Friday, 4 September 2015



To borrow a quote the last but one incarnation of the increasingly tiresome (and now unwatchable) Doctor Who, this is a "fish fingers and custard" movie. Two, or in this instance three, perfectly enjoyable ingredients that are more than fine on their own but simply don't gel when put into the same saucepan. And just as I like licorice allsorts, baked beans and marzipan individually but wouldn't want them all at one go, I'm perfectly happy with 1980s post-nuke B-movie silliness, outrageous splatter or family-friendly action films about kids on bikes. But Not In The Same Movie.

That's not to suggest Turbo Kid isn't entertaining; it's just that the wildly disparate ingredients didn't work for me when spliced together. (I do accept that I'm in the minority on this as the film went down spectacularly well at FrightFest.) A comicbook-obsessed kid (Munro Chambers) survives in the apocalyptic wasteland by scavenging scrap in return for clean drinking water; into his life comes an initially annoying Manic Pixie Nutter Girl named Apple (Laurence Lebouef) with a secret of her own, a tough champion arm-wrestler dressed like Indiana Jones known as Cowboy (Aaron Jeffrey) and monstrously evil one-eyed water supplier Zeus (Michael Ironside)....

If you can imagine a genial PG13-rated kids' adventure movie in which everyone's scooting around in quarries on BMX bikes (there's no oil) mixed with those dumbo Mad Max knock-offs that proliferated around 1980 (The New Barbarians, Warriors Of The Lost World), in which every so often everything stops for rampaging splatter and bloodshed more akin to the likes of Tokyo Gore Police. That vast shift in tone means it's too cutesy for the gorehounds but too graphic for the BMX kids. Which (again) is not to say that I didn't have some fun with it; it is weirdly enjoyable and full of surprises, but I spent a godo chunk of the time wondering what the point was and who it was aimed at. A curiosity.


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