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Turbo Kid - Movie Review

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Turbo Kid - Movie Review

4 stars

Embracing a joyously retro-generated vibe of all things bursting with rainbows, unicorns, NES, comic books, and Michael Ironside, Turbo Kid laser blasts its way into theaters and On Demand markets this weekend with the single mission to – as the late Rowdy Roddy Piper once famously adlibbed – “kick ass and chew bubblegum” and, yes, the kid in Turbo Kid is fresh out of bubblegum. This is the film to run to if you long for the glory days of kids-themed entertainment that once produced the fantasy flicks that fueled our imagination in the neon glow of yesteryear.

Written and directed by François Simard, Anouk Whissell and Yoann-Karl Whissell, the highly imaginative post-apocalyptic throwback achieves EVERYTHING it sets out to do. To put it as plainly as I can, there is no way in hell you will be let down by the exuberantly charming tale inside Tubo Kid if your heart is still intact and ready for 8-bit adventure. It is a certifiable low-budget blast of saccharin sweetness mixed with a healthy dab of over-the-top gore.

As imagined by the filmmakers, this alternative look at a wasted 1997 involves a lonely young man (Munro Chambers) who scavenges his way through a sort of bleak existence after the apocalypse has set in. Amongst all the Walkman cassette players, wired headphones, Turbo Man comics, and BMX bike parts, he squeaks out his existence as safely as he can. There is no gas; everyone gets around on bikes and, with very little uncontaminated water readily available, everyone has gone Mad Max with thirst.

When a bubbly girl named Apple (a scene-stealing Laurence Leboeuf who helps lift the overall spirit of the movie straight into the stratosphere) and a gruff arm-wrestling antihero (Aaron Jeffery, riffing a bit on Indiana Jones with his stubble, leather, and hat) enter into his life and force a showdown with the ruthless Zeus (Michael Ironside) and his masked cronies, his mouse-like existence grows gigantic as he discovers just what it takes to be a fully-charged superhero amongst the ruins of his previous life. With no budget and no real stars (save for an almost unrecognizable Ironside), Turbo Kid is the anti-Hollywood answer to another dull weekend of predictable studio releases.

Dealing out its laughs alongside a hefty amount of cartoon violence, Turbo Kid is a wild ride through an alternative future (set in the past) that delivers a natural sweetness long fallen out of favor with current filmmakers striving for the realistic approach to fantasy. This is BMX Bandits territory, folks, and the vintage throwback within its antics works so incredibly well at massaging no-budget thrills that you will wish more artists in the film business were this inspired by vintage cult favorite flicks.  

The film is breath of fresh air in a saturated market of brainless entertainment. It never comes across as condescending to the audience – even when Apple reveals what we already suspect about her – and sparks a positive jolt of electricity from beginning to end. You will smile as you recognize some of the moments that it pays homage to from classic films and cheer when it goes completely gonzo and shoots for the moon in an over-the-top atom-splitting finale ripped right out of Capcom's iconic Blue Bomber, Mega Man video game.

Nothing about Turbo Kid is believable or that original and yet everything about its nostalgic vibe is 8-bit greatness worthy of your time and praise.

Turbo Kid - Movie Review

MPAA Rating: Not rated
Runtime:
93 mins
Director
: François Simard, Anouk Whissell
Writer:
François Simard, Anouk Whissell
Cast:
Munro Chambers, Laurence Leboeuf, Michael Ironside
Genre
: Action | Sci-fi
Tagline:
Coming Soon To a Wasteland Near You!
Memorable Movie Quote: "I Will destroy you with my turbo gun."
Distributor:
Epic Pictures Releasing
Official Site:
Release Date:
August 28, 2015
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
No details available.
Synopsis: It's 1997. In a ruined post-apocalyptic world, the orphaned Kid survives on his own through drought-ridden nuclear winter, traversing the Wasteland on his BMX, scavenging for scraps to trade for a scant supply of water. When his perpetually chipper, pink-haired new best friend Apple is kidnapped by a minion of evil overlord Zeus, the Kid summons the courage of his comic book hero and prepares to deliver turbocharged justice to Zeus, his buzzsaw-handed sidekick Skeletron, and their vicious masked army.

No details available.

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