TMNT Kevin Munroe

Strange things are afoot in NYC. Crime is at an all time high. Otherworldly monsters are popping up all over town, flexing their furry muscles, leaving nothing but mayhem and destruction in their wake. Stone warrior statues brought up from South America by a powerful Tech-Industrialist are woken from an ancient slumber and watch out, did they ever get up on the wrong side of the crate.

All of this madness would normally be tidied up in two shakes of a turtle tail but everyone’s favourite sewer-dwelling, adolescent humanoid amphibian brothers have had a falling out after an especially nasty defeat by an arch nemesis! Ladies and gentlemen, there’s no way to sugar coat this: Splinter, their rat-cum-Ninjitsu-sensei, has ordered Leonardo, Raphael, Michelangelo and Donatello to hang up their crime fighting nunchucks until they can figure out how to work together as a team again. (Insert chirping crickets here.)

It’s been 17 years since those whacky salmonella spreading vigilantes first "hi-yahed!” their way across the big screen. In their most recent incarnation, director Kevin Munroe has delivered a slick ride that is bound to have many tweens cheering "Cowabunga!” from their seats. Munroe’s shift to CGI allows for the cleverly choreographed fight and chase sequences to be shot without the distracting constraints of conventional live action. The CGI also serves as an impressive monster factory, generating drooling, white, gorilla-esque Cyclopes and adorable pintsized devil minions to keep the turtles on their toes. The animation style is also impressively employed to create an alternate New York, from the slick, seedy neon lights of an elaborate Chinatown down to the sweat-glistening brows of our spent turtle warriors.

TMNT is a tight 93 minutes of light fun. However, if you expect to find an acerbic, quick-witted clownfish looming in the coral firing off an endless stream of adult-friendly zingers this movie is not for you. The script is traditional Saturday morning fare: the good guys are good, the bad guys are bad and the jokes are groaners. The premise could easily be mined for darker humour and social commentary but that isn’t the ambition of this project.

In a novel and welcome Hollywood twist it seems that TMNT is actually an animated movie made just for kids. So gather up your favourite ankle biters, unshackle your inner humanoid, hit the matinee circuit and settle in for a little hot turtle action. You know you want it.

(Warner)