Saturday Movie Review – “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze”

The second live action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie is reviewed today. The third will also be reviewed some time before March 23, when the CGI movie hits.

Cast and Crew

Paige Turco as April O’Neil
David Warner as Professor Jordan Perry
Mark Caso and Brian Tochi as the body and voice of Leonardo.
Michelan Sisti and and Robbie Rist as the body and voice of Michelangelo
Kenn Scott and Laurie Faso as the body and voice of Raphael
Leif Tilden and Adam Carl as the body and voice of Donatello
Kevin Clash as Splinter
Ernie Reyes Jr. as Keno
Francoise Chau and David McCharen as the body and voice of Shredder
Mark Ginther as the body of Rahzar
Kurt Bryant as the body of Tokka
Frank Welker as the voices of Tokka and Rahzar
Vanilla Ice as himself

Written by Todd W. Langen
Directed by Michael Pressman

Complete information is available from this IMDB page.

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Past movie reviews can be found here.


A fresh supply of the ooze that created the Turtles is found, and a miraculously healed Shredder steals it to create his own mutated army of monsters.

High Point

The martial arts are much improved over the original.

Low Point

Everything else about this sequel is worse than the original.

The Review

If the first lacked originality, the second is worse. It’s a combination of the same villains from the first and some poor excuses for Rocksteady and Bebop (one of whom is a turtle, something I’d have avoided myself). I give it 3 out of 6.

The effects are slightly improved in the early portions of the movie by the use of more flexible turtle costumes. Sadly, the costumes for Tokka, Rahzar and the Super-Shredder introduced later in the movie are much worse. I give it 3 out of 6.

The story is weak. We get none of the character growth of the original, and significantly less logic. The banter is nicely maintained, but the sheer stupidity (How does someone with a bladed weapon get trapped in a rope net? Why would the foot reveal themselves as the thieves of the last canister?) and inconsistency (It took days for all other mutations, but Shredder mutates in seconds, as does his costume?) depicted
are a lot worse. The lack of explanation of Shredder’s survival from the original, and the presence of his completely intact helmet, blatantly contradict the original. I give it 3 out of 6.

The acting is bad. Reyes may be a good martial artist, but that’s the only skill that landed him the role. Paige Turco shows very little of the acting ability that I’ve seen in her later work (including American Gothic, The Agency, and, frankly, her commercials for Polaroid and Lactaid). The voice acting is the generally weak work that involves distinctive voices with little or no inflection. I give it 2 out of 6.

The emotional response is weak. The degradation in the assumed intelligence of the audience is a standard way to produce a substandard sequel. Even the nostalgia factor is weak; I felt so insulted watching this in theaters when it first came out, that it kept me away from the next sequel. I give it 2 out of 6.

The production is worse, with bad camera angles (favouring ceilings instead of footwork) in the TGRI battle scene, numerous weak cuts, and uninventive lighting. I give it 3 out of 6.

Overall, this is a weak sequel to a decent original. When the turnaround time between movies is only a year, and the second wasn’t started until after the first was a hit release, you know there wasn’t much time spent in development. I give it 2 out of 6.

In total, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secredt of the Ooze receives 18 out of 42.

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