Movie News & Reviews

Duck and cover in newest ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’

Donatello, from left, Michelangelo, Leonardo and Raphael in “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows.”
Donatello, from left, Michelangelo, Leonardo and Raphael in “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows.” Paramount Pictures

It’s “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows.”

Better title: “When Really Ugly CG Creatures Fight.”

Those turtles — Michelangelo, Donatello, Leonardo, and Raphael — are plenty homely, all brownish-green, scarred and lumpy-bumpy. Half-shell brothers only a reptilian mother could love.

But they’re practically cute and cuddly compared to the baddies they battle: a rhinocerized mutated human named Rocksteady and a betusked plus-sized nightmare warthog with a purple Mohawk answering to Bebop. When those two mix it up with the turtle bros, it ugliness times 10, in 3-D no less.

Still, that’s nothing compared to a thang called Krang, a gooey disembodied pink-hued brainlike being (extruded from a giant robot) with writhing tentacles and a mouth full of sharp teeth and bellowed threats.

Straight from the ’80s-era animated “TMNT” series, these creatures come, providing fan service to fans steeped in Turtles insider knowledge. Director Dave Green counts himself among their number.

As for the fights, one starts after the turtles hurl themselves out of one airborne jet onto the fuselage of another flying hundreds of feet below, cut their way into the plane and proceed to crash-boom-bam with the rhino and the warthog, the latter armed with a tank! Which blasts away inside the jet! Which then starts to disintegrate as the fighting continues. And crashes. And still the fighting goes on. Are we overstimulated yet?

Which is nothing compared to when our heroes take on the ranting Krang who is assembling a — why, it looks like the Death Star — over New York City. Bang. And ka-boom!

All of which is to say this is a production from producer Michael Bay, master of the cinema of CG run amok. And all we helpless mortals can do is cower and duck as those 3-D fists fly.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows

out of 5

Cast: Megan Fox and featuring the voices of Noel Fisher, Jeremy Howard, Pete Ploszek and Alan Ritchson.

Director: Dave Green

Running time: 1:52.

Rated: PG-13, for sci-fi action violence.