Film review

KABOOM

KABOOM

Directed by Gregg Araki
Starring Thomas Dekker, Haley Bennett, Juno Temple

Gregg Araki was an early exemplar of ‘New Queer Cinema’, with his low-budget features – including The Living End and Nowhere – fuelled by punk urgency, hormonal exuberance and AIDS-generation rage.

Following a mainstream backflip with stoner comedy Smiley Face, Kaboom resembles his earlier work, with slightly less anger.

Abductions, witchcraft, the Apocalypse – plus a cameo from Explosions In The Sky – are all fodder for this shaggy dog tale about gay student Smith (Thomas Dekker) and his strange days on campus.

Stealing the show are the wild Juno Temple as an omnivorous siren and Haley Bennett as Smith’s brittle, wisecracking lesbian buddy Stella.

Vibrantly coloured, unspooling like a free-associative comic strip, Kaboom is enjoyable, throwaway and a touch ’90s in its self-congratulatory coolness. Yet it still feels strikingly defiant in its no-holds-barred polysexual insouciance.

Jonathan Romney

Opens June 10 // Cert 15 // 86 mins


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