Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Review: Kaboom

Rating: 15  
Runtime: 86 min

From the off set the initial free spirited, metro sexual approach to coitus is merely the tip of the iceberg for indie director, Greg Araki's, latest genre mash up. But would we expect anything else after his outlandish 2004 effort, Mysterious Skin, involving a premise of alien abduction and sexual abuse?

A beautiful cast appears no mistake and adds to an ideal, sexually experimental aesthetic of a college campus. It's the glossy image of society everyone expects - realistic or not - it to be. So, frequent nakedness? Check. Hot actors romping with one another whenever they get the urge? Check. Spooky fellas menacing round campus in animal masks? Erm, check. Now that I (at least partially) have your attention, by no means is this American Pie for the noughties. Sure, it has that sex comedy nostalgia in places, but try mixing in the weirdness of Donnie Darko, a dreamy surrealism of Mulholland Drive and a touch of quirkiness a la Garden State for a more coherent image of what Kaboom is.

Starring a host of unknowns, Smith (Thomas Dekker) has just moved away to college and is confronted with a reccuring dream he has - a bizarre sequence that leads him to a door at the end of a bright corridor and into a small room that contains a dumpster. Along the way he passes faces he knows, some he's never met and some he is going to meet, but what does it all mean? Coupled with his confused sexual orientation, he aims to find clarity regarding both mysteries. It all sounds a bit bonkers, but apart from that and a few establishing details, it's hard to explain much else without revealing plot spoilers. Best friend, Stella (Haley Bennett), is at his side as he tries to figure out what the visions mean, as she struggles to deal with her own sexual problems concerning new girlfriend/obsessed demon witch, Loreilei (Roxanne Mesquida).

The humour is odd ball yet razor sharp. Witticisms and current cultural references are abound, which serve as a commentary on modernism and 21st Century culture. The third party in this plutonic, yet somehow sexual, bisexual relationship is, London (Juno Temple), who proves a welcome addition to the group. Other supporting roles are merely bit parts including Smith's brainless-but-gorgeous roommate, Thor (Chris Zylka). Everyone, including permanently stoned, The Messiah (James Duval), all contribute fittingly and form a weird and trippy college campus setting.

Kaboom develops quickly from teen sex comedy into a more sinister thriller as the plot expands and thickens. Dekker mirrors (as well as looks strikingly similar to) a young Casey Affleck in his laid back, mellow acting style. It works, as does the, at times, obnoxious, egotistical, comically rude support, as it captures the imagination of today's young generation, as well as boast a broader appeal.

For the most part Kaboom is a tightly written and highly entertaining film. Unexplained questions remain unsolved as the wacky turn of events get stranger by the scene until it (a little too neatly) explains previous discrepancies as they slot into place. However, in contrast to the film's style it's conclusion, the last couple of scenes leading to and including the climax, feel completely disjointed. It's as if the final quarter of an hour is picked up by another director with a completely different vision of the script. Therefore, it becomes somewhat of an anti climax, yet somehow fitting into the oddity and bizarre nature of the film. Its final scene is easy to draw comparison to Mulholland Drive in terms of abruptness.

To describe Kaboom as an off beat comedy cum thriller is an understatement. The well meshed cast and equally infused story proves interesting viewing. A cleverly written and engaging piece that leaves you as befuddled as its likable protagonists.

Source : Internet Movie Database
Images : Google Images