The dystopian future is 1997 in Anouk Whissell , Francois Simard and Yoann-Karl Whissell's new film Turbo Kid. The world was destroyed due to wars, a nuclear winter and Acid Rain. Technology stopped in the 80's and the most precious item is water. The Kid (Munro Chambers) lives in an underground bunker with traps rigged to catch small animals around the compound. He goes out scavenging daily hoping to find some items that he can trade for water or the occasional comic book of his hero Turbo Rider. He rides his BMX bike, the main mode of transportation in the Wasteland on his hunts following his main rules of staying away from people that look evil, always having water with him and a makeshift weapon that can be used for defence or offence.
The Kid's world is turned upside down when he meets a staccato speaking highly positive girl named Apple (Laurence Leboeuf) The Kid is put off by her at first but grows to enjoy her company. When she is abducted by agents of Zeus (Michael Ironside) the ruler of the Wasteland and the controller of the water the Kid goes to the warehouse to save her. Armed with a suit found in a buried spaceship that's equipped with a power glove that can explode matter. The Kid is thrown into a partnership with Frederick the Arm-Wrestler (Aaron Jeffery), defeats Zeuses fighters in a gladiator style battle then escapes with a wounded Apple on the run to a spot to get her healed.
The narrative is a s stripped down telling of futuristic apocalyptic world tale. The BMX bikes stand in for the home made road vehicles but a ruthless ruler that controls the precious resource remains the same. The story makes many references to 80's items that sets a tone the from the opening 80's pop song. The Kid comes across a rubix cube on his first scavenging outing. The VHS tape was the last form of home movies and the computer system on the downed plane looks like a cross between a Commodore 64 and an early Apple Mackintosh. The special effects are low tech as well from the blast that shoot out of the Kids glove to the power source in the ship.
Munro Chambers is fresh faced and energetic as the Kid. He is an orphan, loner and survivor having seen his parents killed for their water supply as a child. Laurence Leboeuf is highly unconventional as Apple. She is hyper positive, smiling and happy when she shouldn't be but teaches Turbo Kid a few things that he needs to know about life, fighting and being a friend. Michael Ironside turns in another strong Sci-fi villain performance and New Zeland Actor Aaron Jeffery is the perfect balance for the kid with his gruff, short sentence, stay out of my personal space turn as Frederick.
Turbo Kid is a fun low budget science fiction romp with comic book violence that may not be suitable for some younger kids. The writing is clean, the cast strong as is its message on friendship and rallying together to oppose a common enemy. It is a film I can recommend.
*** Out of 4
Turbo Kid | Francois Simard /Anou Whissell / Yoann-Karl Whissell | Canada / New Zealand | 2015 | 93 Minutes.
Tags: Dystopia, Post Apocalypse, Nuclear Winter, Acid Rain, Water, Friendship, Scavenging, BMX Bike.