Fantasy. Starring Megan Fox, William Fichtner, Will Arnett, Whoopi Goldberg. Directed by Jonathan Liebesman. Cert 12A
The dead hand of producer Michael Bay is all over this deeply cynical exercise in merchandising – an exercise in product-placement so blatant it makes the last Transformer outing seem subtle by comparison.
The 1990 take on the characters created by Peter Laird and Kevin Eastman was enjoyable enough, its goofy charm getting over the essential ludicrousness of the concept of crime-fighting adolescent turtles beneath the streets of New York, but anyone expecting subtlety or charm in a Michael Bay production should most definitely head elsewhere.
Bombastic, humourless and ear-bleedingly LOUD, the story, such as it is, sees reporter April O’Neill (Megan Fox, now there’s a surprise) film a crime by the evil Foot Clan foiled by the titular heroes, who tell her their story but swear her to secrecy in order to foil a dastardly plot against the city.
The CGI turtles actually look scary rather than cute, another example of how this version has sapped all the joy and mischief from the original idea which wasn’t half bad. Avoid at all costs.
There is an alternate universe where one emerges from watching The Maze Runner with the calloused thumbs and square eyes associated with chronic video gaming. Many films - from the ghastly Resident Evil franchise to the rather good The Raid - are peddling it these days; arcade-like frolics woven deep into the celluloid drama, complete with levels, bosses and 1-ups.
The Conjuring was one of the biggest films of last year in terms of payback on budget so it's hardly surprising the creepy doll that featured in the plot, Annabelle, has nabbed her own flick.