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CGIFeature FilmTalkback

“Turbo” Reader Reviews

Few industry observers are banking on Turbo, the David Soren-directed DreamWorks pic about a garden snail who races in the Indianapolis 500, to be a blockbuster. But the film is being well received by its kindertot target demo, having received an A+ CinemaScore rating from filmgoers under age 18. The general audience has deemed it sufficiently likable too, giving it an A rating. The critical consensus has delivered a milder yet still respectable 67%.

In Variety critic Peter Debruge’s review, he forgoes the most obvious comparison to Pixar’s Cars and instead says it’s “closer in spirit to Pixar’s Ratatouille.” He continues, “Turbo adheres to an otherwise safe formula, combining cute cartoon characters with the standard all-American ‘dream big’ message: If a rat can thrive in a French restaurant, then why can’t a snail become an Indy speedster.” The NY Times sees the glass as half-full: “Even in the absence of originality, there is fun to be had,” while the Hollywood Reporter is less than impressed: “…[I]t’s as if the makers of Turbo had been pressed to come up with the most extreme underdog tale they could think of. Or else animators really are running out of ideas for original new characters.”

It’s your turn now. After you see the film, report back here with your thoughts in the comments below. As always, this talkback is reserved for readers who have seen the film and wish to comment on it. Any general comments about the film will be politely discarded.

(Turbo billboard via Daily Billboard)

  • It’s good. I was especially impressed with the race sequence in the third act, where the filmmakers did a good job building up the tension and the excitement of the race. Also, as someone from Van Nuys (where part of the film takes place), I found it funny they actually modeled the large run down car wash that’s been sitting there for years in the North Hollywood area.

  • Yellow Threat

    Just came back from watching it with my 6 year-old son, and we loved it. It’s a perfect movie for really young children, with no violence at all, and funny characters that are never crass. The bad guy is also interesting, with self-help commonplaces all the time, and revealing his true personality in the end. The california suburbs setting, and the latin characters was refreshingly delightful, too. It opened today in Brazil.

  • It’s exceedingly average but it’s inoffensive.

  • George Comerci

    I thought it was really good! I saw it on the day it came out, and I really enjoyed it. Pretty much everything is perfect :)

  • sjthespian

    I saw Turbo Wed night, and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. I went in with really low expectations, after all, a *racing* snail?! However, the movie has some great characters and a lot of heart. The story has some surprising twists and turns and definitely takes some risks in places. While the film feels marketed towards boys, there is something in it for everyone and even the adults going with them should have a good time.

  • Joseph Nebus

    I saw it — at a drive-in! — primarily because I wanted to see Despicable Me 2 (the other half of the bill), but also because I wanted to see if they actually did have a scene where someone says “it just so happens there’s nothing in the rules that says a snail can’t be an Indianapolis 500 car”. When this scene actually did happen I laughed long and hard and it’s probably a good thing I was in my car rather than annoying the kids in the audience.

    Mostly, though, I was disappointed: the movie just slogged from point to point, carrying on dopily, and never bothering to come up with good reasons for the stuff that goes on to happen. Case in point: grant that the snail is allowed to race in the Indianapolis 500. Why is it necessary that he win in order to bring fame and fortune to the failing Los Angeles strip mall which sponsored him? Wouldn’t appearing at all be impressive enough? Well, he has to win because … that’s this genre of movie, that’s all.

    There are a couple good moments, scenes where the movie seems to be taking flight to being an absurdist riff on a really tired storyline, eg, “Your trash-talking is unnecessarily complex!” or “You’ve got glasses, I’ve got glasses, what do we need to do to make this work?” But for the most part, well, I was saddened to think that Roger Ebert died too young to give us his review of this film.