In a summer full of big budget action films, DreamWorks’ Turbo really stands out. But does little to set itself a part from previous animated films. Directed by David Soren (Shark Tale & Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa), Turbo portrays itself as a strange, yet refreshing film that ultimately leaves most moviegoers hungry for more.
The story follows Theo, a snail obsessed with race-cars, who is voiced by Ryan Reynolds (Green Lantern & X-Men Origins: Wolverine), as he studies old VHS tapes of the Indianapolis 500 races in an attempt to increase his speed by one meter every day. Theo’s brother, Chet, who is voiced by Paul Giamatti (The Hangover Part II & Fred Claus) tries to caution him and think more on the realistic side.
Chet’s caution of his brother eventually leads him into helping Theo achieve his goal. However, when Theo gets thrown into the engine of a streetcar and is given magical powers without a thorough explanation, the story begins to take a noticeable turn in the wrong direction.
Shorty after being given these magical powers, Theo comes into contact with a band of misfit friends, who provides an extra amount of confidence that Theo uses to pursue his dream. But if it weren’t for the urban undertone of this film, these misfit friends would not only be completely out of place but downright offensive given their racial characteristics.
As Theo gets acquainted with his new friends, he also comes into contact with a taco truck operator named Tito, who is voiced by Michael Peña (Shooter & End of Watch) and develops a strong relationship with him due to their shared dream of racing in the Indianapolis 500.
This newly developed friendship leads to a ferocious battle between them and the film’s current champion, Guy Gagne who is voiced by Bill Hader (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs & Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs).
DreamWorks’ Turbo has a few things going for it but ultimately suffers due to its’ lack of structure in the later acts, thus keeping it from reaching what it sets out for in the first place. So if your expecting a good time with the kids, this movie will not disappoint but if you are going to see a great-animated film, you will be leaving the theater with the tank half full.
Reviewer’s statement: This film was viewed at a local theater while vacationing in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.