Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (PG-13)
Action/Adventure 101 August 8, 2014
Director Jonathan Liebesman's generic TMNT is bigger and emptier, a wasteland of pixels. Instead of the visceral chills of alleyway crooks, the evil master scheme is, er, pharmaceutical fraud—terrifying to anyone with an HMO, none of whom will buy a ticket to the movie. It doesn't help that producer Michael Bay has shoe-horned in his sexual tics: Victoria's Secret billboards, Megan Fox, and rampant product placement, including a soliloquy from Splinter on the glory of Pizza Hut's mythical 99-cheese pizza. Bay and company have even amped-up lead villain Shredder, a karate expert who wears a pagoda made of knives, into, well, a Transformer. It begs the question: Why introduce Shredder sans-suit as a brawler who can literally knock a man unconscious while on his knees with his hands tied behind his back, and then make him rely on magnets and gizmos?