Review: Turbo (2013)

Directed by: David Soren | 96 minutes | animation, adventure, comedy, family, sports | Dutch voice cast: Waldemar Torenstra, Ruben van der Meer, Javier Guzman, Roué Verveer, Murth Mossel, Maurits ‘Nega’ Delchot, Lieke van Lexmond, Patrick Martens, Tony Neef | Original Voice Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Paul Giamatti, Michael Peña, Samuel L. Jackson, Luis Guzmán, Bill Hader, Snoop Dogg, Maya Rudolph, Ben Schwartz, Richard Jenkins, Ken Jeong, Michelle Rodriguez, Mario Andretti, Mike Bell, Aidan Andrews, Aaron Berger, Jen Cohn, Ryan Crego, Rich Dietl, Paul Dooley, Derek Drymon, Susan Fitzer

Fluttering the black and white checkered finish flag at the Indianapolis 500 is one of Theo’s daydreams, a garden snail with a predilection for racing. Unfortunately, he is just an ordinary snail. Bored, he slips to the tomato plantation together with his peers every day. In the human vegetable garden, they separate the ripe tomatoes from the rotten varieties. And so Theo’s life passes day in, day out. He spends his spare time in the garage, where he is literally stuck to an old TV with a racing channel. His great hero, Indy 500 driver Guy Gagne, encourages him through the picture tube to always follow your dreams. And that is exactly what Theo is going to do.

Lost in thought, he leaves the garden in the evening and crawls towards the highway. Picked up by the driving wind, he is launched in a completely different setting: a street race and his heart immediately starts to beat faster. Theo has landed on the hood of one of the challengers and is bracing for the showdown between the two cars. With a thunderous force, it is sucked into the air intake and immersed in Nitrous Oxide, a liquid that provides a huge boost. And from that moment on everything has changed. The blue panacea is pumping through his body. With a strange feeling inside, he returns home and when the nemesis of the snail family is playing in the driveway on his tricycle, he carefully tries out his new superpower. With a bright blue skid mark as a result. The child on the pedal bike does not believe his eyes.

Chet, Theo’s brother, is not very impressed with the transformation and suggests that he just go back to work. But that is not on the agenda of the speed demon. He wants to participate in the race of the races: Indianapolis 500. Both do not notice that a few crows above their heads are in the mood for snails. When Chet is caught, Theo goes after him with full force and manages to free his brother from the crow’s beak. They have traveled quite a bit and ended up in a different part of the city. That is, in a dilapidated shopping square. The brothers look uncomfortably at each other and at that moment a plastic cup is placed over them. They are caught by Tito, a smiley taco restaurant owner. He has several racing snails and made a circuit especially for his slippery stars. The other shopkeepers of the square watch as Tito enthusiastically counts down the race. And there they go… at a snail’s pace. Participants Whiplash, Smoove Move, Burn and Skid Mark are equipped with side skirts, spoilers and neon lights, but this doesn’t make them a meter faster than a regular snail. Turbo can’t stand it, accelerates and pulls the tiles out of the street. Tito does not know what he sees, because he shares a great love for the Indy 500 with Turbo. An idea was born, because he wants Turbo to compete in the most important race in America. His brother Angelo, like Chet, is not very enthusiastic and would rather invest the entry fee in a new stove for the restaurant. But Tito doesn’t listen, sneaks out on the taco bus and heads for Speedway, Indiana with the snail team.

Turbo is overjoyed when he finally feels the speedway tarmac under his stomach, providing the perfect opportunity to test his super strength. The speed reading hangs at 220 mph and that guarantees him a spot in the race. Via the social media he becomes a huge hype and on the day of the race the stands are packed with audiences who come to see the spectacle. The shopkeepers and Angelo are also present and cheer Turbo on. His great hero Gagne is his formidable opponent. Everyone takes their place on the track and the race starts. Will Turbo have enough horsepower to cross the finish line first after 200 laps? Or is sportsmanship compromised by his great example Guy?

Animation is a genre that appeals to both young and old. And director David Soren, known as the voice actor of blockbusters such as ‘Madagascar’ and ‘Shark Tale’, also knows that. With newcomer ‘Turbo’ he tries to conquer pole position, but unfortunately this colorful family film ends in third place. The characters have been carefully designed and by wearing the 3D glasses you can almost feel the rubbery texture of the characters. But the articulation of the mouths in relation to the voices are not matched enough, which is sometimes very disturbing. Fortunately, a solid cast has been chosen that includes Ryan Reynolds (‘Green Lantern’), Snoop Dogg and Maya Rudolph (‘Bridesmaids’) and with their empathy for the gastropod creatures, they add much-needed depth to this generic Dreamworks film. . As original as animated films ‘Despicable Me’ or ‘Wall-E’ are, as predictable is ‘Turbo’. But that doesn’t really matter, because no child who sees this feel-good film will be disturbed by this. They will enjoy “turbo boosted” snail Theo and its Nitro-filled snail shell with open mouths. You can best compare ‘Turbo’ with an unadulterated entertaining boys’ book.

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