When it was announced that mega-producer Michael Bay was working on a new live action “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” many fans were not pleased. Even if he wasn’t set to direct this new film himself, he is still the man who turned another childhood staple, “Transformers,” into a series of bloated, storyless monstrosities filled with little more than 12-year-old toilet humor.
So, is this new “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” directed by Jonathan Liebesman (“Battle Los Angeles,” “Wrath of the Titans”) as bad as all that? Fortunately no, but it’s still not a good movie. It is not offensively bad, but at the same time, it is about as generic an action movie as it could be, with (aside from the turtles) bland characters and a paint-by-numbers storyline featuring more convenient coincidences than you could stake a stick at.
“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” does provide a bevy of action sequences and funny one-liners which are sure to delight younger audiences, but ultimately, it feels like the story is just going through the paces, with little to no original ideas and nothing that is truly compelling.
As I said before, young audiences, especially those enjoying the latest animated “Turtles” series, will probably find enough to satisfy them for an hour and 40 minutes. And on the bright side, that’s better than I could say about any of the “Transformers” movies, but really, the turtles, and the audience, deserve a better product.
The movie is rated PG-13 for sci-fi action violence.
(This is a shortened version of the full review available in our printed or e-edition papers.)