Kaboom (15)

Film

Thrillers

kaboom_02.jpg

Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>4</span>/5

User ratings:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>3</span>/5
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Time Out says

Tue Jun 7 2011

It’s the end of the world again! Time for a fix of Gregg Araki. Never a filmmaker to pass up the all-bets-are-off charm of the end times, Araki claimed a place in the New Queer Cinema with 1992’s ‘The Living End’, about a pair of HIV-positive outlaw lovers on the lam. Then came a ‘teen apocalypse’ trilogy (‘Totally Fucked Up’, ‘The Doom Generation’ and ‘Nowhere’) that put Cronenberg, Bret Easton Ellis, ‘Beverly Hills 90210’ and the Illuminati through a queer blender.

Next were the threesome comedy ‘Splendor’ (1999); the achingly beautiful ‘Mysterious Skin’ (2004), with its alien abductions, underage fisting and ecstatic Fruit Loops; and the stoner interlude ‘Smiley Face’. An eclectic bunch, then, unified by an alienated, bottom-up perspective on society, saturated-verging-on-lurid mise-en-scène and a blasé but not unemotional approach to sexual liberation.

‘Kaboom’, as the title suggests, finds Araki back in teen apocalypse mode. Smith (Thomas Dekker, pictured) is an averagely fucked-up freshman who’d be enjoying film studies (which he compares to ‘studying an animal that’s on the verge of extinction’) were it not for the bad dreams. What starts out as a savvy information-age campus sex comedy, involving ‘ass-tards’, jealous witches and a surfer called Thor, takes a Lynchian, conspiratorial turn with the arrival of sinister animal-masked men, a secretive online cult and intimations of nuclear armageddon.
Araki’s work is not for everyone; the plotting can feel arbitrary and the characters vapid. But that’s kind of the point – if shameless West Coast homoeroticism and eyeball-rolling snark ring your bell, this will grab you.

But there’s more going on than that. Araki uses smart photography and location work to build a darkly dreamlike sense of uncanny peril. If there’s an undercurrent of impending cataclysm in today’s culture, ‘Kaboom’ senses that feeling, seizes it in a surreal clinch and hurtles with
it off a cliff.

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Release details

Rated:

15

UK release:

Fri Jun 10, 2011

Duration:

86 mins

Cast and crew

Cast:

Juno Temple, Haley Bennett, Thomas Dekker

Screenwriter:

Gregg Araki

Director:

Gregg Araki

Users say

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5

Average User Rating

4.6 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:2
  • 4 star:1
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|9
1 person listening
Phil Ince

I'm just popping back again to kick this film in the nuts. It's still without a doubt one of the two most tiresome films I've ever seen (the other was Jefferson in Paris).

Phil Ince

Never one to miss a chance to follow the crowd, I'm dumping my own 1 star's worth, too. All being well, the distributor will lose money on this and to have them exhibited, Araki will need to make better films or just disappear.

Sada K

Terrible mish-mash of old US teen dramas with supposedly sharp and witty dialogue which is neither sharp nor witty, just real old fashioned. And this tripe receives 4 stars!? The director should have written an actual end to his story rather than the stoopid I've run out of ideas so i'll pull a bs abrupt end, because I'm cool. I've news for Araki, your time as a cutting edge original indie director is well and truely over.

Jools

Funny, wild, dizzy. Loved it. So much sex, yet so completely unerotic and an entire cast of utterly unlikeable characters, apart from a smidgen of humanity from the leading man, but that could be my age. It didn't float this menopausal woman's boat. I enjoyed the anarchic romp though and it made me smile

Caleb

Hopelessly vapid rehash of Araki ideas circa '96. Lazily filmed, lacking energy, a worthwhile story and treading stagnant water. Save your time and money rewatch his classic 'Nowhere' instead of its pointless remake.

Anthony Babajee

I saw Kaboom at this year's London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival. I loved it - so funny, silly and sexy! And what an explosive way to pop my LLGFF cherry!

Anthony Babajee

I saw Kaboom at this year's London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival. I loved it - so funny, silly and sexy! And what an explosive way to pop my LLGFF cherry!

Jon M

Watched it at the London Film Festival last night. Absolutely brilliant, a load of fun! has given me the urge to watch all of Araki's other films.

Jon M

Watched it at the London Film Festival last night. Absolutely brilliant, a load of fun! has given me the urge to watch all of Araki's other films.