Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Turbo Kid Review: Why Can't Japan Make Anything As Good On A Low Budget

As we counted down all the companies that provided financing and rocked the seats at The Theater at the Ace Hotel, a former grand church, we all were in awe of Turbo Kid. Before that we were surprised by a short that depicted sex and the magical nature of birth as a black n' white horror film, the film was from artist/musician Flying Lotus and director Eddie Alcazar titled “FUCKKKYOUUU.” It set the mood for over-the-top antics of the night. After the film we had the trippy double DJ set of Neon Indian to end Sundance NextFest, which lasted only for a few thankful days over the LA weekend.

Turbo Kid's small budget mixed with it wonderful premise of an 80's action, adventure, coming-of-age, super hero movie will be remembered for what it pulled off and having memorable characters worthy to adorn your lunchbox.

There's a small cast and we hardly saw a town or civilization. Why would we in a post-apocalyptic tomorrow? However, the great ideas that shine like a turbo blast out of the film make it more than a simple viewing on Netflix. It's a cult classic to share with friends.

Then there's those bike chases. So many wonderful bike chases. Motorcycle, your dead. Car chase, pull over. World War II fighter planes, forget it. It's all about bikes now.

In the 90's the world has been decimated by robots. What's left of humanity squabbles over water. Cars have been replaced by personal conveyance units known as bikes. Zeus (Micheal Ironside) is soon to take control over all that's left in the land.

Who will stop him?

Turbo Kid!

Turbo Kid (Munro Chambers) is a lonesome teenager making ends meet as a scavenger. He's doing well considering all the death around him. He soon meets a friend or more so, a friend attaches to him with a wrist monitor that can find his location. This friend, who happens to be a girl, Apple (Laurence Leboeuf) sees the bright side of everything and for a teenage boy on the brink makes his world not as dark. Too bad the sun goes down as Zeus takes total control of land forcing out the only man whose fought him, Frederic (Aaron Jeffery), a man whose one tough cowboy.

Turbo Kid has endless parts to absorb for a natural high of cinema delight. And a budget no where near a big studios. When Turbo Kid blasts baddies or we get into the over-the-top fights that have baddies parts raining on top of other baddies, it makes you wonder how cheap and fast Japanese cinema is made now. Not tooting the horn of America, this film is made by Canada with help from New Zealand. Watching so many recent movies with bigger budgets from Japan, from over this year, it just seems to be the quality of whose behind the camera. Japan may lose the crown of what's weird to other countries or at least how well the weird looks.

When the legs of another man fell upside down on top of another evil henchmen's and kept kicking the audience applauded. When more pieces fell down from the sky, a kiss under it raining blood and a bad guy who shoots saw blades out of his hand we all knew we were watching a yet to be loved classic that takes from so many video games and heartfelt nostalgia. This film outright needs to teach other films to leave those moments, subtly and realism, no. We want something that looks like a cartoon when human bodies go bye-bye.

Coming-of-age in a post-apocalyptic world works well for directors Fran├žois Simard, Anouk Whissell and Yoann-Karl Whissell. We have an established and funny set fictional plane of existence with it's own rules. No cars and a need for water. Leading us to phenomenal bike chases that beg to be laughed at.

In Turbo Kid we have a young man, not yet an adult, we can connect to who becomes a hero. Not out of strength, out of will to become more, to live up and save people like he's perceived to be fictional hero, Turbo Man was in the comics he idolizes.

Apple, his sidekick, maybe girlfriend is the embodiment of a carefree, so filled with good it can be nauseating to be with her cartoon like character. When the world's at it's darkest she dares to be happy and uplifting. So comical to see her make the best out of dead friends and attempted murder. See what she uses to kill her enemies and make them part of video games.

Micheal Ironside is a perfect villain, he's voice is so serious, so insincere. He is getting old though. When he delivers a comeback line though, chills and then immediate  hate with a want to punch his one-eyed face.

Then there's the gear. So much of the costume and the set is super cheap, believable when all needs to be recycled from a society that died in the 80's.

All of this with just crazy ideas that come true. Someone's guts get removed via bicycle and that's not the craziest thing you'll see in the film.

Turbo Kid is totally worth your time, set in a time before the heavy use of CGI when hero's relied on their wits, making weapons on the fly and super powerful energy weapon attached to their arms. Turbo Kid is that movie you missed when you were younger and always wanted to see on TV, with all that blood. The only thing that might be missing would be boobs randomly put in, it is Canadian, not American.

Turbo Kid will be released in theaters starting Aug 28.