Movie review: Sammy’s Adventures: The Secret Passage

I went into the cinema not knowing what to expect. Besides the posters I’ve seen around the cinema, I knew nothing about the movie. But from the cute looking turtle on the posters, I expected it to be a movie for kids.

Sammy’s Adventures: The Secret Passage is about a young turtle, Sammy, on a journey to travel around the world, in search of love, and an adventure of a lifetime. Along the way he makes friends, learns about humans, and discovers new places.

There isn’t much to be said about the movie, at least I don’t have much to say about it. The visuals are pretty good- nothing fantastic, and the use of 3D really brought some parts to life (i.e. swimming through the coral reefs, fish and snakes moving towards the screen etc). Sometimes it was a bit too distracting though. But it was a decent attempt at bringing a story to life in 3D.

The story is nothing special. You can tell it was written for kids and will be enjoyed by kids. It would have been great if they used double entendre to make the story appealing to both kids and adults (ala Sponge Bob Square Pants), but there is none to be found here. Good, clean, safe fun. Except for the hippies. I don’t know why or if they were even essential to tell the story, but the whole chapter about the hippies by the beach seemed so out of place. I was just waiting for a hallucination scene to happen! Though sadly, it never did.

The thing that surprised me the most was the voice talent behind the movie. With the most notable performance from Kathy Griffin, even though her character didn’t play a big role in the movie. The rest of the cast sounded alright, suitable for the roles they were playing. But listen carefully for familiar voices used in the movie.

One problem I had with the movie were a couple of irregular cuts, and the use of too many contemporary songs. It made certain parts of the movie feel like some sort of montage music video. Another issue I had was that the problems the characters faced in the movie pretty much solved themselves. The characters didn’t have to do anything on their own. Despite having cute, likeable characters, the movie was very plot driven. It could have been easily replaced with other animals in a different environment, and the same story could have been told. Preaching about the environment in a kid’s movie isn’t a bad thing, but when characters do nothing to solve it, it seems like a waste of screen time.

Overall, the movie was alright. It’s not a must-watch, but I guess if you have kids or you’re a fan of turtles, SA:TSP is right up your alley. At least I didn’t come out of the cinema hating it, unlike Alpha and Omega. I’d rate this turtle movie 4/10.

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