Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze

PLOT:

At the beginning of the film, Turtles have been forced to live with their friend the news reporter April O’Neil because the Foot Clan know the whereabouts of their lair in the sewers. While the Turtles are looking for a new home, they encounter a pizza delivery boy named Keno, who is trying to fight off a band of robbers by means of his skill as a martial artist, whereupon the Turtles intervene on his behalf. Viewers later see that the Foot Clan, no longer as large as it was in the first film, have retreated to a large junkyard, where Master Tatsu, Shredder’s second in command, attempts to take control of the gang, but is challenged by Shredder himself. Shredder was thought to be dead, as a result of falling from a rooftop into a garbage truck’s trash compactor after a short battle with Splinter at the end of the first film. He now appears physically deformed and obsessed with obtaining revenge, to achieve which he sends a Foot member to pose as an intern at the news network and trail April.

April is shown making a report on the efforts of an industrial organization known as Techno Global Research Industries (TGRI for short) to neutralize pollutants that have resulted from their experiments. Soon after her interview of him, chief scientist Professor Jordan Perry discovers that toxic waste produced by the company has caused mutation in nearby dandelion plants, producing exponential growth. The Foot member posing as an intern informs Shredder of this, whereupon Shredder proceeds to dispatch the Foot Clan to obtain some of the waste. Splinter, seeing the report on television, shows the Turtles and April the canister of “ooze” that had caused himself and the Turtles to mutate into their present forms, revealing that it was made by the TGRI and evidently contained the same substance that triggered the overgrowth of the afore-mentioned dandelions. The Turtles infiltrate the TGRI offices to seize a sample of the ooze, only to encounter Tatsu and the Foot. Despite the Turtles’ efforts to stop them, Tatsu and the Foot escape, taking the last canister of ooze and Professor Jordan Perry with them. Shredder later instructs Perry to use the ooze to transform a snapping turtle and a wolf into monsters, creating the characters Tokka and Rahzar. Perry does this, but because Perry altered the ooze before giving it to Shredder, it does not increase the intelligence of the mutants, making them infantile in intellect. As a result, when Shredder tells them to call him “Master”, they misinterpret this and call him “Mama” instead, enraging him. He then orders Tatsu to kill them; however, when he sees a demonstration of their immense strength, he decides to use them as weapons. He releases them into city streets, where they amuse themselves by causing damage and wreaking havoc.

Raphael goes alone to pursue the Foot while the other three Turtles find a new lair in an abandoned subway station. With the assistance of Keno, the Foot headquarters located on Lairdman Island (home to the origin of the Ooze) off the coast of New York City is infiltrated, but Raphael is eventually captured by Shredder. Keno is able to inform the others, who go to save Raphael. After rescuing Raphael and Professor Perry, being themselves aided by Splinter, the Turtles are vanquished in battle by Tokka and Rahzar. Later, Professor Perry explains that the ooze was created as the result of discarded chemicals accidentally combining after being exposed to radiation in a lab accident, sending Donatello into a brief funk before Splinter assures him that he cannot judge his life on how it began, but only on what it is. Learning that Shredder intends to release Tokka and Rahzar into populated areas unless the Turtles confront them, Professor Perry and the Turtles attempt to develop an antidote to the ooze’s effects. After creating a successful formula, they trick their enemies into ingesting it by hiding it in doughnuts and appealing to Tokka and Rahzar’s hunger. Tokka and Rahzar eat some, but soon discover the antidote and become enraged.

The Turtles find themselves confronting the Shredder’s mutants at a nightclub, in full view of every guest and performer. To appease the initial panic, the club’s singer Vanilla Ice improvises a rap song whose refrain is “Go Ninja, Go Ninja, Go!”, which is then sung as background music to the fights taking place in the club. Acting on Perry’s advice, the Turtles use fire extinguishers to stimulate a swift activation of the antidote by spraying carbon dioxide into their enemies’ throats, accelerating the anti-mutagenic process. The mutation is reversed, reducing the two monsters to their natural forms. The Shredder then arrives at the club and menaces all who are present. To defeat him, the Turtles use a sound amplifier to magnify a single noise produced by a musical instrument, resulting in a powerful sound-wave that throws the Shredder out of the club and into the area among the docks below.

Here, Shredder uses a vial of ooze to become a superior form of himself, extemporaneously called Super-Shredder. While fighting underneath a pier, the Super-Shredder, desperate to destroy the Turtles and heedless of all else- his simple speech pattern of various grunts suggests that his intellect has been reduced as well-, wrecks the structure, bringing it down on himself. The Turtles escape by utilizing their amphibious nature. Then, they note Shredder’s hand emerges from the wreckage, but moments later falls down, indicating that he has died.

The Turtles return to their new lair, where Splinter asks whether they were seen. They deny it (insisting that they practice “the art of invisiblity”), until Splinter displays a newspaper having a front-page picture of them, taken at the nightclub where they fought Tokka and Rahzar. Splinter advises them to practice harder, then orders them to perform ten flips each, reminding them with the line “Go Ninja, Go Ninja, Go!”. The screen freezes as they begin the first flip, whereupon Splinter is heard shouting “I made another funny! Ha ha ha ha!”, implying that either he made up the newspaper story, or that the “funny” that Splinter made was merely stating the phrase “Go Ninja, Go Ninja, Go!”. the “I made another funny” statement is implying he was there too and was not seen but the turtles were.

REVIEW:

I remember when this film came out. Vanilla Ice and the turtles were two of the hottest things around, along with The Simpsons and Married…with Children. My how things have changed since then.

Sequels are meant to me as good, if not better, than the original. Teenage Mutant Ninja turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze is about equal with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. There are moments n both films that are superior to the other, as well as moments that are inferior.

THe most glaring thing, good or bad, for me are Tokka and Razhar. First of all, these two are obviously meant to be Bebop and Rocksteady, so why couldn’t they have just used Bebop and Rocksteady. Second, they look cheap. It’s not like the turtles look state of the art or anything, but these two looked like they were recycled from Chuck E. Cheese or something. On top of that, why were they babies? Everytime I watch this, I wonder that very thing.

Similar to the previous film, the Shredder is once again a skinny wimp looking man whose helmet probably weighs more than he does. You’d think they’d have found a better actor for this. Geez, they could have used the guy that was Tatsu. They also don’t really explain how he survives being crushed by a garbage truck in the previous film.

I will say that Kevin Nash as the Super Shredder is more of the Shredder I expect. A big, imposing guy.

Apparently, the filmmakers felt the need to tone down the violence, so the turtles don’t really use their weapons. This is a joke. It’s not like they go around slicing heads off or anything. Nothing wrong with using good, old-fashioned karate and instincts, or whatever, but they have the weapons for a reason.

Paige Turco takes over as April O’Neil, and I must say she is not only prettier, but more convincing as April. I do wonder what happened to Casey Jones, though.

I don’t really have any problem with the plot. It is a nice story that keeps the audience’s interest. The action is similar to the first, a bit cartoony, but expected.

At times the turtles’ quips were a bit much, but nothing that I can’t look past.

As a lifelong turtles fan, I’m either going to love or hate this film, regardless of how good or bad it is. Having said that, I looked at this with unbiased eyes and found that it really is a good, entertaining film. If you like the turtles, you get a bit more of the cartoony aspects of them in this one, as opposed to the comic lore in the first film. I didn’t really understand the need for Keno, other than they just HAD to have another human around besides April, and the fact that he knows martial arts, lets him replace Casey Jones as well that Danny kid from the last film.

So, the big question is…should you take the time to watch this? Well, it’s a good action comedy. If you’re looking for a violent, profanity-laden, mushy type flick, then this isn’t for you, but if you’re in the mood for a family friendly action film, I strongly recommend Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze. 

4 out of 5 stars

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3 Responses to “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze”

  1. Great review, love this film! Thanks 🙂

  2. […] I alluded to the effects earlier, but let me go a little more in-depth on them right now. We’ve all seen some bad special effects and some out of this world ones, as well. The effects here tend to lean more toward the former, but not to the level of SyFy horridness. While this film had to have been on a shoestring budget, they did seem to at least be trying. The worst of it all was the werewolves, though. They looked like Rahzar from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: Secret of the Ooze. […]

  3. […] for me. Basically, this new Shredder seems to be a shiny upgraded version of Super Shredder from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: Secret of the Ooze, and not in a good […]

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