Turbo is about a lovable snail Theo with a need for speed (sorry!). He’s not happy with the pace at which his escargatoire of snails live life (yes, that one of 3 collective nouns for snails). Theo (Ryan Reynolds) dreams of racing in the Indianapolis 500 with hero Guy Gagné (Bill Hader as a comical French-Canadian), and through of series of events, he can suddenly travel like a blue streak…literally. Along the way, he meets a bunch of crazy funny fellow snails – Whiplash (a hilarious Samuel L Jackson), Burn (Maya Rudolph), White Shadow (Mike Bell), Skidmark (Ben Schwartz) and Smoove Move (Snoop Dogg).
David Soren (Shark Tale, Madagascar) directed this bizarre premise of a story, with some amazing graphics we’ve come to expect from the DreamWorks crew. The supporting voice cast is ultimately what carries this film, along with Reynolds. Ken Jeong as spunky old lady Kim Ly is amusing, Michelle Rodriguez inadvertently reprises her Fast and Furious role albeit in cartoon form as Paz and Richard Jenkins as Bobby. Paul Giamatti as Theo’s older brother, Chet, is worth watching the film for. The relationship between the snail brothers mimics that of their human counterparts, played by Michael Peña as naïve Tito and exasperated older brother Angelo (Luis Guzmán). Turbo‘s story, though initially original, deviates into the familiar territory of Cars and Ratatouille and other similar plots to a predictable conclusion. It’s not exactly a great message either, if you really think about it, as it advocates not being happy with yourself but to aim for a more juiced up version.
The soundtrack by Henry Jackson is great. If you’re willing to suspend disbelief about how Turbo got his powers or that the rules of racing are not really adhered to by the end, you and the kids will definitely enjoy it, even if it isn’t quite as revolutionary as it attempts to be.
What did you think? Sluggish or another Dreamworks great? Your turn on the soapbox in 3, 2, 1.