In this animated feature, Ryan Reynolds hides his million dollar face to provide the voice of Theo – a garden snail in Los Angeles who calls himself Turbo. Even though he is speed challenged, the slow poke with a shell dreams of being a race car driver just like his idol Guy Gagne (Bill Hader).
All day and all night, Turbo imagines he is on the track at the Indy 500, which annoys his older, more conservative and safety conscious brother, Chet (Paul Giamatti). While Turbo wants to speed off into the sunset, Chet is perfectly happy working in the tomato garden and avoiding any of the many dangers around him and the rest of the snails.
Through a series of convoluted events, Turbo ends up in the middle of a drag race, and gets sucked into the engine of the car where he is exposed to the nitrous oxide racers use to go super fast. Much like being bitten by a radioactive spider makes you into Spiderman, the nitrous oxide has given Turbo the ability to go 200 or more miles per hour, which, in an even more convoluted series of events, may take him all the way to Indianapolis for the big race (and not in the luxury boxes as escargot).
Will Turbo achieve his dream?
Turbo isn’t a great movie, but it is entertaining enough to put a smile on most faces, and give you a chance to giggle (an especially demented gag reminds us that crows and snails are not the best of friends, and gives the adults a shred of hope that something in this movie may be for them).
As written by Darren Lemke, Robert Siegel, and David Soren, no one in the audience, especially the small children (who are most likely to be bugging Mom and Dad to the point of insanity to buy a ticket), will ever feel like the material is over their heads. Turbo has a clunky, simple story where transitions and twists are abrupt and just serve to propel us into the next section regardless of meaning or making sense, but we are talking about a snail that races against Indy cars at 200 miles an hour, so you can’t say you were expecting subtlety, nuance or realism. In that sense, it may be more real than anything you have seen on Keeping Up With The Kardashians.
However, Turbo does play strongly on the theme of reaching to achieve your dreams in the face of those who are willing to tell you it can never happen. It’s a nice thought for kids in the crowd, and, possibly, a touch inspirational for the adults who have let their dreams die in the cloud of compromise and real life problems.
Plus, you can’t help but find the snail crew funny. Along the way, Turbo and Chet meet some other snails, led by Samuel L. Jackson and Maya Rudolph, who also love to race and get involved in some silly antics designed to make every kid in the crowd want to buy all of the Turbo toys, which should just be sold at the ticket window to save Mom and Dad some time and the gas needed to make a trip to Toys R Us (or maybe Toys R Us or Wal-Mart will start their own movie theaters so you can see the movie, buy the toys and buy the cheap candy you are going to sneak into the theater with anyway. I have said too much).
Turbo is the kind of summer distraction that is harmless, so why not go for it.
Turbo is rated PG for some mild action and thematic elements