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  • The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles showed just how engaging anti-heroes can be, especially if they climb out of the sewers, looking for recognition–and acceptance– in the real world.

    That is the real world of  computer-animated movies. The turtles are debuting in their ninth film “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem,” and they’re as ferocious as ever.

    Nickelodeon revealed the new film in June 2020, and it doesn’t stray far from the original premise. But in recognition of the film’s camp popularity, it’s picking up some top talent this time around.

     Jeff Rowe will direct. His credits include the television series “Gravity Falls” and Disenchantment.” He co-directed and co-wrote the 2021 film “The Mitchells vs. the Machines.” Right, never heard of it.

    Mutant Mayhem will be his feature directorial debut.

    Brendan O’Brien, best known for writing 2014 film “Neighbors,” has penned the screenplay with help from comedian Seth Rogen, whose company, Point Grey Pictures, with Evan Goldberg and James Weaver, is producing.

    The movie really gets interesting with a quick scan of the actors voicing characters.

    Yes, that’s Rose Byrne voicing Leatherhead; former WWE wrestler John Cena as Rocksteady, the legendary Jackie Chan as Splinter, Ice Cube as Superfly, rapper Post Malone as Ray Fillet, Paul Rudd as Mondo Gecko and Maya Rudolph of SNL fame as Cynthia Utrom.

    Even Rogen gets into the act, voicing the character Bebop.

    The Turtles, Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael, Michelangelo, made their movie debut way back in 1990. The script stuck closely to the comic book by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird.

    Of course, if movies followed reality, the Turtles would be well into their 40s. But movies are ageless, and the characters appear to have returned to their boyish teen years.

    Nicolas Cantu, Micah Abbey, Brady Noon and Shamon Brown Jr. will be voicing the Turtles, respectively, In Mutant Mayhem.

    Unfortunately, critics haven’t been kind to the Turtles, only two of the films,” Batman vs. Teenage Mutuan Ninja Turtles” in 2019 and “Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie” last year, received positive ratings on rottentomatoes, which tracks reviews.

    Even the series’ 1990 debut was roundly panned. But what do the critics know? The films have been hits with fans and commercially successful.

    Without revealing too much of the plot, which is pretty thin it appears, the Turtles are ready to leave New York City’s sewers and seek acceptance as “normal teenagers,” with help from human friend April O’Neil,

    But first they’ll have to fight their way through a mysterious crime syndicate and an army of mutants.

    Check out the latest trailer below, and let us know your thoughts.