Turbo Review | The Climax Action CPR From Mammootty Is Not Enough to Elevate This Ultra-Generic Action Film

In the second half of the movie Turbo, there are multiple instances in which the various antagonists are sort of praising the tactics of the hero and his allies saying stuff like, “What a bloody cliche”, “classic” etc. The thing is, on the writing table, Midhun Manuel Thomas may have envisioned this as a theater erupting moment. But when it comes to execution, it feels more like an excuse from director Vysakh as whatever we have seen till that point is extremely cliched, and you just won’t feel any shock or surprise when certain unravelings happen.

Jose, aka Turbo Jose, who belongs to the district of Idukki, is our leading man. He is notorious for the fights he gets involved in, especially during the annual festivities of the church. At one point, Jose tries to help his dependent Jerry get married to a Hindu girl named Indulekha. The actions of Jose in that event force him to leave Idukki to avoid arrest, and Jose decides to move to Chennai, where Indulekha was working. What we see in Turbo is the events that happen in Jose’s life once he reaches Chennai.

There is a financial scam at the core of this movie, which we get to know only in the last quarter of this movie’s first half. I was actually hoping that once that plot point was revealed, we would eventually see the film focusing on that issue or developing something that would be built around that issue. But that whole scam just works as a tool to show us the enormity of the antagonist, Vetrivel Shanmugha Sundaram. The whole Kattappana chapter in the film feels like a very forcefully written portion to introduce Jose in the most typical manner, and the way it forces the hero to relocate to Chennai has a lot of logical flaws. Even when the movie reaches the point where the hero is clear about what all are happening around him, the film follows a template that will rarely give you any surprise.

When the movie was announced, it was rumored to be an action comedy. But as the shoot progressed and once the promo materials were out, the movie became more of a mass action film. When I look at Turbo now, it would have been a better film if treated as an action comedy, as it can reduce the typicalness of the film. The movie is designed as a collection of action set pieces, and whatever links these action sequences don’t have the aspiration to feel compelling. Because of this extreme over-dependence on action and humor, one can easily identify patches that just don’t work. The comedy sequence featuring Sunil, just before the interval, makes no sense. The intention may have been to create a contrast between scenes so that it could amplify the shock of the interval twist. But the strategy falls flat.

There is no effort to make the script interesting. You can predict from miles away who all are going to die and even the point at which the hero will enter the action. When Niranjana’s character says she will be leaving for Dubai, the guy next to me mumbled “She is not gonna reach” and the movie is a collection of such twists and turns that an average cinephile can just see coming. The color palette Vysakh followed in his 2022 film Night Drive is somewhat repeated here. Vishnu Sarma’s visuals, especially in the fight sequences are really catchy. The last car chase and the initial portions of the final fight are choreographed, captured, and edited impressively. From John Wick to Equalizer, the inspirations for set pieces are pretty evident. Christo Xavier’s EDM-based background score works for the movie.

The movie looks like a challenge for Mammootty physically because a major chunk of the flick has him do all these stunt sequences, shifting gears and applying the handbrake. Paachuvum Athbuthavilakkum fame Anjana Jayaprakash gets a pretty extensive role in this one as Indulekha. Shabareesh plays the role of Jerry. Bindu Panicker plays the part of Mammootty’s mother. It seems like character actors are evolving from playing roles like daughter, son, sister, and brother to uncle, aunt, father, and mother, while Mammootty continues to play the same parts in these big-ticket flicks. The most important man, Vetrivel Shanmugha Sundaram, played by Raj B Shetty, is definitely an intimidating figure because of how Shetty carries that character. It is that quintessential villain in a generic action movie, and the ease and unorthodox casting of Raj B Shetty makes the character slightly less usual. Just like Jailer, Sunil’s character is a burden to the movie, and Dileesh Pothan is there more as a poster value enhancer.

By placing neon light hoardings that say “the mega show” in the backdrop when Mammootty is introduced, Vysakh clearly declares how he intends to celebrate the stardom of Mammootty through this film. But the problem is with the script that prioritizes stardom over the story. Lucifer was also a fanboy creation for the fans. But a script that moves from one event to another in a very organic way was there for that film. SPOILER ALERT! When it comes to Turbo, which also ends by hinting at a possible sequel, you can clearly see the hasty assembly with worn-out and un-updated parts of outdated models. And how many more times we as viewers should endure characters who would waste time saying “Please let me explain, Please hear me, etc.” rather than saying the damn thing. I practically felt like screaming at Shabareesh Varma’s character to send a WhatsApp message in the first place.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to Turbo, you can clearly see the hasty assembly with worn-out and un-updated parts of outdated models.


Green: Recommended Content

Orange: The In-Between Ones

Red: Not Recommended


By Aswin Bharadwaj

Founder and editor of Lensmen Reviews.