Turbo (2013) Revving into theaters a mere four months after DreamWorks Animation's last film (the prehistoric box-office smash The Croods ), Turbo is a mildly enjoyable warm-weather… 2013-07-17 PG PT96M Animation Paul Giamatti Ken Jeong Ryan Reynolds Maya Rudolph Ben Schwartz 20th Century Fox Film Corporation
Movie Review

Turbo (2013)

MPAA Rating: PG
Movie Guide | GETTING YOUR SNAILS DONE A freak accident tranforms our hero into a lightning-fast snail in DreamWorks' Turbo
Image credit: DreamWorks Animation
GETTING YOUR SNAILS DONE A freak accident tranforms our hero into a lightning-fast snail in DreamWorks' Turbo
EW's GRADE
B

Details Release Date: Jul 17, 2013; Rated: PG; Length: 96 Minutes; Genre: Animation; With: Paul Giamatti, Ken Jeong, Ryan Reynolds, Maya Rudolph and Ben Schwartz; Distributor: 20th Century Fox Film Corporation

Revving into theaters a mere four months after DreamWorks Animation's last film (the prehistoric box-office smash The Croods), Turbo is a mildly enjoyable warm-weather diversion that's neither as funny as it should be nor as emotionally rousing as it could be.

Voiced with a peppy blandness by Ryan Reynolds, Turbo is an oozy, slow-poke garden snail with sleepy, hooded eyes who dreams of being a speed demon. He spends his days noshing on backyard tomatoes and his nights watching NASCAR on TV. The ironically-named Turbo fantasizes about becoming a racing legend like his human hero, Guy Gagné (Bill Hader), who, through a Bouillabaisse-thick French accent tells his fans, ''No dream is big and no dreamer too small.'' Against the dream-dashing advice of his jowly snail brother (Paul Giamatti), Turbo takes Gagné's words to heart—especially after a freak accident transforms him into a fuel-injected mollusk with blazing speed. Turbo no longer slithers along at a millimeter-a-minute clip, he burns rubber, leaving a vapor trail of whizzing neon light in his wake.

Soon, a chubby taco-truck driver named Tito (Michael Peña) discovers Turbo's supernatural gift and adds him to his freak-show menagerie of delusional, gung-ho snails (a barking Samuel L. Jackson, a laid-back Snoop Dogg, and a sassy Maya Rudolph). He then enters Turbo into the Indy 500, where the wonder slug faces steep odds and squares off with Gagné. The climactic race scenes have a zippy, whiplash velocity thanks to the film's vertiginous 3-D. And while there's no denying that the film is a harmless, wholesome, and heart-warming ride crafted with polish and skill, it's also so predictable that you'll see every twist in the story driving down Fifth Avenue. B

Originally posted Jul 10, 2013 Published in issue #1269 Jul 26, 2013 Order article reprints