An animated family film centering around a snail magically gifted with super-speed, Turbo is marked by a rather bewildering chasm between its area of chosen focus and other, more exciting possibilities its conceit suggests. Imagine a superhero movie where Peter Parker just took up high school sports, Superman the Olympic shot-put, or Hal Jordan metalworking and fabrication. In a nutshell that’s Turbo, an inoffensively affable but unmemorable offering that showcases a bit of wily imagination but quickly ducks back into its shell, opting for a safe, all-too-familiar athletic story of underdog triumph.
With The Croods ($578 million worldwide) and Epic ($236 million worldwide), distributor 20th Century Fox already has two animated hits this year that have rung up $100 million apiece in domestic receipts, and Turbo seems a sure bet to make it a third. The movie’s catchy, simple marketing campaign (“He’s fast, they’re furious”) sells its concept in canny fashion and attaches itself to another popular franchise to boot, further boosting its overseas commercial prospects. For the full, original review, from Screen Daily, click here. (20th Century Fox, PG, 95 minutes)