Features Live Action Movies

Teenage Mutant
Ninja Turtles II
The Secret
Of The Ooze

Director – Michael Pressman – 1991 – US – Cert. PG – 88m


With the criminal youth cult The Foot in disarray, its leader The Shredder (Francois Chau) emerges from a pile of garbage in a rubbish dump to lead the organisation’s remnant against their hated enemies, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Elsewhere in the city, TV reporter April (Paige Turco) is investigating the activities of the Techno Cosmic Research Institute (TCRI) through an interview with Professor Jordon Perry (David Warner), who is concerned with burying canisters containing the toxic waste product.

Off camera, and unbeknown to April, giant flowers are sprouting from a leak of the chemical (which also caused the original mutation of the Turtles and their giant rat master, Splinter, played by Kevin Clash). The Shredder captures Professor Perry and mutates some more creatures for the express purpose of pitting them against the Turtles.

Like its predecessor, this sequel is a film designed primarily to cash in on a children’s craze. Here, at least two of the actors playing the Turtles have changed, as has the actress playing their reporter friend April. The animatronics work once again reaches the high standard one would have expected from the late Jim Henson’s Creature Shop.

This time round, though, the plot is much more coherent, and the four Turtles rather better characterised. Raphael gets all the best lines, including one memorable goodbye to April where he recites Humphrey Bogart’s final parting speech to Ingrid Bergman in Casablanca (). David Warner makes the proceedings more watchable as he adds yet another Promethean figure to his ongoing career gallery of hapless dabblers and mad scientists.

Also on the plus side, Splinter is featured more prominently, meditating and offering words of ninja wisdom (as is his wont) when required.

Still, the sequel lacks the occasional compelling moments scattered throughout the first film, and the ‘Turtle Rap’, sung during the overlong climactic fight scene in a disco, is every bit as dire as it sounds.

Review originally written for Film And Video – The Magazine in 1991.


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