Super-rich men who have had accidents in super-secret labs and now live in super-size castles in super-solitude are rarely up to any good. But at least Megan Fox’s April can be forgiven for reaching out. She may know her chemicals, and their link to nuclear reactions, but looking like April does — the Michael Bay-produced film doesn’t let you forget that — her TV channel only has her reporting a street jumping exercise to mark the coming of summer.
So April rushes headlong into crime scenes involving the dreaded Foot Clan gang, led by the shadowy ‘Shredder’. And lands straight in the midst of four giant turtles with superhuman powers. Realising the potential of such a vigilante story, April takes it to her editor, and is laughed off because she has no evidence to prove it.
But then April discovers she has no need to bark up that tree. Her 15 minutes of fame lie in the fact that these turtles are actually the childhood pets she had lost when her father’s lab in which they were being experimented upon was destroyed in a fire.
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That may sound like an extraordinary bit of coincidence but this reprisal of the hit comic and TV series largely avoids pitfalls in landing its turtles on their feet. They are not as funny or as innocent, and the film has its share of Bay-inspired mayhem (including one painfully long snow sequence), but you will like the turtles named after the Italian Renaissance painters — Leonardo (Ploszek), Raphael (Ritchson), Donatella (Howard) and Michelangelo (Fisher) — and the rat, Splinter (Woodburn), who rears them. They rap, they jive, they joke, they flirt, and they shed tears.
Besides, they save New York from being killed by a toxic gas contained in the spire of his Manhattan tower by that super-rich man, Eric Sacks (Fichtner), we talked about. Sacks hoped to gas the city first, and then save everybody by offering the antidote contained in the mutant turtles’ blood, to earn even more money. That’s before he knew the turtles survived the lab fire, or that their blood had the “mutagent”. Whatever.