Director Jarrett Lee Conaway does a lot in a surprisingly small amount of time. Choreographed fight scenes with flurries of special FX shots highlighted within, deceivingly big and futuristic sets, and a young cast you barely get to know, but quickly come to love.
In Turbo, star Hugo Park (acted well by Justin Chon of Twilight fame) gambles his brother Tobias' (Ilram Choi, a professional stuntman) rent away at a local club, playing a virtual reality game called Super Turbo Arena 2. The game requires gloves and special glasses, it which point, the player's movements are tracked onscreen. This movie couldn't have been made at a better time, as video consoles have finally reached a point where movement tracking controllers are a reality. Suddenly, the idea of STA2 seems more possible than ever.
This is obviously a movie by a gamer, for gamers, as every minute detail is covered. From the techno music backing the fights, to the announcer's voice, this film is a love letter to "Street Fighter", and many other 3D fighting games.
The only time I found myself disappointed was during key scenes near the end, when a final tournament is held, with a prize take of $50,000. I was looking forward to all of the fights leading up to the final tournament battle, but unfortunately, the only one you really get to see is a part-flashback style fight between the protagonist and his nemesis. I was hoping to be wowed by the action, but cutting what should be an important tournament for ALL of the characters in the film was not the best decision.
Overall, Turbo nails the atmosphere of Martial Arts video games, and by not overstaying its welcome, it succeeds in drawing you in and keeping you interested. Perhaps this is why so many video game films struggle... you can only do so much with a story you ultimately create yourself (In modern games).
Coming Soon to DVD. Please see the following sites for details and updates:
Turbo the Movie - official website
Turbo trailer on Vimeo