Director: David Soren
Writers: Darren Lemke (screenplay), Robert D. Siegel (screenplay)
Stars: Ryan Reynolds, Paul Giamatti, Samuel L. Jackson, Snoop Dogg, Michael Peña
Synopsis: A freak accident might just help an everyday garden snail achieve his biggest dream: winning the Indy 500.
David Soren surprised me with what he did in Turbo and there’s one big reason it worked for the most part; they didn’t take it too seriously. This movie has a ridiculous premise, they knew it and they played it off of that. Soren doesn’t do anything original but he uses certain camera movements and slow motion tricks to make certain moments appealing and he uses them to bring out the silliness of the movie. He uses his voice actors well and his musical choices were genius, especially with the way he mixes certain elements. Soren takes a pretty generic script and brings it to life with vibrant colors, amazing music, fun voices and amazing visual elements.
The story is a cheesy, ridiculous premise that has amazing themes and story arches built within to make it charming and a lot of fun. The story is of a snail that gets crazy powers and can go fast and he has dreams of racing in the Indy 500. Wow, that’s kind of insane on the surface. But within the story are these amazing themes of family dynamics and why it’s important for family to support you and how much it hurts when that doesn’t happen. There are incredible parallels between the snail characters and the human characters that aren’t 100% necessary but it does make it more human and easier to connect with. And while the story is crazy on the surface, it’s a great analogy for dreaming big and chasing your dreams no matter where you come from or what you’re background is. Or if you’re a snail. The human characters are stereotypical and can come off a little offensive in some ways. Overall though, the story is average and crazy on the surface but the characters are interesting and brought to life with amazing relationship dynamics.
The voice acting in this film is pretty great and while some of the characters were written pretty stereotypically, I thought characters were still a lot of fun and charming to watch. Ryan Reynolds should perhaps do more voice acting because this is much better than lots of his live action films. Michael Peña is also great and while his character is a bit cheesy, he does a great job. The stand outs in this film though are the snail characters which are hilarious and a ton of fun. Samuel L. Jackson is always amazing and will make any movie more entertaining. Snoop Dogg brings his hip hop nature into his character and he plays off his own stereotypes and of course, his own dialogue which was pretty funny. Despite some character flaws due to writing, the actors did a great job.
Henry Jackman is quickly becoming one of the best composers in film today and his score here again is incredible. It’s easy to be in the background because the soundtrack music is so amazing, but his score is great and is worth listening to outside of the film. You need to pay attention to Henry Jackman. The soundtrack music, however, is one of the best of the whole year and is a ton of fun. When our hero shows up in Indianapolis for the first time, a video that one character snaps goes online and goes viral all over the internet. And like many times on YouTube, they do a re-mix song to the video which was hysterical and really fun to listen to. In another part of the movie, there’s a hip hop remix to the song Eye of the Tiger that is sure to get you pumped up. And of course, we get a great original song from Snoop Dogg, which may be the only clean song I’ve ever heard from him. There’s plenty more and it only gets better to add on to the amazing score from Jackman making Turbo one of the better movies this year when it comes to this element.