Turbo is the latest Dreamworks animation which follows the antics of Turbo the snail (Ryan Reynolds) whose love of motor racing has him daydreaming of being a famous racing driver, much to the annoyance of his brother and co-workers.
The mundane existence of the local garden snails consists of the daily slog of harvesting the tomato patch under the watchful eye of health and safety conscious foreman Chet (Paul Giamatti) who spends his day dividing his time between boring everyone with safety briefings and keeping his brother Turbo out of trouble.
Following the inevitable incident at the tomato patch due to Turbo’s antics, he strays from the confines of the garden and winds up on the bonnet of a muscle car in the middle of an illegal street race. As the car races along it sucks Turbo into the engine and he is infused with Nos which turns him, you guessed it, into an incredibly fast snail.
Upon his return, his speedy antics accidentally destroy the tomato patch and as he and his brother are banished, Chet is scooped up by a bird and Turbo has to save him using his super speed. Save him he does only for the pair of them to be captured by a local taco restaurant owner, Tito (Michael Pena), who has a sideline in running snail races. From here his super speed is revealed and Tito hatches a plan to promote Turbo as a way of making his restaurant a great success. After a rocky start a plan is hatched to enter Turbo into the Indy 500 setting up the last third.
The result is as inevitable as the rest of the plot although some of the obvious avenues that could have been taken are at least avoided leaving a small amount of mystery to proceedings and in the end with the characters all likable enough, the ending is as it should be.
The debut feature from director David Soren, Turbo is mostly aimed at the younger market with bright colours, loud noises and not too much in the way of adult humour or, unfortunately, much of a deviation from the rather obvious plot which hatches very early on. It is by no means a bad film it just suffers in the same way that Cars does in that it lacks the depth of its superior kin such as Toy Story or Monsters’ Inc. which relied on so much more than cutesy characters and pretty animation.
There are some stand out moments, such as every time a snail is plucked from a branch by a bird the rest of the snails simply say There goes Dave with no fear but rather an air of resignation that one day it will be them. However such moments are few and far between and although children will enjoy it, adults will be found mostly wanting.
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