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Turbo

Turbo

Turbo (Ryan Reynolds) is a speed-obsessed snail with an unusual dream: to become the world's greatest racer. This odd snail gets a chance to leave his slow-paced life behind when a freak accident gives him the power of superspeed. Newly revved-up, Turbo embarks on an extraordinary quest to enter and win the Indianapolis 500. Accompanied by a dedicated pit crew of trash-talking adrenaline junkies, Turbo becomes the ultimate underdog by refusing to let his limitations get in the way of his dreams.

Genre: Adventure, Animated, Comedy
Length: 96 min.
Rating: PG

Movie Details

Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Paul Giamatti, Michael Peña, Samuel L. Jackson, Luis Guzmán, Bill Hader, Snoop Dogg, Maya Rudolph, Ben Schwartz, Richard Jenkins, Ken Jeong, Michelle Rodriguez, Michael Patrick Bell
Directed by: David Soren
Produced by: Lisa Stewart

Movie Review

FILM REVIEW: TURBO
By Roger Moore
Tribune Newspapers Critic
2-1/2 stars

In animation shorthand, "Turbo" is "Cars" with snails. It's light on the jokes, but cute, with animation so vivid it looks photo-real.

It's another "impossible dream" tale, this time of a motor head mollusk who has a need for "terrifying, blinding speed." Theo (Ryan Gosling) is an auto-racing obsessed garden snail who longs to escape his colony of tomato-munchers. The occasional terror by a Big Wheel-riding tyke nicknamed "Shell Crusher" and the odd assault by crows is the only excitement in this overorganized, limited world.

He watches races on TV and works hard to improve his time over the measured yard -- 17 minutes is a personal best.

Speed? "It's in me," declares Theo, who prefers the nickname Turbo. "It's not," says his brother Chet (Paul Giamatti), who knows what he's talking about. "Not every dream is meant to come true."

Turbo is constantly taking risks that are sure to shorten his life, and sometimes even he can see that. Dejected, he slimes his way to the dry bed of the Los Angeles River, where he's caught up in some drag-racing and is sucked into the turbocharger of a nitrous oxide-boosted Camaro.

Darned if he isn't transformed into the World's Fastest Snail, sliming a literal blue streak down LA streets and up LA walls.

Darned if a taco-maker (Michael Pena) doesn't enter Turbo in his rundown strip mall's nightly snail races. Darned if Turbo doesn't chew up the souped-up local snails, led by Whiplash (Samuel L. Jackson) but including Smoove Move (Snoop Dogg).

And darned if that doesn't have the taco-maker and his fellow failing small business owners (Ken Jeong of "The Hangover" voices a nail parlor operator, Richard Jenkins a hobby-shop owner and Michelle Rodriguez an auto body shop operator) thinking "Indianapolis 500."

The first big laughs arrive when Jackson's character purrs that Turbo has "clearly got the skills to pay the bills ... if snails had bills." Bill Hader vamps up the French Indy car champ who inspires Turbo but who could not bear to lose to a snail in The Brickyard.

The situations are more amusing than the dialogue and shrieking Jeong one-liners. And as vivid as the race scenes are -- zooming over, through and under Indy cars -- if we want to watch photo-real auto-racing we can turn on the TV.

So although small children may be enchanted by this little gastropod that could, adults will be more sorely tested. For all the horsepower the "Turbo" boasts about, the movie tends toward the sluggish -- as in "slow as a slug."

MPAA rating: PG (for some mild action and thematic elements)

Running time: 1:35

Voice cast: Ryan Reynolds (Turbo); Paul Giamatti (Chet); Michael Peña (Tito); Samuel L. Jackson (Whiplash).

Credits: Directed by Davied Soren; written by Darren Lemke, Robert D. Siegel and David Soren; produced by Lisa Stewart. A DreamWorks Animation release.

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