Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze (1991)


Dave’s 3-Word Review:
Theoretically stronger plot.

Sequels have been around forever, and most of the time, I have to wonder why. Some are fantastic, but for the most part, a lot of them are horrible. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze isn’t wrenchingly bad, but I found it overwhelmingly easy to distract myself while watching…which wasn’t a good sign. What’s more, I didn’t care how it would end – and I think the main reason was because it didn’t go the direction I specifically wanted it to go. Then again, it came out in 1991, and back then, I hardly think anyone had any real expectations from a TMNT film…so…there’s that.

In the second film of the franchise, it more or less takes place immediately after the first film – which in itself is pretty cool for a kids movie in the early ‘90s. Shredder is recovering from his defeat and is out for revenge. When the Ninja Turtles discover canisters of the “ooze” that created them, it’s a race to find the ooze before it gets in the wrong hands, as Shredder wants to use the ooze to create his own army of super mutant animal monster things.

When this movie began, I was looking forward to it, and I’ll tell you why. There is this random kid who discovers the turtles – his name was Keno. This kid studied martial arts, and as God as my witness, he was the best fighter of both movies combined. The one thing I loved about Power Rangers growing up was that I believed the fighting was great when the rangers fought out of costume. The costumed fighting in either Power Rangers or TMNT is fine, but I’m sure those outfits are really hot and it’s hard to see what they are doing in, so it makes sense why Keno was the best fighter – so I wanted to see more of that…and I didn’t. He was a side character who wasn’t utilized like he should have been. They wanted to pull focus on the wise-cracking turtles, so that’s what they did.

It’s not like the Turtles are bad at cracking jokes, but their jokes won’t exactly impress any adults watching, and neither will their fighting. It’s simply okay. In 1991, it all worked for kids, and that’s fine, but nowadays it’s just…lame. Kids won’t want to watch this – the only people willing to see it are the adults looking for nostalgia. That’s it.

Now, the plot of the film is, in my opinion, better than the first movie for the most part. That’s because the first movie just followed a basic, traditional story structure. It wasn’t incredibly unique because they wanted to have a stronger focus on the characters – especially the turtles. In the second movie, the plot wasn’t exactly a masterpiece, but it did feel more unique. It made the turtles question their origins, and it had a pretty solid state of urgency that I don’t think the first one had. I think the execution of the story was even more corny and cartoony than the first, but it is the Ninja Turtles.

That being said, when I compare the two movies together, I’d have to say the first one is better in general. There may have been better fighting in this movie, as well as a better story, but as far as importance goes…you can’t beat the first movie. I also know that I kept better attention with the first than the second, so overall…the second isn’t that great.

The Good:

Like I said, The Secret of the Ooze has better fight choreography as well as a better plot and concept. Those with nostalgia can still find a good amount here.

The Bad:

In a word, the movie was boring. No matter how many advantages this film had over the first, the first is still more important and easy to stay focused on while in general – you just won’t care about this one.

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