Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze

Synopsis: The Turtles are up to their shells in trouble when a canister of toxic ooze falls into the hands of the evil Master Shredder. Aided by their new pal Keno, the pizza deliver boy, the Turtles take on Shredder and his mutant allies, Rahzar and Tokka, to capture and destroy the dangerous ooze and make the world safe again for Turtles, humans and pizza!
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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze 7.0

I am thoroughly surprised by my enjoyment of this film. I barely recall watching this many years ago (I only saw it once, and on VHS tape!) but my recollection was that it wasn’t all that great. AND that the third one was even worse – that it stunk to high Heaven.

But I rather enjoyed this second outing by the TMNT.

Sure, it’s more juvenile and corny than the first one, as though they were trying to cater to a younger audience this time around, but the acting was largely superior (not that this is hard to beat). Having said this, I was less impressed with the animatronic heads on the TMNT – they seemed less expressive (but not by much).

The story is nothing tremendous, but it has a environmental message (which I believe was trendy for a split second then, what with Captain Planet and all jazz) and it flows relatively well. Here we discover the origin of the TMNT and their master Splinter, borne of a chemical mishap that is related to a huge corporation that is currently trying to clean up its mess before the authorities catch wind.

Of course, Shredder comes back and tries to take advantage of this information by stealing some of the chemical ooze and creating his own mutants to fight off the TMNT.

As you can imagine, there’s a lot of conflict resulting in martial art action. It wouldn’t be the TMNT without it – they are supposed to be ninjas, after all. The action, however, is a bit dumbed down in relation to the first one, in that they try to inject humour in the scenes and things are resolved in a less credible fashion.

But it’s okay. It still works in its own way.

The only thing that was a true letdown was the ending, which gave the impression of a slowly deflating balloon; it was anti-climactic to say the least. Having said this, I recognize and commend the efforts that were made to do something a bit different than “TMNT vs. villain, TMNT win out of skill and cleverness (or luck)”. Sure, it fizzled out, but at least it wasn’t clichéd. Mind you, I’m not sure which is better, frankly…

Anyway, all this to say that it’s not as serious as the original, but it’s equally fun. Anyone who liked the original should be able to enjoy this one too. Of course, if one couldn’t enjoy the original, then it goes without saying that staying clear of this one is of prime order – even if they unveil the secret of the ooze.

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