22 June 2015 | Red-Barracuda
Colourful and bloody homage to 80's sci-fi action flicks
Some films have no pretensions other than to simply entertain their audience. Turbo Kid is such a movie. It plays upon the continual love for the 80's that still shows no signs of abating. Its set in the future of 1997 - well this was the distant future in the 80's I seem to recall – and the world is a post-apocalypse. General lawlessness prevails and life is a survival of the fittest. Enter The Kid, a teenager who lives in a scrap yard surrounded by old 80's toys, he is joined by an ever-optimistic girl called Apple and together they go against a gang of bad guys ruled over by an evil man called Zeus.
This Canadian movie really goes for it on the 80's homage front. We have heroes on BMX bikes and a world not dissimilar to the Mad Max template. We also have a very agreeable 80's styled synth score that emphasises its influences at all times. The two young heroes make for an engaging central couple, with Laurence Leboeuf particularly impressive as the girl Apple. Michael Ironside is also on hand to offer some additional B movie cred and as a star of many 80's genre pics his presence makes additional sense. The story is nonsense of course but it never pretends otherwise. It's more a means to an end to allow us to see lots of over-the-top bloody action violence and colourful characters decked out in a selection of great outfits. It's fast-paced and, most importantly, it never forgets that its principle objective is to entertain. It reminded me a little of another Canadian movie Hobo with a Shotgun (2011) which also was a hyper violent modern recreation of an 80's genre pic with a veteran genre star (in that case Rutger Hauer). Turbo Kid adopts the same approach but dispenses with the more mean-spirited stuff from that one; its focus is squarely on a fun time.