Film Review by Kam Williams
Theo (Ryan Reynolds) is routinely ridiculed by his friends for entertaining what they see as the impossible dream of one day competing in the Indianapolis 500. Even his brother, Chet (Paul Giamatti), suggests that, “The sooner you accept the reality of your existence, the happier you’ll be.”
After all, Theo is just your garden variety, suburban snail and thus so slow he can barely get out of the way of a lawnmower or a kid on a tricycle. But that hasn’t stopped him from permanently painting the number “5” and racing stripes right on his shell.
Theo whiles away his days dining on tomatoes that have ripened on the vine and fallen to the ground. At night, however, he retreats to his lair to watch TV and see drivers like his hero, Guy Gagne (Bill Hader), fly around racetracks at over 200 miles per hour.
Everything changes the day Theo is inadvertently sucked into the engine of a passing automobile and accidentally injected with nitrous oxide. By the time he is deposited back on the ground somewhere in the inner city, the slowpoke slug has been transformed into the speed demon, Turbo, thanks to the luminescent laughing gas now coursing through his veins.
Soon, the motoring mollusk becomes the latest internet sensation and is welcomed to the ‘hood by a posse of streetwise slugs led by mellow Smoove Move (Snoop Dogg), trash-talking Whiplash (Samuel L. Jackson) and seductively sultry Burn (Maya Rudolph). He also finds human benefactors in the kindly co-owners of Dos Bros Tacos, a mobile Mexican restaurant.
Not surprisingly, all of the above, including the food cart, make their way from L.A. to Indiana, with altruistic Angelo (Luis Guzman) and Tito’s (Michael Pena) life savings covering the Indy 500 entrance fee. At the track, it’s no surprise that the race ultimately morphs into an exciting showdown between Turbo and his idol, Gagne.
Marking the masterful directorial debut of David Soren, Turbo is a visually- captivating and inspirational modern parable guaranteed to keep the tykes perched on the edge of their seats for the duration. For, besides its uplifting, overcoming the odds message, the movie fills the screen with a memorable menagerie of colorful characters who keep the laughs coming en route to the satisfying resolution.
A hilarious, high-octane variation of Aesop’s fable about The Tortoise and the Hare!
Excellent (4 stars)
Rated PG for mild action and mature themes
Running time: 96 minutes
Distributor: 20th Century Fox
To see a trailer for Turbo, visit
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