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Turbo (2009)

 -  Short | Action | Drama  -  30 April 2009 (USA)
6.3
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 106 users  
Reviews: 3 user | 1 critic

It tells the story of Hugo Park a misspent youth whose only outlet for angst is a 4D fighting video-game called "Super Turbo Arena". When Pharaoh King, the Michael Jordan of cyber-sports, ... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
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Dragoon
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Tobias Park
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Hugo Park
Rebecca Denise ...
Pharoah Girl
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Ruse Kapri
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Shamusnite
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Pharaoh Girl
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Shamus Bryce
Romeo Marquez Jr. ...
JCON
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Shamus' Avatar
Jae Phan ...
Avatar
...
Pharaoh King
Vai Tiare ...
Ruse's Avatar
Diana Zahir ...
Shamusnite
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Storyline

It tells the story of Hugo Park a misspent youth whose only outlet for angst is a 4D fighting video-game called "Super Turbo Arena". When Pharaoh King, the Michael Jordan of cyber-sports, announces a tournament to determine who will join his pro-team, Hugo sets his eyes on the prize. But, Hugo isn't the only gamer who wants fame and glory. If Hugo wants to win he's going to have to beat Shamus, the all time Turbo champ at the local Pandemonium arcade, and Ruse Kapri, a feisty prep girl that knows how to win. Realizing he can't win on his skill alone, Hugo turns to his brother Tobias a former kick-boxer whose last match left him wheel-chair ridden. Together the two will mend old wounds and see if a washed up street fighter can teach a troubled teen how to become a virtual gladiator! Written by BFAM Studios

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30 April 2009 (USA)  »

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2.35 : 1
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User Reviews

Very impressive genre film despite limits in performances and scale
17 February 2014 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Turbo is a virtual reality fighting game which can be played online or face to face in organized tournaments. When young Hugo loses his brother's rent money in a fight to bully Shamus Bryce, it also ends his hope to enter a larger tournament. However Ruse Kapri saw him fight and liked his spirit, lending him the money to enter. However what hope does he have against the undefeated Shamus? Well, very little until older brother Tobias, an injured former fighter, steps in to help train him in real life skills to use in the game.

This film opens with a scene to grab your attention and make you jump online to check if you really are watching a student film or not. We start with a fight sequence in a computerized world which is a nicely shot walkway over a road but does the trick. It features animation like in Street Fighter or Tekken and it moves very well within the fight but also slipping out into Hugo's house where he stands on a platform wired up so his character repeats his moves. From here we get the detail of the world and we quickly get into sports genre movie territory – essentially this is Karate Kid where a young fighter takes on a bully with training from an older master.

Technology wise the film is very impressive indeed and Conaway has not only done great work in the post-production but his direction of action sequences is good in this context, keeping the camera moving to add energy and impact. I would have liked some more extended fight sequences and more elaborate locations, but what I got I liked. The short running time does limit the plot because, like I said, this is Karate kid but it is really compressed and the rush does show. This also hurts the performances a little bit and I would have liked a little more time to develop characters and draw me in. Chon and Choi in particular were good but with limited time Lehre and Hunter were a bit unnatural and caricatured. In the fight sequences stunt performers Choi, Noviello and Tiare do well. The rush and the material does limit the performances though – not all down to the cast. While the use of computer technology and the camera movement is effective, Conaway doesn't quite overcome the challenge of resources in other ways and during the big fight the small room of people watching does feel like a small room of people rather than something bigger, and the real-world set for the final battle is a big "sound-stage" rather than feeling real and atmospheric – minor quibbles though.

Turbo is a great little genre film – not "good for a student film" but actually good enough to watch on its own without any context. It has weaknesses in terms of material, performances and scale at some points, but it is still very impressive and, although rushed, is enjoyable and fun.


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