Lets us rewind back to the 1980’s, a time where big hair and shoulders pads were the popular look. Bmx’s and walkmans were the must have gadgets and electro was growing as popular form of music. It was a time of bad music, awful style and of growing technology. For those of us that lived in this era, it was a time of change. We look back at this time with whimsical nostalgia, and as much as we hate to admit it, we loved all those imperfection and crazy fads which made the 80’s fun. Thats Where you’ll find Turbo Kid.
Inspired by this decade, and embracing the spirit of Mad Max, amongst others, Turbo Kid is a nostalgic tribute to 80’s actions films. Filled with gun battles, explosions and neon highlights, this sci-fi action adventure film is a pleasurable trip down memory lane.
Set in an alternate 1997, this retro-futuristic action film follows “The Kid” in a post apocalyptic landscape where life is survival of the fittest. Teaming up with a free-spirited young girl named Apple, the young friends find themselves caught up in a local warlords sadistic plans. What entail is a madcap adventure through a barren wasteland filled with colorful characters and a splashing of gore.
Let me say, first and foremost, this retro-futuristic film is much more than meets the eye. At first viewing, it’s easy to misunderstand it as a low budget, badly acted, kids film. For the first 20 minutes, I fought the temptation to turn the film off. The bland backdrops, stilted dialogue and silly story line irritated me enough, that my finger hovered over the stop button far too many times. There were something going on though, a little voice in the back of my head that told me to keep watching. Despite being tested several times, I persevered and found my faith strangely rewarded, as the films real intentions became clear. This was not a serious film, it’s something much more rarer than that. It was film made purely for fun. It exists to simply entertain their audience, and that’s a rare thing indeed.
It’s not beyond criticism, though. The films post apocalyptic setting is as about a generic as it can get. The familiar looking barren wastelands do little to inspire any real depth in the film. Prominently missing form most scenes are the devastated or abandoned buildings that a nuclear war or global catastrophe would have been left behind. The lack of any homes or cities just show how small a budget the film was made on. More generic traits arise as we are introduced to other characters, and we begin to see crazed raiders dressed in masks and wielding bizarre weaponry. It’s just like Mad Max, only on push bikes instead of cars. We can only guess as to why everyone rides around on peddles bikes. Lack of fuel being the most probable answer, but it’s still quite bizarre to see a gun tooting madman chasing kids whilst riding on a BMX. The only reason I forgave the whole bike riding thing, was because of the exploding body parts. Yes, Turbo Kid is paint by numbers of post apocalyptic films, but what it does well is its gore. And the rouge stuff starts flowing, its unbelievable fun.
The film pulls no punches in showing limbs being cut off and blood squirting from severed arteries. It does feel a little out off place at times, too the point where I wonder why it’s so bloody. im almost certain this film could have been an easy PG rating if they cut out all the gore. Take out all the severed limbs, gushing wounds and exploding bodies and at it’s heart, is a family friendly film. And maybe that was the problem? By adding all the violence and gore, Turbo Kid becomes much more entertaining.
Despite its flaws, Turbo Kid it is an entertaining and graphic film, with Leboeuf and Ironside stealing the show. Ironside relishing his role as the films big bad, whilst Lebouef injects the film with a pace and energy that is almost frantic, but always fun. It’s an nostalgic tribute to 80’s action-adventure films that packs a real punch. In my opinion, Turbo Kid is one of the top films of 2015.
- Overall Score 53% 53%