Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows ★★½

Experientially, this is a far better film than its predecessor: stronger, brighter look; moves at a faster clip, etc. But the plot has clearly been messed with in the edit at some stage. Key characters are sent to far flung places for no reason, or drop out of the story entirely for lengthy stretches. Plot points and motivations appear out of thin air, as if there had been a logical explanation that was snipped out for time. Still, there isn’t that sense of audience contempt one gets from the typical Michael Bay production; there’s a real feeling that people involved here wanted to do some justice to the franchise. It’s that feeling that just about holds things together when the story has all but split apart.