Published Nov 21, 2013Though its message is simplistic at best and perhaps even a little dubious under closer scrutiny, Turbo manages to strike a nice balance by aiming its humour squarely at children while still keeping adults in on the joke. It sticks close to a familiar winning formula: relying on the undeniable appeal of the underdog, and inserting the requisite cast of wacky characters to help root him along in his journey of overcoming the overwhelming odds he faces.
The underdog in question here is your average snail (Ryan Reynolds), who naturally dreams of going fast in spite of his inherent limitations. He worships the formidable racecar driver Guy Gagné (Bill Hader), fanatically watching old race clips on the TV in the garage where he lives when not working during the day at "The Plant," a tomato one to be precise, that's situated in a nearby garden. His brother Chet (Paul Giamatti) worries about Theo's unattainable aspirations, especially when Theo puts himself in harm's way to grab a tomato in a dangerous race with an oncoming lawnmower.
It's only after Theo lands on the hood of a car about to drag race and is subsequently sucked into its engine — where he somehow melds with some nitrous oxide — that he realizes his wildest fantasies. When he's then found by a burrito salesman, Tito (Michael Peña), and inserted into snail races that the salesman holds in his spare time with a colourful cast of snails, the realization that he now has blazing speed eventually leads to rebranding himself as Turbo, and an unlikely chance to compete in the Indianapolis 500.
While it earns few points for originality, there are a lot of funny moments from those supporting snails, a group that includes Samuel L. Jackson, Ben Schwartz and Snoop Dogg (or whatever he's calling himself now). Still, it's hard to ignore how the movie appears to be saying that anyone can achieve his or her dream, so long as you're lucky enough to experience some fantastical chemical reaction that gives you what are essentially superpowers.
There is a ton of supplemental material included on the disc, from fun music videos for songs like "Eye of The Tiger" and Snoop's contribution to the soundtrack to a rough look at a deleted introduction scene to Tito. However, the highlight is a comprehensive lesson in how to draw all of the featured snails, something that is not only a nice study in how the characters were designed, but also allows kids and adults alike to take an interest in drawing by attempting to follow along at home. (Fox)