Wednesday, September 30, 2015

'Turbo Kid' Has the Appeal of an 80's Cult Classic

Turbo Kid is set in a post-apocalyptic world wherein civilization had fallen in the 80’s (as what I can infer from the lingering articles and items being scavenged and utilized by the people) and water is a scarce commodity.  The story focuses on a teenage orphan – simply credited as “The Kid” – who is obsessed on an old comic book superhero named “Turbo Rider” and who spends his days scavenging for stuff he can trade for water, comic books, or some other objects.

One day, the Kid meets a mysterious and ebulliently quirky girl named Apple who convinces him to let her tag along as he goes scavenging.  However, a henchman of the savage warlord Zeus kidnaps Apple, while the Kid barely escapes himself.  In his flight, he comes across an armor and weapon that are coincidentally similar with those of his hero, Turbo Rider.  He puts them on – thus, becoming “Turbo Kid” – and proceeds to go save Apple.

80’s and 90’s kids, who became familiar and fell in love with both the cheesiness and charm of 80’s pop culture, will have a blast with Turbo Kid.  It agreeably pays homage to the ridiculous but adored genre tropes and tones from that era.  It has the production value of a low-budget movie, but this aspect never became a point against it.  It has succeeded in tapping into nostalgic tastes, and its “B movie” quality actually enhances the appeal.

It’s also pretty hilarious.  The movie isn’t excessively over-the-top as Kung Fury, but it still has plenty of laughs.  Most of them emerged from gory sequences though.    

Furthermore, Turbo Kid and Apple emit a genuinely warm and congenial chemistry.  When the story gets too ridiculously violent or starts to flirt with clichés, it fortunately has this positive characteristic to fall back to.

Turbo Kid is not the post-apocalyptic masterpiece that Mad Max: Fury Road is.  But it does have the craftsmanship and appeal of a cult classic from the 80’s, and I found that that’s sufficient to have a great time with this film.  

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