Story

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows follows on from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014). That movie ends with the evil villain Shredder in prison after the Turtles defeat him. In this new movie, the Turtles – Michelangelo (Noel Fisher), Donatello (Jeremy Howard), Leonardo (Peter Plaszek), and Raphael (Alan Ritchson) – are still hiding out in the shadows of the city’s underground sewer system. They stay out of sight by day while doing vigilante work by night and keeping their friend April O’Neil (Megan Fox) out of harm’s way.

Although Shredder (Brian Tee) is still in prison, April has discovered that scientist Baxter Stockman (Tyler Perry) has been secretly working for Shredder. Stockman plans to help Shredder escape during Shredder’s transfer to a new prison. April tells the Turtles about these plans but, even with the help of newcomer Casey Jones (Stephen Amell), they can’t stop Shredder when he uses a teleportation device to get away.

The teleportation device doesn’t work exactly as planned and transports Shredder to another dimension. Here an alien supervillain named Krang (voice of Brad Garrett) convinces Shredder to make a teleportation device on Earth. The device will allow Krang to bring an alien weapon to Earth so that Krang and Shredder can rule the world.

It’s up to the Turtles, April and Casey to stop Krang from building his device and destroying the planet.

Themes

Superheroes; mutants; alternate realities; weapons of mass destruction

Violence

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows has action violence throughout, much of which has a comic book feel. There are many scenes of stylised fighting that show characters punching and kicking each other in the head, chest and body. But the movie shows very few realistic consequences of the violence. For example, there is no death, injury, blood and gore.

Examples of violence in this movie include the following:

  • A chained prisoner walks towards a dozen policemen holding automatic rifles.
  • Evil ninjas on motorbikes and in cars chase a prison van surrounded by several police cars. Explosives attached to the van are detonated. There are loud explosions and police cars fly out of control and crash into each other. The ninjas use a blow torch to cut through the roof of the prison van. The Turtles arrive, driving a modified rubbish truck with flames shooting out of the exhaust pipes. The rubbish truck shoots manhole covers at the ninjas. Two large robotic arms attached to its sides act as battering rams, knocking ninjas from their bikes. A bomb explodes underneath the rubbish truck, causing fire and smoke but little damage. A Turtle jumps from the rubbish truck, somersaults along the road and jumps onto the front of a speeding ninja’s bike. He headbutts the rider and knocks him from his bike. Eventually the evil ninjas stop the prison van, overpower the driver and stomp on the head of the guard. The scene shows no death, injury or blood and gore.
  • An alien creature that looks like a head covered in tentacles is attached to the stomach of a giant robot. The creature uses its tentacles to strike a man in the head, leaving him covered in slime.
  • A man throws glasses at mirrors and bottles in a bar, causing damage and destruction until the bar owner agrees to tell him what he wants to know. 
  • An off-duty police officer sees a woman surrounded by a gang of evil ninjas. He takes a hockey stick from the boot of his car and dons a hockey mask. He hits the ninjas with his stick and fires pucks at their heads, as well as punching and kicking them. The ninjas throw star weapons at their masked attacker. One star embeds itself in the man’s hockey mask. The scene shows no death, injury or blood and gore.
  • Ninjas attack a police station, punching and kicking police officers in the face and body. They left off sonic grenades, which make the police officers cover their ears and groan in pain. The Turtles crash through the ceiling of the police station and attack the ninjas. Police officers surround and point their weapons at the Turtles.
  • There is mass destruction when a teleportation machine opens a portal to another dimension and giant pieces of a war machine come floating through. The giant pieces of machinery fly through the city and crash into the sides of skyscrapers. Large sections of the buildings crash down into city streets and on to cars. There are huge traffic collisions and general chaos.
  • One of the most intense and violent scenes involves the Turtles fighting a large robot. The Turtles jump onto the robot, which has an arm with a large cutting weapon. A Turtle uses a sword to cut off the robot’s hand. A large cannon comes out of the robot’s chest and fires a beam of energy at the Turtles. The robot is speared through the back of its head and short-circuits. It’s sucked into a dimensional vortex and disappears.
  • A mutant warthog and rhino are trapped inside a shipping container. Someone throws a grenade into the container. There’s a loud explosion and the sides of the container expand. The mutants aren’t hurt.

Content that may disturb children

Under 8
In addition to the violent scenes mentioned above, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows has some scenes that could scare or disturb children under eight years. For example:

  • There’s a Halloween parade with giant skeleton puppets and people wearing scary Halloween costumes.
  • Several scenes show an alien supervillain who looks like a slimy pink brain with a face on the front. The face has a mouth full of small, sharp, pointy teeth. Pink slime drips from the creature’s mouth, and its head is covered with slimy pink tentacles that act as its arms and hands. The alien head is attached to the stomach of a giant robot.
  • A man shoots a dart into the necks of two men. The dart contains a mutagen. The men start to transform immediately, taking on animal-like characteristics. The men seem to enjoy the transformation, but young children might find it scary. A later scene shows the men eating worms from a barrel.
  • Some scenes show devices that send out electrical charges like lightning.
  • A portal opening from another dimension looks like a mass of dark swirling storm clouds. The portal opens with the sound of thunder crashing.
  • A villain is frozen solid, encased in shards of ice.

From 8-13
Children in this group might also be scared by some of the scenes mentioned above.

Over 13
Younger children in this age group might also be scared by some of the scenes mentioned above.

Sexual references

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows has occasional low-level sexual innuendo. For example:

  • After flirting with a man, a woman says that she has a boyfriend and she walks away. The man says, ‘You have a boyfriend? Of course you do’. 
  • A man and woman flirt mildly. The man asks the woman out on a date.
  • A Turtle says to a man and a woman, ‘Are you two a thing?’
  • After their transformation into mutants, the rhino and warthog look at their groin areas and high-five each other.

Alcohol, drugs and other substances

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows shows some use of substances. For example:

  • Characters drink alcohol in restaurants and bars and at a cocktail party.
  • A man shoots a dart into the necks of two men. The dart contains a mutagen.

Nudity and sexual activity

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows has some nudity and sexual activity. For example:

  • A mutant warthog proudly displays his large, clothed buttocks in front of the camera.
  • April dresses in a ‘sexy schoolgirl’ outfit, which includes a tiny miniskirt, a bare midriff, some cleavage, long black stockings and high-heeled shoes. She walks up to a man and starts to flirt with him, rubbing her hands over his shoulders.
  • Women wear tight-fitting and revealing clothes.

Product placement

The following products are displayed or used in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows: iPhones, tablets and some soft drinks. Also, merchandise associated with this movie is being marketed to young children.

Coarse language

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows has some low-level coarse language and name-calling that children might copy. There’s also toilet humour, including flatulence and nose-picking.

Ideas to discuss with your children

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows is the latest fantasy action adventure featuring the popular Turtle quartet. It’s best suited to teenage and adult fans of the series, but it’s likely to attract younger children who like the associated toys.

This movie isn’t recommended for children under 13 years. Also, we recommend parental guidance for children aged 13-15 years. The movie has very frequent violence and scary scenes and characters. Because of its violence, it was originally classified M by the Australian Classification Board. Following an appeal, the Classification Review Board decided that the movie should be classified PG.

The positive messages in this movie are about teamwork and acceptance of diversity.

Unfortunately, the movie’s constant use of violence without realistic consequences gives a very mixed message about violence as a solution to problems. You could talk about this with your children.