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Film / Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze

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Go ninja go ninja go!

"Ten flips now...and remember... go ninja go ninja go!"
Splinter
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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze is the 1991 sequel to the original Ninja Turtles film. The Foot Clan is back, and back at the helm is Shredder, thought dead by practically everyone. Scarred from his dive into a trash compactor, he is out for revenge. Their numbers may be diminished, but they have something to even the odds. Taking a sample of the waste that birthed the Ninja Turtles from the TGRI laboratory, the Foot has two deadly enforcers in the form of Tokka and Rahzar, a mutated snapping turtle and wolf.

Can the Turtles finally stop the Foot once and for all, or will Tokka and Rahzar's strength be too much?

While it was still a money maker, it garnered some criticism from fans of the first film for toning down the violence and adult themes, and although Jim Henson's Creature Shop still worked on the movie, the costumes and animatronics were considered a little inferior, supposedly toning down the gritty detail to avoid scaring children (they still looked just fine, though). Generally considered more like the goofy cartoon than like the edgy comic, the best example of this being Shredder, who went from being a badass to still a bit of a badass but a little more bumbling. Despite these criticisms, it is still considered a guilty pleasure.

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This movie was also notable for the one-time character Keno—played by Ernie Reyes, Jr.—a martial artist/pizza delivery boy who provided some assistance for the turtles after they saved his hide from a group of muggers. He disappeared from the rest of the movies. Tokka and Rahzar were original characters made for the movie as well, but this would not be the last we would see of them. The mutant duo would appear later in an episode of the original cartoon, the video games Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time and The Manhattan Project, as well as the Intercontinuity Crossover movie Turtles Forever.

Infamous for the appearance of rapper Vanilla Ice, who (in the context of the movie; it was presumably written ahead of time) came up with a rap almost instantaneously when the fight between the turtles and Tokka and Rahzar wound up at his gig at a club. It also featured pro wrestler Kevin Nash as Super Shredder, the monster that Shredder turns into after drinking the last vial of the ooze.

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Also the only Ninja Turtles movie made prior to the 2014 reboot to not feature Casey Jones. At all.


This film provide examples of:

  • Agony of the Feet: When Keno enters April's apartment, he blows the Turtles' cover by purposefully stepping on Raphael's foot.
  • All Part of the Show: The crowd in the club thinks the fight between the turtles and the mutants is something Vanilla Ice came up with.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: Invoked by Tatsu. With Shredder gone, he intends to lead the Foot and offers any challenger a chance to beat him and take his place. Quickly averted when Shredder returns and reclaims his position as master of the clan without even having to fight.
  • Behind the Black: Probably the only way Shredder could hide from Raphael before making his dramatic reveal to him.
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • Splinter fires his arrow at the rope to the construction crane holding Leonardo, Michaelangelo and Donatello to rescue them from certain death in the junkyard.
    • Keno kicks away the Ooze canister from Shredder's hand so that Perry can retrieve it.
  • Book-Ends: At the beginning, Shredder's first appearance is his hand rising out of the garbage heap, indicating that he's still alive. At the end, after he gets crushed by a pier, his hand once again rises out of the rubble, only to collapse, indicating that he's finally gone for good.
  • Canon Foreigner: Tokka, Rahzar, and Keno.
  • Canon Immigrant: Tokka and Rahzar made their way into other TMNT continuities.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: For whatever reason Casey is absent in the second film. Dialogue and deleted materials from the third suggest that he moved away from New York for awhile and only recently returned.
  • The Comically Serious: Similar to the ending of the first film, Splinter scolds the turtles over revealing themselves, ending his "Ten flips, now!" command with a "Go ninja, go ninja, go!" As soon as they started to flip, Splinter went "I MADE ANOTHER FUNNY! HAHAHAHAHA!"
  • Creator Cameo: Michael Pressman, the director, has a brief scene as April's boss at the news station.
  • Crowd Hockey: The Turtles try their best to keep a canister of mutagen from falling into Foot hands by playing a game of football.
  • Dedication: Ninja Turtles II was dedicated to Jim Henson.
  • Double Take: Not just a double take, but a triple take when Keno first sees the Turtles in the background.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Super-Shredder, who re-emerges from the waters after drinking the entire canister of ooze in his possession in a desperate attempt to kill the turtles once and for all. Not only did he Took a Level in Badass, but he also Took a Level in Dumbass—focused only on his targets, he unceremoniously causes the docks to collapse on him by recklessly hitting their foundations while the turtles just barely escape the destruction.
  • Dumb Muscle: Tokka and Rahzar. When he's kidnapped and forced by Shredder to mutate the two animals, TGRI Professor Jordan Perry alters the mutagen a little so that their intelligence would not increase. As such, when Shredder demands they call him "master," they misinterpret the word as "mama" and hug the bejesus out of him.
  • Expy: Tokka and Rahzar are original creatures, standing in for Bebop and Rocksteady from the '87 series. Originally, they were supposed to be them, but were changed.
  • Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: When they discover that the Shredder plans to turn Tokka and Rahzar loose in Central Park unless the Turtles agree to fight them again, Donnie asks, "How are they gonna avoid all those people?" It's only after he says this that he realizes that Tokka and Rahzar aren't going to avoid the people.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: While in the junkyard rescuing Raphael, Leonardo explains that the Foot will spring a trap for them soon. A few seconds later, they get trapped in a net.
  • Heroic BSoD: Donatello, Leonardo, and Raphael go through a collective one when they realize that the Turtles' mutation from the ooze was caused by accident.
  • Highly Visible Ninja: At the end of the movie, which involved the Turtles fighting (and dancing) in a nightclub, in full view of an entire crowd of people, Splinter asks them if they were seen by anybody upon their return home.
    Leonardo: Of course not, Master Splinter.
    Donatello: We practiced ninja.
    Michelangelo: The art of invisibility.
    * Splinter holds up a newspaper with a picture of them on the front cover*
    Splinter: Practice harder.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Happens to the Shredder again when he uses the last vial of Ooze to transform into the Super Shredder. It ends up doing him in when the transformation robs him of any sense of reason and he brings the docks down on his own head in an effort to kill the Turtles.
  • Improbable Weapon User: All of the Turtles. They don't use their weapons to attack a single time the whole film, using nothing but improvised weapons: sausage links, yo-yos... you name it.
  • Irony: April picks up all the stuff left around the apartment by the turtles, and mutters, "The rat is the cleanest one."
  • It's Quiet... Too Quiet:
    Donatello: The perimeter's quiet.
    Leonardo: Yeah, a little too quiet.
    Michelangelo: Come on. (Don takes out two henchmen)
    Donatello: Well, that was easy.
    Leonardo: Yeah, a little too easy. (Raph is tied to a post)
    Donatello: Look, it's Raph!
    Michelangelo: Yeah, a little too Raph. (Mikey gets smacked for being a wiseass)
  • I Warned You: When Donatello and Michaelangelo try giving Tokka and Rahzar donuts containing the mutagen cubes, Raphael tells Leonardo the plan won't work. Leonardo doesn't listen and tells Raphael they will eat anything. Minutes later, when Rahzar crushes the donut to reveal the cubes, Raphael tells Leonardo "I told you it wasn't gonna work."
  • Just Eat Gilligan: When the Shredder has trapped the Turtles in a rope net and is preparing to drop them onto a bunch of sharp objects, the Turtles just panic until Splinter frees them instead of Leonardo using his katana swords to cut the ropes.
  • Killed Off for Real: After surviving the previous film being crushed and sent to a landfill, Shredder dies after trying to take down the Turtles with him in the docks.
  • Last Grasp at Life: Shredder begins the film by reaching his hand out from a pile of garbage. At the end he thrusts his hand out from the ruins of the dock that had just fallen on top of him, only to die.
  • Lighter and Softer: Mostly because of the Moral Guardians.
  • MacGuffin Melee: The battle in the TGRI labs between the Turtles and the Foot over a can of Mutagen.
  • Magic Pants: Shredder's outfit (cape and all) grows with him when he becomes Super Shredder.
    • Which crosses over into Body Horror when you realize that thanks to the ooze his costume is now a part of him.
  • Non-Indicative Title: The titular "secret of the ooze" is that there is no secret to the ooze.
  • No One Could Survive That!: Early on, Raphael doubts that Shredder could have survived his "half-gainer right into the back of a garbage truck." At the climax, after Super Shredder brings down the pier on all of them, Raphael says this out loud when he sees the hand rise from the wreckage. This is then subverted when Shredder's hand falls limp.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Keno, after beating up three thugs for robbing the stores, only for a lot more to show up (luckily for him the Turtles show up).
    Keno: (still in his martial arts stance) Help?
    [They come at him]
    Thug: You're gonna need it, kid.
    • Donatello in the TGRI laboratory when a Foot Clan member knocks the Ooze canister out of his hand.
    • Raph, when the Shredder appears in front of him, after insulting Tatsu.
    Raph: You know pal, if I had a face like yours, I try to make it up for with some sort of a personality. Ha ha ha! [Shredder steps out between him and Tatsu] Shredder!
    • Donatello, Michelangelo and Leonardo when they fall victim to the Foot's trap in the junkyard.
    • The turtles when they see Tokka and Rahzar for the first time.
    • Donatello when Tokka throws him into the house where Perry was captured.
    • The turtles when they encounter the Foot again and later when they realize that their donut plan didn't work.
    • Shredder when Donatello and Michaelangelo use an amplifier to blast him out of the nightclub.
    • The turtles again when they encounter Super Shredder at the docks.
  • One-Winged Angel: Super Shredder.
    • Clipped-Wing Angel: While he hulked out immensely, he became little more than a rampaging beast and ended up doing himself in.
  • Ornamental Weapon: Due to parental complaints , the Turtles don't use their weapons whatsoever despite still carrying them everywhere and constantly finding themselves in dangerous situations.
  • Parental Bonus: After falling into the Foot's trap at the junkyard:
    Donatello: These nets are very effective and very well-constructed.
    Michelangelo: Yeah, remind me to drop a line to Ralph Nader!
  • Physical Fitness Punishment: Michelangelo is made to do back-flips as a punishment. When Splinter notices that Mike has started just jumping up and down to make it sound like he was doing back-flips, he makes him do more.
  • The Professor: Jordan Perry.
  • Raised Hand of Survival: Played straight at the beginning, when we see the Shredder's hand rise from the garbage. Subverted in the climax, when his hand rises from the wreckage of the dock that fell on him... only to go limp.
  • Reports of My Death Were Greatly Exaggerated: For the first half of the movie, the Turtles were unaware that Shredder was still alive, under the impression that the Foot was being led by Tatsu, right up until their encounter with Tokka and Rahzar.
  • Revenge Before Reason: After transforming into Super Shredder, Shredder becomes completely determined to kill the Turtles, by collapsing the entire pier, and not even caring that his actions could kill him as well.
    Leonardo: Shredder! You've gotta listen to reason! You're gonna destroy us all! [gets lifted up by Super Shredder]
    Super Shredder: Then so be it! [throws Leonardo to the ground]
    • Shredder spends the entire movie like this, several characters even call him on it.
  • Running Gag: Splinter ordering the Turtles to give "10 Flips".
  • Shout-Out:
  • The Unchosen Ones: The Turtles discover that the creation of the ooze that changed them was purely an accident. Don was not very happy to learn this. He always thought they were special and believes there's got to be more to it. There isn't.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: Fitting their status as Dumb Muscle, Tokka and Rahzar depend solely on their brute strength and durability to fight the Turtles. During their first fight, the Turtles end up running from them, and they only won the second time around thanks to the anti-mutagen developed by Professor Perry.
  • Vile Villain, Saccharine Show: Even as the sequel became more sillier, the Shredder attempts to stay as threatening as he was in the first film. One reviewer even remarked that Shredder's character arc in the film seemed to be him being frustrated that his life has basically turned into a cartoon.
  • Villain Decay: The Foot get worse in this film, where they don't even land a hit.
    • Lampshaded when Keno tells the Turtles that the Foot are openly recruiting on the streets to bolster their ranks after the bulk of their forces were beaten by the turtles and arrested by police in the first film.
  • What the Fu Are You Doing?: In the junior novelization, Keno spots Mikey's 'chucks in April's apartment. When she tries to convince him that they're really hers, she ends up smacking herself multiple times.
  • Willing Suspension of Disbelief: Michael Pressman, who directed the movie, argued this was the key to the live action films' success: You believe them. It's not that the Turtles are real; the kids know they're just guys in fancy costumes, but they pull it off so well that you're not distracted by the suits and can just get into the story.
  • You Can't Go Home Again: Because the Foot discovered their lair in the first movie, this movie starts with the Turtles staying at April's apartment until they find a new place.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle!: The Turtles do the "Cowabunga!" high-five celebration after the Shredder's apparent demise— only to have Super Shredder tear the dock out from underneath them.
  • You Watch Too Much X: Judging by the mess he leaves, Leonardo likes to read comic books.
  • Yuppie Couple: 1/2 of it; April meets a couple. Later, that guy is working at the club in the climax.


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