The phenomenal box office return of the first film, rather than critical acclaim, is no doubt why we're being offered another instalment of the action packed world of genetically modified superhero turtles Donatello, Raphael, Michelangelo and Leonardo.

Again produced by Michael Bay, but with sophomore feature film director Dave Green taking over from Jonathan Liebesman, the sequel is bigger, louder and 10 minutes longer than its 2014 predecessor, with some of the first film's flaws ironed out, and a few more created.

The increasingly youthful Megan Fox is back, along with a handful of villains battling for their moment in the spotlight.

There's a brief wrap-up of TMNT, and evil Master Shredder's (Masamune) failed attempt to violently take over New York City.

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The turtles themselves aren't too complicated to get your head around; they're four wise-cracking, pizza-loving, adventure-seeking, vigilante brothers who hide out in New York's sewers by day and protect the city by night.

TMNT2 picks up the story a year later, when Shredder escapes custody during a jail transfer.


Alerted by O'Neill, the turtles are quickly on the hunt for Shredder and his two new sidekicks, rhino Bebop (Gary Anthony Williams) and warthog Rocksteady (Stephen Farrelly).

Working with Dr Baxter Stockman (Tyler Perry), a chuckling mad scientist, and the particularly ugly alien villain Krant, Shredder plans not only to take over New York, but the entire planet.

Megan Fox as April O'Neil in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows
Megan Fox as April O'Neil in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows

As well as knuckleheads Bebop and Rocksteady, other newcomers include Laura Linney (what was she thinking?) playing a NY Police Chief and Arrow's Stephen Amell, as cliched rookie cop Casey Jones.

Linney struggles to find the right eye line with the turtles at times and Amell is enthusiastic but doesn't play off the CGI characters as convincingly as others.

Donatello, Michelangelo, Leonardo and Raphael in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows. (Supplied)
Donatello, Michelangelo, Leonardo and Raphael in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows. (Supplied)

It's the same formula as before with a little more soul-searching from the turtles, and, thankfully, less creepy flirting.

The turtles may have taken back their film, but this doesn't stop Bay and Green packing in too many bland villains. The action is predictable and fast-paced, with large scale stunts involving waterfalls, planes and, well, garbage trucks - backed by a thunderous soundtrack.

It leads to a far-fetched, overblown finale that doesn't quite get the heart racing - possibly because the outcome is never in doubt.

At least with TMNT2, you know what you're getting.

Verdict: Bigger and bolder, but no more memorable than the original.

Cast: Megan Fox, Tohoru Masamune

Director: Dave Green

Running Time: 112 mins

Rating: PG (Violence, scary scenes)