Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around

Review: Turbo

10:00 AM on 07.19.2013 // Matthew Razak

I feel the need... the need for speed(y snails)

When you see a trailer for yet another anthropomorphic children's movie you get a little suspicious, especially when that movie isn't made by Pixar. When the things being anthrpomorphized are snails you become even more skeptical. And when those anthropomorphized snails have a host of famous names plastered across the top of their movie's poster, like so many animated films do in order to attract viewers to their less than quality offerings? Well, then you damn near throw in the towel in when it comes to enjoying the film.

That would be a mistake with Turbo (but possibly not any other snail-based movies that fit into the above description). 

Director: David Soren

Rated: PG
Release Date: July 17, 2013

Turbo is the tale of a snail (sorry, had to say that once) named Turbo (Ryan Reynolds) who is obsessed with speed and to that end Indy car racing. Unfortunately for him he's a snail so he's slow and has to work at the local tomato plant with his down-to earth brother Chet (Paul Giamatti). However, after a freak accident Turbo gets turbo speed and through a series of only-believable-to-children turn of events he ends up as a contender in the Indy 500 racing against his idol, French Candadian Guy Gagné (Bill Hader), for a team funded by a Taco truck owned by a pair of brothers, Tito (Michael Peña) and Angelo (Luis Guzman).

Obviously the story is far from believable, even when talking animals are concerned, but, as with most children's movies, it's more about the themes and fun than logic and story. Turbo treads over pretty familiar themes about chasing your dreams and believing in one's self, but it does it with a clever screenplay and charm that make the tropes feel fun and fresh again. It's also such an oddball premise that everything in it feels fresh even when it isn't.

The real shining aspect of the film, at least visually, is the racing. Once Turbo gets his speed on the film is a blast to watch and once he's in the Indy 500 it's stellar. The animation is fantastic, as we're to expect now from Dreamworks, but it's first-time director David Soren's impressive ability weave the scenes together that really make it work. Soren, who has been working on Dreamworks films as a writer and animator for a while now, impressively steps up here. I'd pay to see him direct a live action race movie any day. Of course, your kids will simply be googly-eyed at the spectacle, but it's always great for adults to have their interest held captive as well. 

The movie does release in 3D and it does look great. The racing sequences are really fantastic with a bit of depth, but they'd be fantastic without it as well. Unless you're a big 3D fan keep your money in your wallet for this one.

Despite the aforementioned qualities, the movie itself wouldn't have amounted to much if it wasn't for some of the best voice acting in quite a while. It's so good I'm actually mentioning the voice acting, which is a true rarity. Most of the time when big casts of actors get together for an animated film the acting is fine, but nowhere near a selling point. With Turbo it's good enough to listen to with your eyes closed. Giamatti is especially great as the manic snail brother and Samuel L. Jackson turns a smaller role into something more than just hearing Samuel L. Jackson's voice. Reynolds is fine, if not a little bland, as Turbo, but his eventual nemesis Guy Gagné is voiced with such wonderful pomp by Hader that it elevates his game as well.

Despite its oddly original concept, Turbo doesn't really push much new ground in terms of themes and that makes for a movie that's fun, and sometimes touching, but never as impactful as the truly great animated films. There's definitely some heart and soul here, especially thanks to the voice acting, but it's mostly fun and flash. We aren't heralding in the next Shrek here, but Dreamworks has crafted a movie that feels fresh and fun enough to keep kids and adults entertained. 


Turbo - Reviewed by Matthew Razak

Good. I liked this one, and you will too.

Matthew Razak, Editor-in-Chief
 Follow Blog + disclosure MatthewRazak Tips
Matthew Razak is the Editor-in-Chief here at Flixist, meaning he gets to take credit for all this awesome even though its really the rest of the amazing staff that gets it done. He started as a c... more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

Flixist's previous coverage:

  Mar 19

Netflix Now: SXSW Recovery Edition

Turbo, How I Live Now, Archer Season Four and more on Netflix Instant

  Jul 22

Box Office Numbers: WTF R.I.P.D.? OMG! LOL!

Peter Chris from Kiss would have made Green Latern slightly better (still awful)

  Mar 20

Trailer: Turbo

Shift into turbo? Gotta go fast? Is it one of those things?

View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant
Ads on Flixist may be purchased from:

Please contact Crave Online, thanks!

Review of Sacachispas: Documenting Argentina’s Passion

VPN Service Provider

Poker Films

Tips for the cricket fielding to improve performance

Facts for Cricket Betting Online


Benefits of Human Growth Hormones

The Power of Social Media for You Small Business

Five Reasons Why Slumber is Ideal for Your Fitness

Constantly on the Road? Use these 7 Best Apps for Watching Movies on your iPhone

 Add your impressions


Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -