The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles began life in the 80s as a goofball parody of other superhero comics, but this 21st century makeover comes from producer Michael Bay, and though it may appeal to a new generation until now unfamiliar with the expression "Cowabunga dude", old-timers will be left asking where the fun has gone.
The talking turtles -- Donatello, Raphael, Michelangelo and Leonardo -- have been created using CGI. Here, they're seamlessly inserted into the live action; and they're the same pizza loving, adventure seeking, butt-kicking, wisecracking teenagers you will likely be familiar with. Just bigger and uglier
They're funny when they're beat-boxing in an elevator and doing Batman impersonations. They're kind of creepy when they're flirting with women.
But, as a wise amphibian once sang, it isn't easy being green and the quartet don't get the screen time they deserve. Instead they're overwhelmed by crazy stunts and over the top visual effects, advertisements for Pizza Hutt, and a story that takes itself far too seriously.
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Conversely, Megan Fox's character, reporter April O'Neil, gets plenty of screen time. In a twist on the original story, the turtles turn out to be April's childhood pets who her scientist father used as genetic test subjects.
When a fire destroyed a laboratory and killed her father, April saved her friends, who with a rat called Splinter then retreated to New York's sewer system to become ninjas. So plenty of flashbacks but the real fun begins when the turtles decide it's time to go above ground to fight the Foot Clan and its leader Master Shredder's evil plan.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles feels like a Bay Combo, a collection of ideas we've already seen, from Shredder's Transformer-like armour to far-fetched stunts that unfold like a roller coaster ride; from Megan Fox to gaping plot holes.
Normally you forgive Bay because his films can also be hugely entertaining or visually overwhelming; Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles somehow misses on both counts.
Cast: Megan Fox, William Fichtner, Will Arnett, Whoopi Goldberg
Director: Jonathan Liebesman
Running Time: 101 mins
Verdict: Not much of a renaissance for Donatello, Raphael, Michelangelo or Leonardo