Monday, June 15, 2015

Turbo (2013)

Number Rolled: 44
Movie Name/Year: Turbo (2013)
Genre: Comedy
Length: 96 minutes
Rating: PG
Production Companies: DreamWorks Animation
Executive Producer: Lisa Stewart
Director: David Soren
Writer: Darren Lemke, Robert D. Siegel, David Soren
Actors: Ryan Reynolds, Paul Giamatti, Michael Pena, Samuel L. Jackson, Luis Guzman, Bill Hader, Snoop Dogg, Maya Rudolph, Ben Schwartz, Richard Jenkins, Ken Jeong, Michelle Rodriguez, Mike Bell, Aaron Berger, Aidan Andrews, Lloyd Sherr, Kurtwood Smith, David Soren

Theo is a snail with a need for speed. At night, he gets to watch his racing idol go round and round the track then give amazing interviews. During the day, however, he’s just an ordinary snail working at the Plant… and no one really gets him.

Selina’s Point of View:
When I see the DreamWorks logo, I get a little excited. They’ve produced amazing films like How to Train Your Dragon (2010), Kung Fu Panda (2008), and Shrek (2001). So, I was happy when we rolled Turbo.

It was cute… but not really for me. Maybe it’s because I don’t have any interest in racing, or because the movie was geared toward a younger audience, I don’t know. I just found myself kind of bored sitting through the endlessly predictable tropes.

I know that sounds like I hated it, but I didn’t really.

It’s easy to pretend to hate recipe films, but the truth is, there’s a comfort to them. Well-made recipe films are like a bowl of soup on a cold day, and this one did leave me smiling at the very end. For that reason, I definitely believe it was a bit more than mediocre.

I likely won’t watch it again until I have kids, though.

Cat’s Point of View:
I was initially excited when the dice pointed us in the direction of this movie. I had watched this one with my family before. My daughter and I watched it again together.

The second time around with this film seemed to strip away just a bit of its shiny veneer for me.

The racial stereotypes and the parts of the plot that seemingly ‘borrow’ from Cars (2006) felt a bit more blatant. I found myself looking over to my daughter, and pondering if the destructive manipulation with the bus stunt or the life-savings I.O.U were sending her a bad message.

Of course, then we were jamming out to “The Snail is Fast” amidst many giggles.

The overall themes of the film are strong positives, however. The messages of self-belief, hard work, and finding the courage to keep going, even when you feel broken, are a powerful take-away. There even seemed to be some subtle commentary, using the crows, about the desensitization of today’s society.

I also appreciated the cautionary element regarding celebrity hero-worship.

Ryan Reynolds (Green Lantern, A Million Ways to Die in the West, R.I.P.D.) had a bit of a refreshing departure from his usual snarky roles. While I love his snark, I think it would have taken away from Turbo. I’m glad they didn’t incorporate more into it.
Racing fans might get a kick out of the voice-cameo of legendary racer Mario Andretti (1, Dust to Glory, Cars). He voiced a couple of incognito parts, rather than a self-appearance.

In spite of some of the mixed signals the film was giving, it was still quite enjoyable.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 67%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 66%

Netflix’s Prediction for Selina – 4/5
Selina’s Trust-the-Dice Score3/5

Netflix’s Prediction for Cat – 4.4/5
Cat’s Trust-the-Dice Score4/5

P.S. Some amusement during the beginning of the credits and a small scene during.

Movie Trailer:

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