An IFC Films Release in Association with Wild Bunch
Original Theatrical Release Date: January 26th, 2011
Also available on Video On Demand
Gregg Araki's Kaboom is a sexed up look at a college kid named Smith (Thomas Dekker) who finds himself in lust for his hunky surfer roommate as well as a cute no-nonsese chick (Juno Temple) who takes a shine to his nice, somewhat timid demeanor. Smith starts receiving messages about an impending apocalypse, which soon leads to run-ins with masked psychos and visions of a redhead in mortal danger.
The center of the film is the relationship between Smith and his best friend Stella (Hayley Bennett of Joe Dante's The Hole). These two friends have a comraderie that reminds me of a John Hughes flick (think Some Kind Of Wonderful) but without either haboring the pangs of love for one another. Stella has her own issues to deal with as she's in a relationship with a crazy clingy witch (French actress Roxane Mesquida) ... yet another chick who Smith has had strange dreams about.
Smith and the women in his life listen in when he gets a booty call
from some beach dude.
Also starring is Kelly Lynch as Smith's mom. But the kind of mom who has been hiding a deep dark secret about his past (hello nod to A Nightmare On Elm Street... which ironically was recently remade and Thomas Dekker had a role in) And then there's Araki regular James Duval. This time playing "The Messiah", a stoner who knows all too much.
Araki's film is filled with his usual end-of-the world impending sense of doom (Those of us who lived through the Nuclear 80's know that feeling all too well) but also his usual allusions to wacky 80's film antics, crack attention to set design and art direction as well as his great use of music are also on hand. There's much more of a balance found in this film than probably some of his others. Like say, the enjoyable but over-the-top The Doom Generation.
Gregg Araki's new film has a great sense of humor about itself, and it's nice to see a director who's been working for the last 20 years explore his themes and tropes and just having a good time. It shows up there on the screen.
3 and a half stars.