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Movies Blog

The Hack Stamp: TURBO

by Scott Renshaw
- Posted // 2013-07-19 -

It seemed like a foregone conclusion that R.I.P.D. would take the Hack Stamp race in a crowded field, but it's Turbo instead making the underdog move across the finish line.

Despite plenty of "R.I.P.D. is D.O.A." headlines -- and we've been clear in the past that writers don't get tagged for their editors' pun-filled choices -- the critics themselves mostly avoided the groaners when writing about the late-screening supernatural action-comedy (though kudos to regular Hack Stamp-er Mike Scott of the New Orleans Times-Picayune for stepping up with "R.I.P.D. puts the 'R.I.P.' in ripoff.”

Instead, it was DreamWorks' animated snail tale that inspired the eyes-on-stalks-rolling bits, starting, naturally, with "escargot" references:


“At this budget, the studio will need everybody it can get to make this escargot go.” – Peter Debruge, Variety

“An animated tale of a feisty snail who dreams of putting the ‘go’ in escargot.” – Linda Barnard, Toronto Star

“[T]akes a fundamentally dopey idea … and converts it into an enjoyable adventure with plenty of get-up-and-escargot.” – Jon Niccum, Kansas City Star

“…puts the “go” in escargot. … Just hearing [Samuel L.] Jackson say ‘I’m going to preTEND I didn’t hear you say that’ … gives the same boost to the movie that the jolt of nitrous gives to the heroic Turbo.” – Nell Minow, Chicago Sun-Times (this is Roger Ebert's paper, friends)

Otherwise, it was just a parade of race-car metaphors:

“By the time Turbo reaches the finish line, this new iteration of the fable about pursuing one’s dreams no matter how unlikely they seem joins the winner’s circle without quite nabbing the trophy.” – Marjorie Baumgarten, Austin Chronicle

Turbo’s dramatic engine revs high.” – Katherine Munk, O.Canada.com

“…running on fumes long before the final lap.” – Frank Swietek, One Guy’s Opinion

“For all the horsepower the Turbo boasts about, the movie tends toward the sluggish — as in slow as a slug.” – Roger Moore, McClatchy-Tribune News Services (yes, Roger, we got the joke, such as it was)

“… it will be left in the dust of the fast-paced world of summer movies.” – Rick Bentley, Fresno Bee

“Still, there’s plenty of good stuff under the hood.” – Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star-Tribune

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