Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Secret of the Ooze – Rewind
Here we are in 2016 and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 sits atop the box office. The original Ninja Turtles film was released back in 1990 and I couldn’t tell you a thing about it. Oh I definitely saw it, and I adored the cartoon (which I knew as Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles because the word ninja, along with any scene involving nunchucks, was censored) but I can’t remember a thing about it. I’ll assume it was 2-hour PSA on ethical nunchuck use because I’m skipping it. A new era of turtle sequel rules the screen with rippling CGI muscles and sculpted turtle posteriors, so I’m returning to the original turtles two where they were hideous rubber monstrosities from the darkest trenches of Lovecraft’s nightmares. I’m watching Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Secret of the Ooze.
We open on a sweep of New York where everyone from police, cabbies and brides are eating pizza. I’ll assume this is because the Turtles wiped out the world’s food stores in the first film in their terrorism campaign against the pink-skinned oppressors. While on a vital supply run, a pizza delivery boy named Keno stumbles in on a bunch of dudes robbing a store. The jokes on them though because Keno is a black belt in terrible stunt choreography and fights back. Eventually the Turtles show up and quip their way through a goofy battle. It’s here I was reminded that they all speak like Sonic the Hedgehog with a brain haemorrhage, communicating solely through puns and slang that old people probably thought all the kids were saying. The notable exception being Raphael who speaks like he’s trying to sell you a stolen watch on the streets of Brooklyn.
Later the stupid pizza kid (who was actually one of the Surf Ninjas and will be referred to as such henceforth) just kind of forces himself into April’s house where the Turtles and Master Splinter are mooching. Splinter in this film looks like a giant Rizzo the Rat and the way he moves gives me serious Muppet vibes. He probably got lost when the Muppets took Manhattan.
Elsewhere Shredder wakes up in a dump, which is likely where he assembled his costume. It looks like his mom made it for him for Halloween. He meets up with what remains of the foot clan and a guy whose lines are really badly dubbed over by someone who is clearly not him and decides the best way to fight terrifying puppet monsters is with even uglier puppet monsters. In an affront to god he steals the juice that created the turtles (which is just lying around in some laboratory) and creates lobotomised versions of Beast Man and Bowser.
Surf Ninja wants to help fight Thrift-shop Shredder by infiltrating the Foot Clan who are just holding open tryouts. Muppet Splinter ain’t having it but Raphael and the kid join forces because Raphael is rebellious and he has not distinguishing traits aside from that and his accent. Surf Ninja meets with a bunch of greasers who don’t notice the giant green guy sitting behind a car and just bring him to the secret ninja training warehouse down the road.
Turns out secret ninja training involves spinning around really hard, pretending to hit other people and being COMPLETELY OBLIVIOUS TO THE F*CKING TURTLE GUY WHO IS RIGHT BEHIND THAT CRATE! Surf Ninja beats all the other greasers up and is brought to ninja headquarters, which is a bunch of guys in morph suits walking around a dump. Of course they get caught but Raphael’s puns are not powerful enough for him to escape, finally being defeated when the hundreds of ninjas decide to jump on him all at once. Or more like just kind of fall onto him while he lies down.
Surf Ninja gets away and comes back with the Turtles, who all promptly get trapped in a big net. Shredder threatens to drop them onto a bunch of random spiky shit he found lying around the dump, but they escape, get beaten up by Shredder’s puppet monsters and flee. And I wonder how much longer is left it this stupid film. Can’t you just fight Shredder now?
Well my wishes are answered when Shredder sets his mutants on the town and threatens that he’ll tear stuff up to the extent that the PG rating will allow him. The Turtles of course show up and are ready to throw down. Our heroic reptiles fight for a bit against Shredder’s monsters before Raphael is tossed into a warehouse rave that is going on next door, and we finally get to the only part about this move I remembered going in.
There he is, jiving on stage to the funkiest of beats. His flat top a lighthouse to my happiness. His shirt sparkles as if made from mithril. The other fools in the club believe the Turtles are merely men in costumes, but he knows that he must play the bard and inspire the warriors with yarns of heroes from ancient times. This is Vanilla Ice singing the Ninja Rap.
Presumably he received divine inspiration and came up with this instant hit on the spot because the lyrics are very particular to the Turtle’s situation. As Vanilla pelvic thrusts his way through the song, repeating the same verse several times while he tries to think of a new one, the Turtles finally defeat Tokka and Rahzor by suffocating them with fire extinguishers. Yeah they’re probably dead.
The ninjas dance for a bit on stage with Vanilla to get some clips for the music video and then Mr. Ice must be on his way, but moments after he walks off stage, Shredder emerges from behind a stereo. Now either Shredder was just standing there the entire time because he was enjoying the Ninja Rap so much and didn’t want to interrupt, or Shredder is Vanilla Ice. I’ll assume in the first film that Ice was the original Shredder’s apprentice and has taken upon his master’s mantle to take vengeance on those who murdered him. This would also explain how he had so much knowledge about the Turtles, he likely had this rap classic prepared for months.
Some antics involving Surf Ninja and an amp take place which cause Shredder to literally explode and fly through the window. The Turtles follow him outside to a dock and discover Shredder Ice is now Shredded Ice because he’s drank the last vial of Ooze (didn’t they say there was none of that left?). Anyway this Super Shredder doesn’t last long, he brings the whole docks down on top of himself and the Turtles just jump in the water. That’s it. Shredder Ice is dead, defeated by roid rage.
Well I’m glad that’s over. It’s stupid fun from Vanilla Ice onwards but that’s only the last 15 minutes of the film, and everything before that is just brain-meltingly boring. The Turtles grate, the cuts and transitions are janky, Surf Ninja can neither act nor is he a surfing ninja so I want him to go away and it looks like they spent all their budget on Vanilla Ice so Shredder has to wear whatever was lying around the set. Whatever it’s a kids’ movie and it gave us the Ninja Rap, so perhaps it can be forgiven for its sins.
What I’ll leave you with is when the most recent Turtles film exhumed whatever remains of Ice and reunited him with his former enemies for the premiere.