Running at a snails pace
David Soren and Ryan Reynolds
July 17th, 2013
Going into this movie the only thing on my mind was why in hell was Dreamworks ripping off the one Pixar series that turned out a belly-up movie. I still have no idea because contrary to my belief — this movie is not a rip off of Cars.
Instead Dreamworks went and made a movie devoted to the underdog fighting his way to the top, making it a reversal of Cars’ story of a high up falling to common level.
This movie stars Ryan Reynolds as Theo aka Turbo, a snail whose only dream is to go against his nature and be fast. He gets his inspiration for this dream from watching Indy races and in particular a French-Canadian driver by the name of Guy Gagne, played by Bill Hader.
After having almost being killed by a lawnmower from his lack of speed, Turbo goes on a soul search and winds up in the engine of a street racer. When the driver hits the nitrous it fuses with Theo’s DNA and makes him the snail equivalent of the Flash.
After being captured by a strip mall taco seller who discovers his speed they attempt to enter the Indy 500 to make money (the Taco seller) and to succeed in his dream (Turbo).
Two things make this movie work. The first is that despite the snails having little in facial features, Dreamworks animators do an amazing job of using the eye stalks to become very expressive. A strange choice for a kids film is that much of the movie is in quiet moments. Times when the only way we can tell what the character is feeling is by their looks.
All I can say is kudos to Dreamworks for their skills in that department. The second is that the voice cast do an amazing job. In addition to Ryan Reynolds the cast also includes Samuel “I have to be in every movie” Jackson, Snoop Dogg and Kim Jeong.
Every one of these actors brings a life to their characters and believability to their actions. Even near the end when Samuel Jackson eye-slaps Turbo you can see he’s doing it for the right reason.
The movie is not perfect however: I had two complaints in the movie — one major and one minor. The minor one is that I’m getting annoyed that there seems to be a law that every single underdog story must have Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger” played somewhere in it. Write a new song already Hollywood!!
The major complaint is the brother character named Chet played by Paul Giamatti. This has to be the most under supporting familial character I have ever seen since the stepsisters in Cinderella. He’s also one of the stupidest characters. I admit at first it must be difficult accepting that Turbo goes 226 mph but until the very end he never once shows any belief that Turbo has a chance.
Only when Turbo losses the power that made him supernatural does he do anything to change and it’s a complete turnaround that is never built upon throughout the movie.
In the end what is this movie. For me this was a fun little tale of overcoming your beginnings and living as you wish. As is said in the movie “no dream is too large nor the dreamer too small.” However it is pulled down by a predictable story, some small annoyances and a one really stupid character.
That’s why in my opinion I give this movie a 7/10. See it in theatres if you want but a home movie would be just as good.