Reviews & Previews - Turbo

Posted on Tuesday, July 30, 2013 at 06:00 PM


Reviewed by: S. Tran


Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Paul Giamatti, Samuel L. Jackson, Michael Peria

Directed by: David Soren

Running Time: 96 minutes

Rated: PG


This Ain’t No Shrek


As my kids get older we now see more family films and the trailers for Turbo made the the two little ones very anxious to see it. If I were to write a review from their perspective I would say this movie was great and I laughed and there was a snail but it was fast and I ate popcorn and that would be about it.


But I’m  a grown man and I wear big boy pants so I need to take a harder look at this movie and discuss more intellectual aspects of the film. Do we need a plot recap? OK. Theo (Reynolds) is a snail who wants to go fast. They milk this joke about how slow snails are many times in the film. He gains super speed in a freak accident and is now Turbo, then he enters the Indy 500. All this somehow earns a PG rating.


Cartoons are supposed to make little sense but this one makes a little less sense than some but we won’t get hung up on that. Turbo’s cautious brother Chet (Giamatti) gets pulled along and they meet up with Whiplash (Jackson) who leads a gang of street racing snails (the normal slow kind).


For the grownups who accompany their kids to this movie there’s really nothing to help us pass the time. Its pretty standard kiddie fare and unlike Shrek there aren’t any inside jokes or clever references. The characters are all pulled from the shelves including various stereotypes. I’m always amazed what cartoons get away with including characters that would otherwise be considered borderline racist in any other movie, I mean a shrill Asian nail salon owner and two hispanic brothers who run a taco truck, complete with accents, really?


I get that everyone in a cartoon is a caricature but Turbo is fairly lazy film making and the reliance on such characters is a good example of that. Just because this is aimed at a younger audience doesn’t mean you can’t try for a little more. If its just some slapstick you are going for and some tired message about believing in yourself then your audience may as well just stay home and watch the Cartoon Network.


It looks great and there are funny moments for the kids but there’s nothing else. It’s one of those films made to make some money for the studio. Parents will be looking at their watches pretty early on, but your younger kids may enjoy it.


2.5 stars out of 5



NOTE: The showtimes listed on come directly from the theatres' announced schedules, which are distributed to us on a weekly basis. All showtimes are subject to change without notice or recourse to