Turbo Movie Review: Mammootty and Raj B Shetty’s Face-off Provides Momentum to Vysakh’s Polished Yet Unexceptional Action-Entertainer (LatestLY Exclusive)

Turbo Movie Review: In Vysakh’s latest action-entertainer Turbo, the villain frustratingly sighs a couple of times, “Bloody cliché.” It’s as if the makers recognise they have a problem at hand in tackling a mass scene but refuse to change anything about it. Turbo, for the most part, reminds you of the potboilers you usually see in Tamil and Telugu cinema, except without any of the cringe elements usually associated with these films (cheap sexist lines, uncomfortable romance, item songs). Mammootty is in splendid form here, and Raj B Shetty makes for a challenging antagonist. It is just that Turbo, scripted by Midhun Manuel Thomas, isn’t smart or well-written enough to smooth its rough edges and go beyond its generic tropes. Turbo: Mammootty, Holding a Rifle, Appears in Action-Packed Mode in New Poster From Director Vysakh’s Film.

Turbo Jose (Mammootty) lives in Idukki with his mother (Bindu Panicker) and is known for his brawls, which he claims he never starts on his own. When he learns that one of his friends, Jerry (Shabareesh Varma), loves a Nair girl, Indulekha (Anjana Jayaprakash), who is forcibly getting engaged to someone else, he goes to her house and abducts her from there while beating up her relatives. However, his hasty actions end up inviting trouble for him from the cops, and Jose is forced to move to Chennai, where Indulekha works.

Watch the Trailer of Turbo:

Meanwhile, Jerry, who works in the same city at a bank, stumbles upon a major financial scam at his workplace. It doesn’t take long for Jose to be drawn into Jerry’s mess, which also affects Indu, as the kingpin behind the scam turns out to be a terrifying businessman, Vetrivel Shanmugha Sundaram (Raj B Shetty).

Less Annoying Frills

One thing to appreciate about Turbo is that it tries to present a clean entertainer without the overt misogynist frills usually attached to the genre. For example, Anjana’s Indulekha is an important character in the narrative, and she is not discomfited by being in a May-December romance with the male lead. At the same time, the writing isn’t radical enough to change the tropes. So, even if the female lead isn’t a showpiece here, by the end, the movie fits her into the ‘damsel in distress’ mould. Even in moments where she asserts herself righteously, the writing treats her as if her decisions are not well thought out, while the hero turns out to be the rescuer in all these instances.

A Still From Turbo

Yet, without those frills, I was glad not to be annoyed with Turbo as I was with some of the Telugu potboilers I have watched recently, or even Mammootty’s son, Dulquer Salmaan’s attempt to bring the formula to Malayalam with the much-trolled King of Kotha. The first half of Turbo was decently paced, even enjoyable, with the comedy scenes not coming across as annoying. The introduction of both the hero and the villain is done in a gallery-pleasing manner, and I was looking forward to their clash, which takes some time to happen. Bramayugam Movie Review: Mammootty Terrifies With Sinister Brilliance in Rahul Sadasivan’s Spellbinding Horror-Fantasy.

An Action-Packed Second Half

There is a track about villains pilfering money from dormant bank accounts and the misuse of Aadhar cards that drives the conflict in the film. While it’s an interesting idea, it becomes more or less a plot excuse for the antagonist to go after the hero and the people he cares about. This is what the second half is—fight scenes stitched together with chase sequences and a few enjoyable mass moments. There are a couple of unnecessary detours to humour, though I couldn’t help but smile when Jose’s mother lamented over a dead Marvel character. Sunil’s Don Corleone-obsessed Auto Billa felt like a character that wasn’t too required here.

A Still From Turbo

As for the action scenes, they weren’t mind-blowing, but the choreography gets the work done, especially when you consider they are centred around a 73-year-‘young’ superstar. There are times when I could sense some inflexibility in Mammootty’s body language in these sequences, but the zappy editing and fast-paced camera movements followed by slo-mo treatment come to the rescue. While they surely give a stylish presentation—like the fight scene at the police station—they also reduce the impact of the scene and make you think ‘what could have been’ if the editing cuts weren’t so frequent, like the bus brawl scene.

Mammootty vs Raj B Shetty

Which brings us to Mammootty. The superstar has been in fine form in the past couple of years, and even though Turbo is easily his weakest film in this magnificent run (not counting his extended cameo in Abraham Ozler and his terrible outing in Telugu with Agent), Mammootty brings enough class to his mass act as Turbo Jose.

A Still From Turbo

He packs both punches and one-liners with panache, and he gets the sentiments flowing, particularly in the scene where he reveals why he is so subservient to his mother. Even though he is still not completely in the zone for the physical action scenes, Mammootty compensates for that with his terrific body language, dialogue delivery and a wicked smile in the mass moments. Kaathal The Core Movie Review: Mammootty’s Subtly Superlative Performance in Jeo Baby’s Deeply Moving Drama Deserves Highest Acclaim.

However, since his character is written as quite unbeatable, Jose’s presence easily removes the nail-biting thrill needed from some of the pulsating chase sequences in the second half, making them very predictable. Even the moments where he gets an unexpected upper hand over the villain suffer from convenient and ordinary writing.

A Still From Turbo

A hero is only as good as the villain he faces, and Vetrivel Shanmugha Sundaram is quite the formidable foe for Turbo Jose. The villain part isn’t that impressive in writing—a psychopathic megalomaniac with a craze for power and murder with vague political motivations that we have seen in past – but what makes the character tick is Raj B Shetty’s fab performance and chilling way of speaking. Mammootty and Raj B Shetty only come face-to-face twice in the film, but these scenes are easily the best in the whole movie, especially the climax confrontation. Anjana Jayaprakash gives a confident performance and matches Mammootty’s verve in their scenes together. It is funny to see Bindu Panicker cast as Mammootty’s mum when years ago, she played his younger cousin-sister in Valsalyam. Nevertheless, the veteran actress has some standout, scene-stealing moments that are endearing enough.

Final Thoughts on Turbo

Turbo offers a mixed-bag of high-octane action and formulaic storytelling. While it attempts to break away from the typical misogynistic frills of the genre, Turbo doesn’t entirely escape the cliches and predictable plot points. Mammootty’s charismatic performance, coupled with Raj B Shetty’s evil act, elevates the film, making it a decent watch for fans of mass entertainers, even if it sadly breaks no new ground here.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on May 23, 2024 04:59 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).

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