Movie Review: Turbo


turboTurbo is the story about overcoming the impossible. Dreaming of winning the Indy 500 is a dream most would find impossible. Dreaming of winning it when you’re a snail? Not a chance! This incredible underdog story reminds viewers that luck is far surpassed by hard work and persistence, and no matter what one’s obstacle, dreams can come true. Turbo is an inspiration to all.

Turbo’s story is told through the framework of two brothers—Turbo and Chet. Turbo, like his name, desires speed and thrill, and is perfectly cast by a cheerful and effervescent Ryan Reynolds. Chet, intent on keeping his brother safe—at times to a stifling and overbearing degree—is cast by the stuffy sounding yet insanely likable Paul Giamatti. The two actors face off perfectly—one, fun loving and the other, overprotective, but nevertheless ultimately embrace brotherly love. The perfect foil to this pair is the two brothers Angelo and Tito who own Dos Bros Tacos. Tito’s real passion is racing, just like Turbo,  while Angelo just wants Tito to toe the line and sell tacos. The parallel story adds additional humor and heart to the film.

The other key defining relationship in this movie is that of Turbo’s with his collective known as The Racing Snails. These snails, unlike Turbo, cannot physically move fast. However, what they lack in speed they make up for with ingenious and crafty methods of winning races. The Racing Snails’ imaginations also embody Turbo’s ideas of not allowing your physical limitations to hold back your dreams. The leader of the crew, Whiplash, both wise and tough, is adeptly portrayed by Samuel L. Jackson. Once Turbo has earned his respect, he and his familial crew help him fulfill his destiny. The other unforgettable members are the super cool low ride Smoove Move, portrayed by none other than smooth rapping Snoop Dogg, and sly and sassy Burn, played by a witty Maya Rudolph. They end up serving as Turbo’s pit crew in the Indy 500, and it is their heart and humor that serve as a glue for the film.

Set in Los Angeles, specifically in the San Fernando Valley, the film takes on an authentic feel, even amidst a storyline of racing snails. The backdrop’s legitimacy paints a vivid picture: what may seem impossible may not be so.