Turbo Kid Review: The Adolescent Road Warrior

Photo Credit:http://deadline.com/2015/01/turbo-kid-trailer-sundance-michael-ironside-1201359838/

After a summer of dark, retro action movies that starkly range in quality (Mad Max: Fury Road and Terminator Genisys come to mind), Turbo Kid might be the first movie of the bunch to do away with all seriousness and just exclaim its love for the aesthetic of an era.

With its proud synthpop score and villains wearing football pads and skull masks, this movie is instantly up to the task of paying homage to ’80s post-apocalyptic movies. What it can do larger than that is a question the film unintentionally seems to wrestle with for most of its runtime.

We meet our young lead, simply known as the Kid (Munro Chambers) as he sifts through the world’s trash and reads comic books about a real-life superhero that fought to prevent the world they currently live in. Then there’s Apple (Laurence Leboeuf), the overly peppy young girl that tags along on his adventures. They face off against a gang of pirates led by Zeus (Michael Ironside), who’s past dark deeds intersect with the Kid’s own tragic backstory.

It’s a simplistic premise, but its vision, style, and passion go a long way in making this at the very least a fun viewing experience. The film struggles in its first two acts to find that perfect balance between parody and tribute. But by the third act, it’s found that sweet spot of blissful retro ’80s glam and the film finally soars.

So for patient viewers, Turbo Kid manages to hit enough notes in its closing half hour to please fans of the genre. But the first hour is largely hit and miss. But that ending goes a long way in fixing the damage done, even if the ending is reaching for something the film could never attain. Still, those looking for a cute, though hilariously gory, tribute to ’80s post-apocalyptic films will get their wish in the end. Grade: B

By Matt Dougherty

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