Good animated movie! Who doesn't like a good underdog story? Well i for one do. Turbo is a fun, colorful, heart warming and cute film about big dreams and small beginnings. The lively cast make for a really charming film, really liked the characters. It is a fairly predictable film but the heart makes it special and makes up for that mostly. The racing theme is fun but Cars has done it before in the animated genre though in Turbo that setting felt really good and genuine. I liked the idea of a diverse humble supporting cast though a few stereotypes are there but nothing offensive. Granted the story is weak and it could have been developed on a further level to enhance the film and characters. The music is an added bonus with some classics and pumping familiar tracks though original music would have been a bit better. It isn't the best animated film this year but it is sweet and a fun, quick and charming watch.
From the makers of MADAGASCAR and KUNG FU PANDA, TURBO is a high-velocity 3D comedy about a snail who dares to dream big - and fast. After a freak accident infuses him with the power of super-speed, Turbo kicks into overdrive and embarks on an extraordinary journey to achieve the seemingly impossible: competing in the world's fastest race, the Indianapolis 500. With the help of his tricked-out streetwise snail crew, this ultimate underdog puts his heart and shell on the line to prove that no dream is too big, and no dreamer too small.
A simple snail is turned into a super fast snail when he accidentally gets sucked up into a modded cars turbo engine and he somehow mutates into this supersnail (yeah you missed this idea Marvel). So this story is gonna be even more outlandish than the regular insect animations.
At first the angle of the film is much like any other creepy crawly kids flick, its silly but its still based around how that creature actually exists in reality. In a garden munching on leaves, lettuce, tomatoes, getting eaten by birds and avoiding dangerous situations like evil kids. But as the film progresses it slowly morphs into a clear 'Fast n Furious' rip off for kids. At first I wasn't too sure if I was gonna like it but luckily the plot takes us into the realms of F1/Indycar racing...I feared an all out cheesy chav filled bling fest.
The visuals are filled with neon which tends to be a cheap way to try and make things look cool but admittedly it does look quite good here. I do like the neon snail trail 'Turbo' leaves and how it follows the coils in his shell. Although the fact his little body made all sorts of car noises and his eyes lit up as headlights was a bit too far for me. I did also find myself liking his fellow snail friends with their ridiculous shells, it was totally daft but kinda cute at the same time. The snail crew were actually really amusing I must admit, S.L. Jackson really makes the most of his well known loud aggressive persona which was funny coming from a little snail. The rest were kinda cliched with the obligatory hip hop snail in a small crew that were clearly a parody of the characters in '2 Fast 2 Furious', 'White Shadow' was easily the best snail for me.
The story is insane though, this fat guy (Mexican?) finds Turbo and decides the best thing to do is enter him in the Indianapolis 500...yes the real Indianapolis 500. Now I have to say this concept is beyond surreal frankly but there we go. I can't really moan about it as this is in no way suppose to be taken seriously. I mean the snails supposedly only know of their little garden world, so how would they know what Mexican food is or anything in the outside world? oh right Turbo watches TV...I'll stop right here. Anyway if it were me I'd just get the snail on the news and travel the world showing him off, why risk getting the little fella crushed straight away?!.
Its definitely more of a kids film but I'm sure adults will enjoy some of it, the whole thing is so cozy and cheerful how can you not like it?. The quick little quips from various snail characters kept me amused, Giamatti as 'Chet' was good for that. The classic underdog (undersnail hehehe) tale, there aren't any surprises here lets put it this way. What happens in the race (the whole plot) is basic 101 story telling and you know what will happen a mile off. This isn't a problem though as the film is all heart, full of bright colourful visuals and some great little characters (crank up the merchandise machine).
Turbo is a generic Dreamworks animated movie about a super fast snail that enters the Indy 500. Obviously this movie is a cash grab to get kids to buy toys and see sequels, but it is entertaining. The voice cast is very impressive. Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson, Paul Giamatti, Snoop Dogg, Michael Pena, among many others, all do a fantastic job. The animation while offering nothing new, is still eye popping. It's kind of a "Cars" meets "Bugs Life" mashup/ripoff, but it is what it is. Could have been a lot worse. Just in a Summer with 2 big, excellent animated movies("Monsters U" and "Despicable Me 2"), this one just falls a little short. But I'm not the target audience. My 2 year old loved it though, so I'm sure we'll have the blu ray on repeat this Winter. If you have kids, especially a little boy, then you gotta check it out. Otherwise, I'd say just pass on it and watch it when it's on Netflix.
One thing that animation has to have a lot of is action, otherwise it being an animated film is rather unnecessary. And while there are of course a few snail races, too much time is given over to dialogue and lame jokes, all of which could have been accomplished without the use of CGI. Every characteristic about a snail one could think of is used as the butt of some joke or bout of ridicule, from eye stalk length to shell size and pattern, and none are very funny. And while the voice acting is competent (Samuel L. Jackson is as distinctive as ever), there's nothing this film does that's notably good or bad. It's a thoroughly average snail tale that, while it will appeal to the child demographic, offers nothing of interest to any other.
The story follows Theo (Ryan Reynolds) a garden snail who wishes to be a racer and go fast. His brother Chet (Paul Giamatti) tells him this dream is impossible and to give it up. When he is injected with nitrous oxide he is given the power of super speed which ultimately leads him and his brother into the hands of Tito (Michael Pena), a taco delivery truck driver. Theo then changes his name to "Turbo", and together they get a chance to achieve their dreams when they are able to compete in the Indy 500.
The plot of this film is pretty much if they made a superhero movie for The Flash if he was a snail and animated. It's of course a story we have seen before but what surprises me is that DreamWorks is able to take a generic formula and tweak it to make it new and original which they didn't do in this film. They took the regular princess and prince story and turned that into "Shrek" which ended up being so great because it was almost a spoof, this film is just follows the formula and gives us a movie from it. When I was growing up I was the biggest fan of Pixar films even though I didn't understand the caliber of their genius at the time, and nowadays I am proud to say those original and heartfelt movies are what I remember from my childhood because they went outside formula and created masterpieces. I believe children are smarter than we believe, because they are the ones who decide which films will survive when they get older and thanks to that great films like "Toy Story" or "Finding "Nemo" have survived and are still among the most popular and original movies to this day. DreamWorks has created some great films as well that even have stuck with me to this day, old ones like Shrek or even new ones like "How to Train Your Dragon" were original and brilliant and shows me DreamWorks is capable of so much greatness. But I just didn't feel that greatness in this film, and it overall just felt like a harmless and fun summer animated film. Maybe it's because DreamWorks releases so animated films every year that they just can't all be amazing, but this film nevertheless gives us something good. I really enjoyed the characters in the film that keep the film flowing and fun. Turbo is a nice and humorous snail with dreams which makes him relatable to the audience, and his brother Chet is a downer who only wants Turbo to take life slow but that also makes him the reasonable one. Tito is a very enjoyable character and I was able to connect with his character more because we can see he is a selfless and lovable person who only wants to help his brother and achieve greatness. There is a group of snails in the film voiced by a bunch of famous actors that were really fun, but I will not go into detail about all of them. Overall many people like me will agree that the story is forgettable and doesn't achieve greatness, but the characters are enough for me and the rest of the audience walk out of the film smiling.
The voice cast manages to really shine in this film, even while some big actors never really serve a purpose. Ryan Reynolds has two films coming out this week, this and "R.I.P.D," so it will be interesting if he will give a better performance in that or in this animated feature. He gives Turbo a real lifelike felling, as if a snail actually could have hopes and dreams. Ridiculous of course, but his lovable and cool performance makes Turbo a very good protagonist to follow. Paul Giamatti is one of the best actors living today, and while he can't really show his true talent in a film like this, his character was still able to have the most heart out of anyone here because of his acting abilities. We see he doesn't want to watch his brother die trying to achieve some crazy dream, but we also see him grow in the film which really made me connect with him more and love his character. Michael Pena gives such a loving and charming performance that is impossible to not adore, as his character is by far the most fun human in the entire film. He is gullible and caring, which makes him perfect for a friendship with a snail. Samuel L. Jackson is just Samuel L. Jackson, which is anything I could've hoped for. How can I resist watching Nick Fury in animated form as a crazy and cool snail who is able to fight crows, that is just Sam Jackson style right there. Many other actors in the film such as Bill Hader, Snoop Dog, Maya Rudolph, Ken Jeong and Luis Guzman all have their nice moments but there is not a lot of time for them to really be remembered and they could've got anyone to play these characters. Overall I enjoyed the cast and without them giving us lovable and relatable characters this film would've been in big trouble.
Turbo could've been a lot of things, but no matter what the films lacks it still manages to have enough heart to be a good film. The kids will of course fall in love with the film more than the adults will, but it's that kind of magic and fun that I miss from my childhood and that animated films remind me of. This movie doesn't just focus on the idea of inspiring people and achieving our dreams, but also the bond of brothers and friends. Turbo and Tito meet and they have everything in common, they both wish for something more in life and they both have a brother telling them to just live the life they have. We see the bond with Turbo and his brother Chet grow in the film as they come to an understanding about what they want to be, and it was a nice thing to see in a film that has copied storyline. I usually don't have too much of a problem with animated films that are using a formula, but this film seems like it's trying to take elements of other films of its kind and mix it all into a film that is predictable and generic. Just knowing exactly how the film would end took me away from the film a bit and it made it less than great, but that is not enough to take away the films good qualities. You must watch this kind of film in the eyes of a child and ask yourself "would I love this if I were a kid?" and for me I probably would. But sadly I am stuck in my adult form and must review this film for some of the problems it has, but if you love good old fashioned fun and humor in an animated film, this is for you. The comedy in the film is fun and works well, although it's certainly not one of the funniest of DreamWorks films. It focuses more on the heart of the story and less on the comedy, which may or may not have been a good thing but we will never know. Director/Writer David Soren is a longtime DreamWorks Animation contributor and now he has finally gotten the chance to direct, and I believe he did has given us a worthy film in the line of 2013's animated features, while I still recommend parents take their kids to see "Monsters University" while they still have the chance. But if you are in the need of a fun film to lift your spirits, this is one for you.
Featuring anything from racially stereotypical Mexican humans to kiddy humor behind an over-the-top premise, this film has a silliness to it that one might expect in a family flick like this, yet is still hard to get over, considering the sense of inspiration backing the telling of a silly narrative. The thoughtful approach taken to over-the-top subject matter makes it kind of difficult to feel out the full maturity level of this family film, although it's not like inspired storytelling ever stood a chance of at least washing away its silly narrative's conventions. Like many critics are saying, this film has a refreshing story concept, but in execution, this effort is far from as refreshing, for David Soren's, Robert Siegel's and Darren Lemke's script goes tainted with familiar family-style humor and plotting tropes that are sometimes aggravating in their being so unoriginal. In certain areas, this film asks for more from its audience than what it puts in with all of its silliness and conventions, and yet, the misguided attributes are ultimately not as recurring as I make them seem, so DreamWorks' trademark inspiration should be able to make the final product not simply decent, but good. At the end of the day, what really undercuts this film's reward value is simply simplicity, as this story is not only silly, but minimalist, with meat limitations that should be there to some extent in a family film, but betrays this particular flick's ambition. There's a lot of heart being put into this project, and on the whole, the pay-off is quite commendable, almost to the point of making the final product unexpectedly good, yet as things stand, misguided areas to the interpretation of a minimalist premise hold this promising effort back. The film is simply not what it could have been, but more than that, it's better than I feared, coming close enough to rewarding to entertain thoroughly, and even stand out visually.
Following a trademark DreamWorks style, this film's animations are delightfully energetic, with just the right amount of life to enhance liveliness about as much as action that is thrillingly fast-pace in its staging, as well as eye-popping in its visual style. Of course, it's not like the visuals need flashing lights and thrilling action to be eye-popping, for this effort keeps consistent in being a particularly stylistically delightful animated film of 2013, although that's not to say substance is disregarded. Like I said, this story is a little too silly and thin for total comfort, and the execution is with less originality than you might expect, but bite is still not so watered down that it doesn't engage with an intrigue and potential that David Soren's, Robert Siegel's and Darren Lemke's flawed script does justice more often than not, with sharp, if not hilarious humor and dynamic set pieces, in addition to colorful characterization that is made all the more memorable by performances which are just as colorful. Certain voice talents have their moments to shine, but just about everyone holds enough of his or her own distinguished charm to play just as big, if not a bigger part in bringing life to the characters who play their own big part in making the final product so memorable. Yes, people, the film is a whole lot more memorable than I expected, thanks largely to a major fun factor that is brought to life by lively writing and characters, and truly finalized by lively direction. This really is the passion project debut feature for DreamWorks Animation storyboard artist David Soren, who co-wrote the script and even single-handedly came up with the story concept, but primarily projects his inspiration within a directorial performance that utilizes the aforementioned sharp style and structuring to sustain a consistently brisk pace, controlled from freneticism by a certain thoughtfulness that graces the final product with a near-overwhelming sense of heart. If nothing else, this film is endearing, but that isn't all that this film is, as it meets ambition with enough inspiration in style and storytelling to entertain so thoroughly that the final product comes close to rewarding, even if it could have dashed further.
When the race is done, a silly and minimalist premise is told with so formulaically that the final product eventually finds itself sputtering out just short of rewarding, but the fact that this effort goes that far on the backs of outstanding animation and action, reasonably sharp writing and voice acting, and thoroughly lively and heartfelt direction is enough to make David Soren's "Turbo" nothing short of a mightily fun family flick, in spite of its having more limitations than its racing snail lead.
2.75/5 - Decent
On the positive, the film does have some good and funny moments in it. The songs in the film are great. The actors are well casted in their voice over roles. Ryan Reynolds is having better luck with animated films than live action films. Giamatti is great playing Ryan's brother. His character reminded me of Emile the brother in Ratatouile. Michael Pena and Luis Guzman are great as Tito and Angelo. Sam Jackson and Snoop Dog are great in their roles.
Overall, it is a cute film, which could have been better.
In this PG-rated animated family flick, a freak accident might just help an everyday garden snail (Reynolds) achieve his big dream of winning the Indy 500.
Ryan Reynolds does a fine job voicing the titular racing hero. In fact, the whole cast gets comprised of 'tooned-in VoiceOver veterans like GIamatti, Michael Pena, Luiz Guzman, Bill Hader, Richard Jenkins, Ken Jeong, Michelle Rodriguez, Maya Rudolph, Snoop Dog, and Samuel L. Jackson. And that's the curse as much as the blessing. Everything - from the celebrity pipes to the story - feels like a Hand-Me-Down. Granted, the action moves lightning quick but such a boon hardly matters once moviegoers realize that they've already stood at similar finish lines before.
Bottom line: Shell schlock.