By Barnetty Kushner
Theo (Ryan Reynolds) is a snail who wants bigger and better things than the mundane life of a farmer snail. He dreams of becoming the world’s fastest snail; lucky for him a chance encounter with some nitrous oxide driven street racers results in Theo falling through a supercharged Camaro’s engines, and into the nitrous oxide tank. This is where he gains amazing superpowers and car-like abilities, such as headlights for eyes, alarm system shell, and most importantly SPEED. And so begins Theo’s quest to become the fastest racer ever. He and his unsupportive brother Chet (Paul Giamatti) are fired from the colony and are forced to find shelter elsewhere. They are picked up by a friendly taco stand owner Tito (Michael Pena) who brings them to a rundown shopping center where Theo is pitted up against several snails with some seriously funny street racing attitude and “tricked-out” shells. Leaving his fellow slugs in the dust and gaining the new name TURBO; Theo, Tito, and the snail gang try to convince Tito’s brother Angelo (Luis Guzman) and the other proprietors of the shopping center they should sponsor TURBO to race in the Indy 500. Where the wonderslug faces tough odds and squares off with some of the best names in racing including his hero, Guy Gagne (Bill Hader).

Dreamworks definitely pulls out all the racing stops with this one, from street racing to professional racing, they made sure to capture the essence of each style. If racing isn’t your cup of tea, than the comedic antics of the slug gang voiced by Samuel L. Jackson, Snoop Dog, Ben Schwartz and Maya Rudolph will keep you chuckling with their wise cracks and over the top tricks. Directing his first animated movie, David Soren does a wonderful job at keeping the audience engaged, and entertained in this predictable plot.

As uplifting as the storyline seemed, the race scenes were pretty dramatic, the racecars were very lifelike and the track conditions were true to reality. Props to the graphics design team for their attempt at shooting scenes from the point of view of a snail including flying tire rubber and near fatal crash scenes.

As I sat in the theater watching the movie with my 4 year old and two of his friends, I can hear them cheering TURBO on the entire time. They loved every moment of it! Turbo is a family movie with enough adult subtlety that will keep audiences of all ages on the edge of their seat with excitement. Who wouldn’t love a great underdog story that is funny, heartwarming and full of personality?!

4 out of 5