Wednesday, July 24, 2013
"Turbo" is much better than the last "Cars" picture, but that's not saying enough. It's a tepid trifle about a snail named Theo (voiced by Ryan Reynolds) who dreams of winning the Indianapolis 500. His brother, Chet (Paul Giamatti) urges caution, advising him to give up his dreams and focus on staying safe at home. But when Theo gets caught in the engine of a turbocharged hot rod, he transforms into Turbo, champion street racer. Tito, one of the co-owners of Dos Bros Tacos (Michael Peña), believes in Turbo and, along with the other denizens of the Starlight Plaza mini-mall (the best of the bunch being Ken Jeong as female manicurist Kim Ly), spearheads the drive to enter Turbo at Indy.
"Turbo" is a pleasant enough diversion most of the time, but the character of Chet is a downer and he gets too much screen time; Tito and his brother Angelo (Luis Guzman) seem to have a more interesting bromance going on. Most of "Turbo" - its look, its message - feels generic, just good enough to release but not special in any way. I asked my resident kid's-movie specialists, Bigg Scruffy and Little Scruffy, for their review. They each gave it one paw out of two. That adds up to two Scruffy paws out of four, and that seems about right for the sweet but so-so "Turbo."