By Dave B.
In the distant, dystopian future of 1997, a hero arises. That’s the basic premise of Turbo Kid (2015, currently on Netflix). Armed with some scavenged, pre-apocalypse tech and accompanied by his best friend Apple, The Kid sets out to do what superheroes do: make the world a better place and get revenge on those who killed their parents. Turbo Kid is an over-the-top, bloody, ironic homage to dystopian movies from the 1970s and 1980s. Think of it as a tongue-in-cheek combination of Stranger Things and The Road Warrior. It’s a mixture that works surprisingly well.
Perhaps the best thing about Turbo Kid is that it never takes itself too seriously. From the one-handed cowboy who is the arm-wrestling champion of the wastelands, to the overly-dramatic BMX chase scenes scored with synth music, Turbo Kid sets out to have fun and playfully, but lovingly, poke fun at the movies to which it pays tribute. It helps that the acting is top-notch. Canadian actress Laurence Leboeuf shines in every scene she’s in with her depiction of the naïve, constantly enthusiastic, but still kick-ass, Apple.
Some may criticize the plot for being thin, but it’s supposed to be, and the dialogue is snappy enough that it held my attention. Turbo Kid IS fairly gory however, and not just in an exaggerated, comedic sense. There’s at least one instance of pretty graphic torture and exploding bodies are commonplace. The violence in the film doesn’t feel gratuitous, however. Instead, it helps viewers to viscerally understand the brutality of the world in which the movie is set and is appropriate. That said, the level of violence in movie means that it’s DEFINITELY not appropriate for most kids.
If you’re a fan of how dystopian science-fiction movies were before the genre became dominated by protagonists filled with teen angst, you’ll love this movie. Overly serious viewers may want to give this film a pass, however, because if you take it more seriously than it takes itself, you may just miss how awesome this movie truly is. I highly recommend it.
I have no clue what I'm doing, but I'll keep doing whatever it is to the best of my ability.