Megan Fox and Will Arnett in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Legions of Michael Bay’s detractors were jumping all over the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot before it even hit screens.

Well, it’s not actually a Michael Bay film; he only served as a producer on this one. Jonathan Liebesman (Wrath of the Titans, Battle Los Angeles) is the director here, and he’s put something together that is far more coherent than the latest Bay-helmed Transformers movie. This is not to say that the movie is any good—but it is markedly better than most of Bay’s output.

Megan Fox plays April, a wannabe reporter who stumbles upon a vigilante force protecting Manhattan from an evil terrorist group. The vigilantes turn out to be the infamous turtles (also, coincidentally, the pet turtles that April had as a child). The turtles, the result of scientific experiments, were raised in the sewers by a rat, and now they are ready to rise above the surface and kick some ass.

The film has some good moments; the turtles eat some pizza and get some laughs. However, Fox is a bit of a bore in the central human role; Will Arnett is virtually wasted as her cameraman; and I’m sick and tired of William Fichtner playing bad guys. The special effects are OK, but the story offers nothing special.

A sequel is already being prepared. A director with a better sense of wonder, and a better sense of humor, would serve this franchise well.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is playing at theaters across the valley.