Rated 3.0

The whole Turtle thing was seriously off my radar (read none of the comics, never saw the series or movies) but I didn’t have a problem going with the flow. Although it took me most of the film’s running time before I figured out that Splinter was a rat, not some defanged midget sabertooth tiger (the lightbulb went on when they finally showed his tail). Although for about the first half it was sort of rough going … the animation and direction just seemed like very expensive video game cutscenes, and the voicework was starting to make my teeth hurt (Laurence Fishburne makes for a fairly weak narrator and someone please break Sarah Michelle Gellar’s 15-minute clock), but … in the last 45 minutes things really kick into gear (starting with a Nighthawks-esque diner scene) and it became a modest pleasure to watch. The big duel between the brothers in the rain was exceptionally well-crafted. It was like someone else took over the reins and kicked the movie into gear. The animation seemed more lively and the set-pieces more stylish, more fun to watch. It was half a fun kids film, and half a tolerable one. Fortunately, the fun part was the closer.