Film Review: Kaboom

24 Mar

By Julian Buckeridge

Kaboom is a devilishly funny, filthy, raunchy, absurd Greg Araki film that begins in chaos and never slows down. With the film, Araki humorously bites back against those who criticised his earlier works by emphasising every element they hated.

College boy Smith (Thomas Dekker) initially dismisses his prophetic visions of white rooms, doors and a red garbage dumpster but when he meets the two women from his dream at a party with his best friend Stella (Haley Bennet), his world becomes complicated as murder, mayhem, witches and cults threaten to destroy his world.

The glossy, fluorescently coloured Kaboom delves into the need to belong and our desire to be something special. Araki discusses the young adult mentality in an offbeat, heightened fashion – complete with intrusive music, extreme close-ups and slow motion – but it still manages to be relatable.

Continuing his championing of homoeroticism, Dekker’s Smith is “undeclared”, unwilling to conform to traditional labels – he has sex with whomever he wants (or more specifically, anyone who asks). Araki parodies and overplays Hollywood stereotypes; this includes Smith’s roommate, Thor (Chris Zylka), the dumb as a brick, straight but gay-acting, blonde surfer.

The final act becomes utterly chaotic when Smith’s prophetic dreams lead to a ludicrous and unexpected revelation. Characters are completely removed from their previous purpose and everything no longer makes sense. When a young adult has responsibility thrust onto them, it is only understandable that their world would descend into madness. Kaboom is the complete opposite of the controlled and spellbinding Mysterious Skin and that’s exactly what Araki wants.

The film is indulgent, with shallow and narcissistic characters and chaotic storytelling, but it also manages to be self-aware and incredibly fun. While the film gives the viewer little to ponder after its 86-minute running time, Kaboom is an entirely enjoyable experience.

Kaboom opens on Thursday 24th of March (Cinema Nova and others).


2 Responses to “Film Review: Kaboom”

  1. moviegeek April 24, 2011 at 10:01 pm #

    I was quite looking forward to this, so now that I have seen it my disappointment is even bigger!
    this is a completely pointless, wit-less film. It’s un-funny, not scary, and not even the sex scenes managed to be sexy.
    Very disappointing and a waste of Thomas Dekker who has actually a very interesting face and he could be rather good in a better film…
    I’ll give Araki one last chance then I’ll begin to think that “Mysterious Skin” was just a lucky mistake in an otherwise disastrous filmography.

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