Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (12A)

two stars

Dir: Dave Green

With: Megan Fox, Laura Linney

Runtime: 112 minutes

SUMMERTIME, and as the school holidays approach, the films for weans - not quite a Hollywood marketing term but you know what is meant - start to jostle for attention and the parental buck.

Among the first out of the shell are the teenage mutant ninja turtles, returning after their commercially successful (almost $500m gross worldwide) movie reboot of two years ago. This time around, the four crime fighting brothers who live in the sewers are, as the title suggests, keen to come up and dwell among the New Yorkers whose city they so regularly save. But is even the Big Apple ready for the sight of fast-talking and walking-on-two-legs turtles by the names of Michelangelo, Leonardo, Donatello and Raphael?

Director Dave Green tries but does not succeed in matching the sly humour of the first movie, with Will Arnett returning as the wisecracking former cameraman turned media hero, while Megan Fox, the big sister to the group, gets to pout a lot and wear a mini kilt. It is all crash, bang, wallop action movie business as usual, far too long and horribly repetitive in parts, with the only real surprise the actor who turns up as a police chief. Step forward Laura Linney, arthouse darling star of The Squid and the Whale. Ms Linney clearly likes her movies to have aquatic themes.