“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem” (Paramount)
In rebooting a decades-old franchise via CGI animation, director and co-writer Jeff Rowe has the titular testudines (voices of Nicolas Cantu, Shamon Brown Jr., Micah Abbey and Brady Noon) take a meditative turn.
Though consistently warned to avoid humans by their adoptive father and mentor (voice of Jackie Chan), a giant rat, they’ve begun to have regrets about their isolated, seemingly anti-social lifestyle. So they befriend a high schooler and budding journalist (voice of Ayo Edeberi) who wants to write about them. But the quartet’s journey of self-discovery is interrupted by the arrival of villains (the most prominent voiced by Ice Cube) bent on world domination. The mayhem promised by the subtitle then ensues.
As scripted in collaboration with Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, Benji Samit and Dan Hernandez, the movie, the foursome’s seventh big-screen outing, contains little to make parents uncomfortable, a touch of seemingly requisite gross-out humor aside. And, amid all the chaos, the screenplay encourages respect for education, social interaction and the wisdom of older characters. The proceedings are, however, too tumultuous for small fry.
Intense action sequences, a restrained scene of torture, a couple of mild oaths, vomiting played for laughs. The OSV News classification is A-II – adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association rating is PG – parental guidance suggested. Some material may not be suitable for children.