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So as you know, I stopped writing lengthy reviews on this site this year, keeping the blog as more of a film diary of sorts.  Lo and behold,...

Friday, March 28, 2014

Movie Review - Turbo

Turbo (2013)
Featuring the voice talents of Ryan Reynolds, Paul Giamatti, Michael Peña, Samuel L. Jackson, Luis Guzmán, Bill Hader, Snoop Dogg, Richard Jenkins, Michelle Rodriguez, and Ken Jeong
Directed by David Soren
***This film is currently streaming on Netflix***

About 35 minutes into Turbo, I found myself thinking that I had a nice little surprise on my hands with this fairly little seen film (in terms of mainstream animated flicks).  A NASCAR-obsessed snail named Theo (voiced by Ryan Reynolds) is the problem child of a clan of snails headed by Theo's older brother Chet (Paul Giamatti).  The snails take care of a tomato patch, but Theo seemingly causes chaos with his daydreaming about one day matching the talent of his favorite NASCAR driver Guy Gagne (Bill Hader).  Discouraged by his brother's disappointment in him, Theo wanders away from the tomato patch and, in a freak accident, gets sucked into the engine of a drag racing car wherein, through some crazy DNA fusion, he gets his veins filled with nitrous oxide causing him to be able to move as fast as the cars he's dreamed about.

While I enjoyed the tale's relationship between brothers Theo and Chet, once Theo leaves his home and becomes a souped-up snail, Turbo begins to fall apart.  Theo finds himself at Dos Bros Taco store and, perhaps serendipitously, Tito (Michael Peña), one of the Dos Bro's, races snails for fun.  (Yeah...sure...)  When he discovers Theo's prowess, Tito decides to try and get Theo -- whom he names Turbo -- into the Indianapolis 500.

While Turbo looks decent and its main voice actors -- Ryan Reynolds and Paul Giamatti -- are solid, its story just doesn't work once Theo "becomes" Turbo.  While at Dos Bros, Turbo meets a slew of other snails -- voiced by people like Snoop Dogg, Maya Rudolph, and Samuel L. Jackson -- who have ridiculously stereotypical personalities and don't do anything to advance the story whatsoever.  They all could've (and should've) been eliminated and the plot essentially could have been rolled out in the same manner.  The film's climax feels obvious and rather forced, allowing for very little tension which doesn't help things either.

The RyMickey Rating:  C

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