TMNT (PG)

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The Independent Culture

Remember the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? Twenty years after Turtlemania engulfed America, the pizza-munching, crime-fighting amphibians are back with a new name and digitally animated cartoon.

It looks terrific, but only young, very devoted Turtle fans will be able to follow a story which is tangled in the sort of Byzantine stoner mythology that's usually the preserve of Japanese animes. As well as the Turtles, it's got their rodent sensei, their two human pals, an immortal tycoon, some walking statues, a band of freelance assassins, and 13 monsters released from another dimension by a constellation of stars which align once every 3,000 years. The lighting of one scene - which had raindrops, illuminated by a neon sign, dripping from a steel mask at night-time - filled me with profound admiration for the technical know-how and profound sadness that so much work had gone into such gubbins.

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