Turbo (PG)

Animation 96 min. July 17, 2013
By Nick Schager
Big dreams come in small, slimy packages in Turbo, the story of a garden snail (Ryan Reynolds) who realizes his need for speed after a freak accident involving a hot rod's nitrous oxide tank turns him hyper-fast. Chastised for his race-car dreams by curmudgeonly brother Chet (Paul Giamatti), Turbo nabs a farfetched shot at Indianapolis 500 glory after he winds up at a local taco stand and befriends Tito (Michael Pena), a kindred dreamer whose fanciful future plans are similarly put down by a pragmatic sibling (Luis Guzmán). David Soren's story peddles rote messages about believing in yourself and seizing the day, all while adhering to convention at every hairpin turn, be it a cast of comedic-relief sidekicks (voiced by, among others, Samuel L. Jackson and Snoop Dogg) or an arrogant villain in Turbo's idol-cum-rival Guy Gagné (Bill Hader). Among this illustrious voice cast, only Giamatti stands out, bringing an exasperated protectiveness and anxiety to the otherwise sunshiny-y bright proceedings, which exhibit scant interest in drumming up any sense of danger or dread. Content to be merely cheerfully clichŽd, it's an assembly-line kids' film that, unlike its daring protagonist, risks little, and thus reaps only modest rewards.
David Soren Ryan Reynolds, Paul Giamatti, Ken Jeong, Maya Rudolph, Ben Schwartz, Snoop Dogg, Samuel L. Jackson Darren Lemke Lisa Stewart DreamWorks Animation

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