder. The Shredder takes his rage out on the pier and it collapses on top of him.
All and all, it was a good movie. Not as good as the first one but a lot better than the third one. If I could change a few things here and there, like Tokka and Rahzar and the fact that some of the actors have been replaced from the first one, I think it would be almost as good as the first one. Well, to the changes then. First of, James Saito is no longer the Shredder. They replaced him with Francois Chau, wich in my book is noted as a bad choice. Corey Feldman who did Donatello is out, instead we get Adam Carl and Josh Pais who voiced Raphael has been replaced by Laurie Faso. In my oppinion, when something works you should keep it that way. These new voices only work if you haven’t seen the first movie.
Another thing that really grinded my nerves was the fact that they left out Casey Jones completely. That was like a punch in the nards for a sports-fan like me (not really a sports-fan, just playing on the fact that Jones is). And the biggest fail of the movie… Why, oh dear God why did they have to place the final battle in front of a Vanilla Ice-gig? I mean come on! Can you say corny and ridiculous? I think I kinda liked it when I was a kid, but if I did, it was only the first time I saw it. When it comes to OST’s, this was the biggest mistake Hollywoods musical departments have ever done!
But enough of the movie itself, I think it’s time to talk about the characters for a bit!
We can start of with their newest allie, Keno. Ernie Reyes Jr. playes a young martial-artist working as a pizza delivery-guy.The movie starts out with him getting yet another big order to deliver from April O’Neil. Curious about something in the ally across the street from Aprils apartment, he goes to investigate, wounding up in the midst of a robbery. This is when we first get to see his skills in martial arts, and I must say, he knows what he’s doing. I always liked the addition of this character to the mythology, he brings some reality to it that wasn’t there before, just like with Casey Jones. It shows us that it’s not all about mutants and “monsters”. But he is young and impatient, wich sometimes leaves him in tough situations. As the movie progresses, we see Keno bonding with the Turtles, becoming their friend and master Splinter takes the part of his mentor aswell. Keno was only in the 2nd movie, so the chances of him being in the remake is slim to none, but either way I want to make a casting-suggestion for him. And that is the entertainer Rain (real name Jung Ji-Hoon).With his looks, acting-talent and skills in martial arts, he would be perfect for the part.
And then we have the miscreant mutants, Tokka & Rahzar, taking the beloved places of Bebop and Rocksteady. I have heard arguments for the characters, that they chose a wolf and a snapping turtle over the rhino and warthog because the originals would’ve been harder and more expensive to create. I call bullshit!! I say, that with these new additions to the mythology, they could produce a whole new line of merchandise, making a buttload of money on poor helpless children (yeah I know, I’m being pretty dramatic here but that’s ok). I as a fan, is displeased and puzzled with the way they could just cast Bebop and Rocksteady aside as garbage for a few bucks. Shame on you, whoever had the final decision on the matter!
And last but in no way the least, we have Oroku Saki, the Shredder. The baddest of the bad. As far as bad guys goes, this is by far one of the best there is. With the exception of the original cartoon ofcourse. In the first movie, he was the dark and mysterious mastermind behind the Foot, distorting the minds of teenagers with lies and deception, when all the while, his and the Turtles fates were intertwined by a shared history. Seeing him on screen was a pleasure and a thrill. But then they had to ruin it in the sequel. Ok, I know they tried to make him a little more true to the cartoon, and they accomplished it, with his now purple outfit and his sole purpose to get revenge on the Turtles. With the helmet with jagged blades instead of straight ones, they tried to make him look more fierce and dangerous (I suppose), but they only managed to make him look silly. I say, they tried To Hard! And with the Super Shredder at the end, they just made him laughable. I mean, come on.. look at him, he’s just ridiculous, with his obvious painted-on abs, his oversized spikes and his Extremely suicidal tendencies. Bad choice again, executives!
Well, I think that concludes this part of it all… Until tomorrow!
Peace out hombrés!