"Boy, Megan Fox has gorgeous eyes. Is she wearing colored contacts?"

"Get a load of Tyler Perry. That's one big dude. But it's a nice, healthy bulk."

"I wonder what material is in the stretchy black ninja outfits the bad guys are wearing."

These are just some of the thoughts I found my mind wandering to as the deadly tedium set in during a screening of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, a subpar 3D action comedy featuring four giant motion-capture animated turtles and a raft of human costars, including the dreamy-eyed Fox, wide-shouldered Perry, a remarkably slender Will Arnett, and Laura Linney, who looks tired and uncomfortable throughout the proceedings.

A headache-inducing $135 million sequel to the 2014 blockbuster, TMNT: OOTS becomes intolerable after about 32 seconds.

The opening, a swirling, motion-sickness-inducing nightmare, has the green foursome - Leonardo, Raphael, Michelangelo, and Donatello - plunge off the top of the Empire State Building and into our faces. Then they gyrate, rotate, fly, leap, lunge, and fall - into our faces - to grab a pizza before settling inside the Madison Square Garden Jumbotron to watch a New York Knicks game.

Great - just another hour, 51 minutes and 28 seconds left to go.

The latest product (I just can't bear to call it a film) in a franchise of cartoons, video games, toys, and comic books going back to 1984, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows plunges America's beloved half-shell heroes into a new adventure.

Except that it's not new. I'd be hard-pressed to find a single line of original dialogue or single unique plot point.

Shadows opens where the first film left off: The supervillain Shredder (Brian Tee) is headed to prison after being vanquished by our heroes. But lo and behold, his army of nicely outfitted ninjas snatches him right from under the nose of handsome cop Casey Jones (Stephen Amell).


Shredder teams up with a mad scientist (Perry) to assemble a doomsday device that will open a portal to an alternate universe from which will emerge an even more eviler alien creature. The CGI monster looks like a big orange booger with arms, legs, and really big pointy teeth.

The first TMNT made half a billion dollars. I'm sure this one will do just as well, even though the whole predictable mess, with its absurd, explosion-fueled action and flat one-liners, feels like it's old hat from the very first frame.




Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows

(Out of four stars)

yDirected by Dave Green. With Megan Fox, Will Arnett, Tyler Perry, Laura Linney. Distributed

by Paramount Pictures.

yRunning time: 1 hour, 52 mins.

yParent's guide: PG-13 (sci-fi action violence).

yPlaying at: Area theaters.