FILM REVIEW: New Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie a harmless pizza fun

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FILM REVIEW: TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES – OUT OF THE SHADOWS (12A)

SHOWCASE CINEMAS PETERBOROUGH, OUT NOW

CAST: MEGAN FOX, STEPHEN AMELL, LAURA LINNEY, WILL ARNETT, TYLER PERRY, STEPHEN ‘SEAMUS’ FARRELLY, GARY ANTHONY WILLIAMS, BRIAN TEE, BRITTANY ISHIBASHI, CARMELO ANTHONY & THE VOICES OF PETE PLOSZEK, JEREMY HOWARD, NOEL FISHER, ALAN RITCHSON, BRAD GARRETT & TONY SHALHOUB

RUNNING TIME: 1 HR 52 MINS

DIRECTOR: DAVE GREEN

The much-vilified reboot a couple of years back was actually a harmless slice of entertainment – and this sequel cooks up more of the same.

That isn’t a bad thing as the ass-kickin’ ninja turtles – Leonardo (Pete Ploszek), Raphael (Alan Ritchson), Donatello (Jeremy Howard) and Michelangelo (Noel Fisher) – provide enough charisma and enigmatic turns to carry the film through its generic premise.

As well as getting the main characters right, the producers also make sure there’s plenty of fan service this time round, with the addition of Shredder’s (Brian Tee) legendary mutated henchmen, warthog Bebop (Gary Anthony Williams) and Rocksteady (former WWE champion Sheamus), along with the introduction of hockey-sticked hero Casey Jones (TV’s Arrow star Stephen Amell on serviceable form).

After getting the inevitable jailbreak, Shredder teams up with the extra-terrestrial presence of Krang (Brad Garrett) – with a bit of help from Tyler Perry’s (Gone Girl) mad scientist – by unleashing a diabolical plan to take over the world.

Meanwhile the turtles have some internal squabbling after discovering an ooze which could render them human and finally bring them ‘out of the shadows’ from their New York sewer-tunnelled dwellings. And that’s about the sum of it.

No frills, no particular surprises. It just throws a few slices of pizza at the audience, and some of them stick.

Unfortunately pieces that don’t see Splinter (Tony Shalhoub) and three-time Oscar-nominated star Laura Linney’s (obviously just here for the paycheck) police head-honcho being sorely underused, a cringeworthingly embarrassing performance from Perry, and Krang’s supposedly menacing villain is a tagged-on afterthought that simply doesn’t work. He’s more of a cross between a massive slab of ‘Hubba-Bubba’ gum and your intestines – which has then been doused in slime.

But with some nice action set-pieces and a healthy helping of humour – and again, Megan Fox is passable as intrepid reporter April O’Neil – this has just enough ‘cowabunga’ moments to tick some of those vital family summer blockbuster boxes.

The heroes in a half-shell might get a half-baked story, but like Mike’s favourite pizza – this is fun to eat up while it lasts.

It’s just more a simple cheese and tomato than a meat feast.

Rating: 3/5 – Gavin Miller