End credits: TMNT: Out of the Shadows, Warcraft

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Following on from the disappointing 2014 reboot, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows brings back the shelled brothers along with more classic friends and foes from the comics and cartoons. Like most people my age, I lived and breathed Turtles growing up. I had countless action figures, games and accessories, watched the cartoon religiously, had Turtle power on vinyl, even remember the local supermarket doing special Turtles pizzas. They were disgusting, but I wanted them because they were what Turtles ate. This all means I can’t help but get a little excited about getting to see Bebop and Rocksteady along with Krang as they finally appear on the big screen, teamed with a Shredder that isn’t a stupid robot this time. This cynical grown-up film fan is reserving the right to shed his hard shell for an evening to allow the eight year old inside to get a nostalgic visual sugar fix.

The universe of Blizzard’s hit fantasy games Warcraft, which most notably includes the huge MMORPG World of Warcraft, hits cinemas this week. Videogame movies rarely work – there have been a couple exceptions, but this isn’t one. Slick CGI and epic battles can’t make up for a confusingly hollow and patchy story, which may only make real sense if you’ve invested several hours a week (or more) for the past 10 or so years learning the lore of the games where you make up half the story yourself. True Warcraft fans may love this, but anyone expecting to fill the fantasy void after Lord of the Rings or Game of Thrones will be left empty.

Mark Wheeler

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