In 2014’s “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” the title characters, on meeting the journalist April O’Neil, comment with aggressive enthusiasm on her good looks. They subsequently learn that April cared for them when they were just regular turtles, and, hence, is kind of like a big sister. At that point, a viewer might expect the fellows to stop hitting on her, but this reboot of the whimsical superhero franchise is partially produced by Michael Bay, so, no.
In the new movie, April, played again by the attractive, pouty Megan Fox, does not hesitate, in the first 10 minutes, to use her sexuality to extract data from two men. She even concocts a sort of schoolgirl outfit to get close to a target. Apparently, the one note that today’s studio executives will not give to filmmakers is, “Think of the children.”
“Out of the Shadows” finds the named-for-Renaissance-artists protagonists contending with both an apocalyptic villain from another dimension and an existential crisis (that is, what does it mean to be normal when you are a mutated superpowered turtle?). This movie is, it happens, easier to sit through than the 2014 film. The 3-D action, overseen by the director Dave Green, is not wholly incoherent. The production values (showcasing new mutants and many gear-heavy extra-dimensional machines undreamed of in any actual engineering philosophy) are ultrashiny. And there are even a couple of amusing, albeit unmemorable, sight gags and one-liners.
Will Arnett is back, and game, as April’s unctuous former colleague. Newbies include an amiable Stephen Amell as a hockey-stick-wielding good guy, Tyler Perry as a mad scientist and the great Laura Linney. Ms. Linney plays a police captain, and sometimes smirks as if enjoying a joke nobody in the audience has been let in on, at least not explicitly.
“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows” is rated PG-13 (Parents strongly cautioned) for language, violence and other ways of not thinking of the children.
A film review on Friday about “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows” referred incorrectly to the turtles’ names. Three turtles are named for Renaissance artists whose major works included paintings, not four. (Donatello was a sculptor.)