By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist August 4, 2014 at 12:27PM
With Michael Bay's "Transformers: Age Of Extinction" achieving a $1 billion gross worldwide this weekend, the question is: can Bay strike twice this summer? The premiere purveyor of cinematic explosions is the producer of the upcoming "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles": the first reviews have arrived, and it's no pizza party.
Of course, Bay's films have been routinely mocked by critics from the get-go. As such, reviews for 'TMNT' are half heartedly praiseworthy of the endeavor. The film is typical Bay fare, for better or worse. We'll have our review later in the week, but for now, here is what critics are saying today about the movie— read on below, and tell us if you'll be buying a ticket this week or just going to see "Guardians Of The Galaxy" again.
THR: "The cast members portraying Splinter and the turtles achieve a persuasive level of realism that was never possible with the elaborate puppetry required for the original film series and adequately fulfill expectations for their characters."
Variety: "Much slicker-looking but less endearing than its ’90s live-action predecessors, the film manifests all the usual attributes of a Bay production — chaotic action, crass side jokes, visual-effects overkill, Megan Fox — but is nowhere near 'Transformers'-level off-putting."
The Wrap: "There are a few thrills and a few laughs in this re-jiggered, CGI-heavy reimagining of the comic book/TV/movie superstars, but even by kid-movie standards, it's a hollow experience."
IGN: " 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' isn’t great, nor is it a disaster. There have been better stories made about these characters, including the 1990 feature film, but there also have been plenty of weaker ones. Despite the strange revamp of the Turtles into huge, superpowered behemoths who seem ready to throw down with Colossus or the Thing, the film does a nice job of capturing their brotherly in-fighting, camaraderie and rapport. Much of the movie is just sort of 'there' though, except for that notably entertaining snow-based action sequence – which stands out for also having fun taking the Turtles out of their usual city terrain."
Slashfilm: "The biggest problem with Jonathan Liebesman‘s 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' is how disposable it is. If the movie was silly and goofy, but entertaining and engaging even on the lowest level, it might be something worth talking about. But this movie is a cinematic flatline that shows rare blips of life only to crash back down again into nothing."
HitFix: "Liebesman seems to have come to this ready to play, and at its best, 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turles' shares something very important with last weekend's 'Guardians Of The Galaxy': it is fun. That fun is something that a lot of big summer movies lack these days, and while it doesn't totally add up as a movie, I think the audiences that are excited to see it will walk away satisfied."