Turbo ⋆⋆⋆ out of four stars
Rated: PG for some mild action and thematic elements.
The story of a high-revving snail who enters the Indianapolis 500 delivers the upbeat message that with the right attitude (and some magic) even a mollusk can overcome obstacles physical, environmental and emotional to land in the winner’s circle.
By day, Theo the snail (Ryan Reynolds) works a spirit-sapping job at “the Plant.” That would be the tomato plant in a Los Angeles tract home’s garden patch. He’s fussed over by his protective brother Chet (Paul Giamatti). He’s bored up to his eyestalks by the sluggish pace.
Watching old car-racing tapes on the humans’ TV, he dreams of becoming Turbo, the planet’s fastest snail. With the help of a gaggle of sassy snails (a stupendous supporting cast led by Samuel L. Jackson, Snoop Dogg and Maya Rudolph) and mall shopkeepers (Michelle Rodriguez, Richard Jenkins and a priceless Ken Jeong), the go-go gastropod is soon Indiana-bound.
Oddly for a car-racing film, “Turbo” is not as fast on its feet as one would wish. Still, there’s plenty of good stuff under the hood. It’s so likable that, like its humble hero, you have to root for it.
See the full-length review of “Turbo” at startribune.com/movies.
Girl Most Likely ⋆⋆ out of four stars
Rated: PG-13 for sexual content and language.
In “Girl Most Likely,” Kristen Wiig plays Imogene, a New York playwright of great promise who squandered her opportunities and talent. That’s the story of the movie as well. The gifted and likable Wiig fritters away her gifts in a misconceived comedy far beneath her abilities.
Down on her luck, Imogene fakes a suicide attempt, then undergoes a sort of rebirth, emerging from the hospital into the care of her overbearing, gambling-addicted mom (Annette Bening). Back home in dismal Ocean City, N.J., Imogene reluctantly connects with mom’s seedy beau (Matt Dillon), who claims to work for the CIA, and her young lodger (“Glee’s” Darren Criss), a casino lounge singer. Focused on maintaining appearances after her meltdown, egocentric Imogene condescends to her embarrassing new acquaintances even as they teach her Important Life Lessons.
The quirky but dark tone of the opening wobbles into stupefying cartoon silliness in the final reels as directors Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini fail to find the story’s emotional center of gravity. Wiig does her best with the hit-and-miss (mostly miss) material, earning laughs with a wild dance number and a parade of goofy ’80s outfits that mom held onto. Something is wrong when the wardrobe gets bigger laughs than the dialogue.
Far Out Isn’t Far Enough ⋆⋆⋆½ out of four stars
Unrated: Images of erotica.