Picks and Pans Review: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Ii: the Secret of the Ooze
This swindle of a sequel is so dim that it looks as if it were lit by candles. Its no-name cast is padded with the director's relatives and crew members doing double duty.
The opening sequence, showing people walking around New York City eating pizza, could be a joke about the Turtles' notorious appetites but leads nowhere.
There are a couple of decent bits—one of the Turtles drinks out of a Bart Simpson glass, for instance, one fad saluting another. Never, though, does the film approach the fun of the cartoon series that made the Turtles the monster reptiles they are today.
Paige Turco plays the all-but-invisible April O'Neil; Reyes is a martial-arts expert who helps the Turtles. There are two new Turtle voices, with Laurie Faso making Raphael sound like a sneery lounge comic. Vanilla Ice appears but just gets to rap a line or two and dance a few steps.
The director is Michael (Doctor Detroit) Pressman. (His parents have small roles, so at least he has the family working.) He and writer Todd Langen mostly just alternate dull transitions and punch-outs.
Oh, yes, Splinter isn't looking nearly so mangy. Maybe something good has come out of all this: the Hair Club for Rats. (PG)