They’re back! Those secretive half-shell heroes, Leo, Raph, Donnie and Mikey, break sewer-dwelling cover to battle a world-domination bid by an unholy alliance of arch-baddie Shredder and a tentacled, disembodied brain from another dimension. As if there’s any other sort.
The result is a film that’s visually spectacular, fun and largely family-friendly. For the dads, Megan Fox returns as heroine reporter April O’Neill. For the mums, there’s a co-hero debut by Stephen Amell, star of the Arrow TV series.
Transformers supremo Michael Bay doesn’t actually direct these new-generation Turtles films but he helps produce them and his trademark, wham-bam style of action movie-making is much in evidence here. To underline it, there’s even a brief cameo by Transformers favourite Bumblebee. And the frequent action sequences, fashionably frantic, are very much Transformers with a dollop of Fast & Furious tossed in for good measure.
And talking of those action sequences, have no fear that little Jane or Johnny will suffer nightmares afterwards. They’re completely bloodless, and invariably played for laughs. There are no on-screen deaths, despite all the mayhem. Not even a single on-screen injury. But the very intensity of those wham-bam action scenes, complete with their noisily bone-crunching sound effects, plus the occasional complexities of what passes for a plot, maybe makes this a movie more for slightly older kids. Younger or more sensitive souls should perhaps steer clear.
Is Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out Of The Shadows suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...
There are no on-screen injuries or deaths. However, the action is frantic, with bone-crunching sound effects, and could scare younger kids.
The new baddie, Krang, a tentacled, disembodied brain from another dimension, is ugliness made flesh, and could disturb more sensitive children.
New minions Rhino and Warthog, convicts turned into animal/human hybrids by Shredder, have their scary moments though largely played for laughs.
Again, younger, more sensitive children might be disturbed. Away from scariness, there is one brief scene of shoplifting without consequence, and one mild instance of swearing (“Son of a bitch!”)