The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles return in an all-new CGI action adventure, written and directed by Kevin Munroe. After the defeat of their old arch nemesis, The Shredder, the Turtles have grown apart as a family. Struggling to keep them together, their rat sensei, Splinter (Mako), becomes worried when strange things begin to brew in New York City. Tech-industrialist Maximillian J. Winters (Patrick Stewart) is raising up an army of ancient monsters, and only one super-ninja fighting team can stop them-- Leonardo (James Arnold Taylor), Michelangelo (Mikey Kelley), Donatello (Mitchell Whitfield) and Raphael (Nolan North)! With the help of old allies April O'Neil (Sarah Michelle Gellar) and Casey Jones (Chris Evans), the Turtles are in for the fight of their lives as they once again must face the mysterious Foot Clan, who have put their own ninja skills behind Winters' endeavors.
From a visual standpoint, this CG feature starring the venerable '80s and '90s superheroes the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is nothing short of slam-bang; the computer animation has a scope and look that transcends both the original comics and animated series and the three live-action features that preceded it. Writer/director Kevin Munroe creates a striking animated world for the four heroes in a half-shell to live, play, and fight in, and the action sequences are occasionally breathtaking in their speed and complexity. But where TMNT
stumbles is its bland plot, which picks up after the last of the live-action features with all four teen turtles in disarray, and abandons longtime villain Shredder in favor of an industrialist (well voiced by Patrick Stewart) who recruits the Foot Clan (including Karai, played by Zhang Ziyi) to revive thirteen ancient monsters to aid in his world domination scheme. It's a simple and fun story for kids, but longtime Turtles fans will miss the wry humor and smart sense of irony of the original comics (created by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird, who gets an executive producer credit here) in this storyline. Still, for most adolescent audience members, such concerns won't matter a whit in the face of the abundant action. --Paul Gaita