The movie picks up right where the last one ended. Shredder is in jail, the turtles had saved the day but they still have to hide from the public. The movie kicks with the Turtles watching a Knicks' game from the rafters while April (played again by Megan Fox) is investigating Baxter Stockman (Tyler Perry) and his involvement with Shredder. Sure enough Stockman is working with the Foot Clan to break Shredder from prison. During a prisoner transfer they attack the transport driven by Casey Jones (Stephen Amell) in an effort to free Shredder.
Shredder is also joined by Bebop (Gary Anthony Williams) and Rocksteady (Stephen "Sheamus" Farrelly) who are prisoners that also just happen to be in the transport. The Turtles show up as well driving a garbage truck and a battle ensues. Just when it seems like the Turtles have things under control Stockman uses a teleportation device to get Shredder out of custody. Instead of being sent to Stockman's location, Shredder is instead taken to Dimension X and meets Commander Krang (Voiced by Brad Garrett) who lays out his plan of world domination. This plan includes sending the Technodrome through a portal to Earth.
To deal with the turtle problem Shredder is given a purple ooze (a nod to the second TMNT movie) to use to create super soldiers. This leads to Shredder turning Bebop and Rocksteady into mutants. From there its a race against time as the Turtles try to figure out Shredder's plan and to stop it culminating in an action packed climax with the showdown between the Turtles and Krang.
The movie nails everything that it needs to. Again the Turtles all feel like they have different personalities and are defined by more than just their title and that they like pizza. They nailed Bebop and Rocksteady as well as Krang. While he is definitely more cartoonish than Shredder in the first movie, Krang actually feels threatening. This is something that is handled better than the cartoon where both Shredder and Krang felt more like doofuses than actual real threats to the turtles and to the world. The action and fight scenes are all choreographed well and always clearly seen. Some of the larger action scenes (like when they have to jump out of a plane and onto another one) are a lot of fun.
Fun is pretty much the best way to describe this movie. Especially for fans who grew up with the original movies and the cartoon show. There's so many little throwbacks and easter eggs in the movie to entice these older watchers. While they don't always feel clever and most are fairly obvious, they never feel forced. It never feels like the movie is trying to rub your face in these references, it feels satisfying when you notice them. For instance in one scene where Casey Jones is tracking down Bebop and Rocksteady he heads to a shady bar, sure enough playing on the jukebox is Vanilla Ice a nice reference again to TMNT2 where Vanilla Ice performed the Ninja Rap during the conclusion of the movie.
Many of the first movies issues carry over into this movie, while thankfully some are toned down. The movie still relies on using Megan Fox as a sex object. The first few scenes show her changing into a skimpy school girl outfit in order to get close to a guy she's trying to track. However even with that many of the sexual advances from Mikey (which were just downright creepy even for a teen) and Vern (Will Arnett) are toned down from the first. There's also much less of them this time around. They're still there but no where near as egregious as they are in the first one. The quality of the CGI also leaves a lot to be desired. However these flaws are easy to overlook.
At the end of the day Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out Of The Shadows absolutely nails the two most important things. It's entertaining as hell and it does justice to the source material. It's a movie that's fun to watch regardless if you're a young fan, old fan, new fan, or even if you've never heard of the franchise. It also treats the turtles with respect and emphasizes their best attributes. It's not a deep intellectual journey or dark and mature, but that's good because it doesn't need to be. If you're looking for an "adult" movie you're looking at the wrong movie and that's really too bad because if you relax and embrace your inner child this movie is fun, something that's missing from a lot of comic book movies these days.