Review: Turtles get teenage kicks
Review: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out Of The Shadows (12A, 112 mins) Three stars.
Turtle brothers Leonardo (Pete Ploszek), Raphael (Alan Ritchson), Michelangelo (Noel Fisher) and Donatello (Jeremy Howard) live in the sewers with their rat mentor Splinter (Danny Woodburn, voiced by Tony Shalhoub).
Mikey wishes they could live above ground with the people of New York. "We will never fit in. We live in the shadows, we're ninjas," chides one of his reptilian brothers. Their arch-nemesis, Shredder (Brian Tee), escapes from police custody with the help of a teleportation portal developed by evil scientist Dr Baxter Stockman (Tyler Perry). The portal propels Shredder into the clutches of an alien from Dimension X called Krang (Brad Garrett), who intends to invade earth.
The extra-terrestrial mastermind enlists Shredder's help to locate two further pieces of a more powerful teleportation system, which are hidden in the American Museum of Natural History and a rainforest in Brazil. While Shredder carries out the alien's bidding with the help of two mutant sidekicks - a rhinoceros called Rocksteady (Stephen Farrelly) and a warthog called Bebop (Gary Anthony Williams) - Bureau Chief of Organised Crime, Rebecca Vincent (Laura Linney), attempts to recapture the escaped criminal. Her efforts come to naught, so it's left to the acrobatic turtles to avert disaster, aided by Channel 6 news reporter April O'Neil (Megan Fox) and a vigilante called Casey Jones (Stephen Amell).
In this sequel, the lead characters still look creepy, courtesy of motion-capture performances, but there's more emotion in a script that forces the somersaulting quartet to consider their place in a world that views them as monsters.
Review: The Nice Guys (15, 116 mins)
Jackson Healy (Russell Crowe) is a hired heavy, who beats up perverts and stalkers with his knuckleduster. A young woman called Amelia Kuttner (Margaret Qualley) pays him to scare off low-rent private detective Holland March (Ryan Gosling), who has been asking for her around town.
The first meeting of these two men ends in bloodshed and broken bones, but Jackson and Holland reluctantly agree to work together when Amelia subsequently vanishes without trace. The breadcrumb trail of evidence leads to Amelia's fearsome mother, Judith Kuttner (Kim Basinger), who works for the US Department of Justice and pleads with the pair to locate and protect her child.
Unfortunately, a hitman called John Boy (Matt Bomer) is also on the trail of Amelia, and Holland also needs to solve the perplexing mystery of porn actress Misty Mountains (Murielle Telio), who was apparently seen alive two days after she died in a car accident. The Nice Guys doesn't quite soar to the dizzy heights of director Shane Black's previous escapades, but he comes close, retaining an enviable ability to conjure jaw-dropping one-liners out of nowhere.