Release Date: July 17, 2013
Running Time: 96 minutes
Sorry, Vin Diesel, but you’re not the only one with a need for speed. In Turbo, a garden snail voiced by the lightly flippant Ryan Reynolds wishes he were as fast and furious as the racing car drivers he admires from afar. Impossible? Not when you Theo, the latest in a long line of go-getting little guys whose big dreams come true in your typical by-the-numbers DreamWorks Animation underdog tale. Don’t ask how but Theo goes from zero to hero when he’s blessed with the speed of an open-wheel car. Against the wishes of his anxious brother Chet (Paul Giamatti), Theo acts on his ambitions and enters the Indianapolis 500. Yes, Turbo is a run-of-the-mill inspirational sports fantasy, with writer/director David Soren borrowing here and there from Aesop’s fable about the tortoise and the hare. While the climatic big race is quite an adrenaline rush, Turbo at its best early when Theo has yet to obtain his superpowers and must live an ordinary life harvesting tomatoes in garden patch. There’s intrigue to be found in Theo’s refusal to conform to the dull and cautious snail community that views his dreams as crazy and stupid, and the not-so-hidden dangers of his world adds a lot of tension to Turbo. Most of the fun in Turbo occurs when Theo joins a snail racing circuit, and his friendly rivals are voiced with energy and enthusiasm by the likes of Samuel L. Jackson, Snoop Dogg, and Maya Rudolph. Bill Hader puts on his best smarmy French-Canadian accent as the racing champion Theo admires but wants to badly beat in the Indy 500. Turbo is neon bright and roaring loud in all the best ways, but is never seeks to impress or put forth any message of substance, like most offerings these days from DreamWorks Animation. At least Turbo’s a fun ride while it lasts.
Aired: July 18, 2013
Web site: http://www.turbomovie.com/