Have you ever wished you could go just a little bit faster? Well, today’s movie offers a solution: jump in a pool of nitrous oxide. You’ll be moving faster than the Flash in no time.
Turbo is the story of a snail who is granted superspeed and a shot at the Indy 500. Does it belong in the winner’s circle, or is it a slow starter? Well, let’s take a look at the trailer and find out. (To follow along, go to YouTube and look up “Turbo – Official Trailer #3 (HD) Ryan Reynolds.”)
So who stars in this movie? Ryan Reynolds is the voice of Turbo; he has also appeared in Green Lantern, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and Buried. His brother Chet is played by Paul Giamatti, whose films have been Saving Private Ryan, The Truman Show, and Cinderella Man. And Samuel L. Jackson himself lends his amazing voice to a snail named Whiplash. Jackson’s other film appearances include Pulp Fiction, The Incredibles, Unbreakable, and Snakes on a Plane.
The director is David Soren, whose previous projects include . . . actually, this is his first picture. He’s done a few Madagascar television specials, but he has never directed a full-length feature film. So I have no idea how his involvement will affect this movie, but it’ll be interesting to see.
As the trailer opens, Turbo introduces himself to us, saying, “I just wanna go a little faster.” You know, laxatives are great for that. But he achieves his goal, completing the twelve-inch dash in a mere seventeen minutes. Congratulations, Turbo, you can crawl a foot in less time than it takes Shia LeBouf to stutter out a complete sentence. Chet encourages him to slow down and enjoy life, wishing passing Phil the Snail a good morning right before the poor guy gets snatched up by a crow. “I have a life?” Turbo asks. Well, he does, but Phil doesn’t.
But Turbo still isn’t satisfied. Crawling along the road, he looks up, sees a star, and makes a wish for extra speed. And as the old song goes, “When you wish upon a star, you get hit by a truck.” He tumbles off the highway and into a drag race, where he gets sucked into one of the motors. As he whirls around inside, the nitrous oxide fuel gives him superspeed. Wait, isn’t nitrous oxide laughing gas? How did this not turn him into the Joker?
So Turbo winds up in a snail race, and a half dozen of the fastest snails ooze their way down the track. “Look,” an old grandmother taunts as Turbo sits there. “He dead!” No, but he should be. Seems he had superpowers even before the accident; he survived getting hit by a truck, crushed by high velocity winds, and drowned in fuel. He’s invincible!
Feeling like showing off, Turbo tears up the track, impressing Whiplash and the other snails. They slide over and introduce themselves, showing off their designer shells. By the way, do they still count as snails if their shells are made from paper clips, screws, and rocket engines instead of, you know, shell? Anyway, Turbo’s captor, Tito, reveals that his taco place is about to go out of business. Good; maybe he can get a job that doesn’t involve working with flammable materials. Like tortilla shells. And ovens.
So what’s the guy’s plan for saving the business he’s clearly incapable of running? Why, he’ll enter Turbo in the Indianapolis 500! Yeah, I’m pretty sure they’d never let a snail into the Indy 500, mainly because it’s a car race. Not to say no one would be impressed by a snail who can break the sound barrier, but that’s still got to be against the rules of the race. I feel like the smarter plan would be to take your show on the road, maybe play Vegas, and possibly even get a movie deal. In fact, that may be exactly how Turbo came to exist. But just to drive home how stupid this plan is, upon hearing it, Grandma declares, “That’s nice. I’m gonna go have heart attack.” Well, it’s nice that she plans these things in advance. It’s so much more convenient for the paramedics.
As the restaurateur and the snail bond, Tito puts Turbo to bed. “Did he just kiss you goodnight?” Chet asks. More importantly, did he just tuck you into a snail taco? Turbo’s new friends prepare him for the race with tape that doesn’t add or remove anything important and more water than he can drink. These guys are possibly the worst pit crew ever. Turbo asks Whiplash if he’s crazy, and the snail replies, “Yeah, I’m crazy! What made you think I was sane?” Yeah, I’ve got no joke for that. Sometimes the lines are funny enough to stand by themselves. Before the little racer heads out to the track, Chet asks him, “What happens if you wake up tomorrow and your powers are gone?” Then I’ll go out and get hit by a truck again. No biggie.
The snails go parachuting, because, you know, racing snails do that. They also play dress-up. Surprisingly, that I have no problem with. Then one of the drivers catches Turbo, declaring, “I will not lose to a snail!” Dude, it’s a snail with superspeed. It’s not like losing to another driver; this is a miracle! It will not damage your reputation. Be amazed, not threatened. But apparently, none of this occurs to him, so he crushes Turbo in his hand. Wow, that was a dark ending for a kids’ movie. But no, Grandma beats up the driver instead. Apparently, she takes ninja training in between heart attacks.
So based on the trailer, do I recommend this movie? Absolutely. It’s got lots of humor, great animation, and a wonderful message about following your dreams. It also comes from DreamWorks, which has been on a roll with enchanting, wholesome animated films. If you’re looking for a movie that you can enjoy with your kids, this is a great choice. Will I see it? Probably not in theaters, since I’m not that into racing, but I’ll definitely rent it when it comes out on DVD. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go get hit by a truck so I can get superspeed.
Turbo is owned by 2oth Century Fox.