Kaboom (film)

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Kaboom
Gregg Araki Kaboom.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Gregg Araki
Produced by Gregg Araki
Andrea Sperling
Pascal Caucheteux
Written by Gregg Araki
Starring Thomas Dekker
Juno Temple
Haley Bennett
Roxane Mesquida
Brennan Mejia
James Duval
Music by Robin Guthrie
Vivek Maddala
Mark Peters
Ulrich Schnauss
Cinematography Sandra Valde-Hansen
Edited by Gregg Araki
Production
  company
Wild Bunch
Desperate Pictures
Distributed by Sundance Selects
Release date(s)
  • May 15, 2010 (2010-05-15) (Cannes)
  • October 6, 2010 (2010-10-06) (France)
  • January 26, 2011 (2011-01-26) (VOD)
Running time 86 minutes
Country United States
France
Language English
Box office $539,957[1]

Kaboom is a 2010 youth culture alternative film written and directed by Gregg Araki. The film stars Thomas Dekker, Juno Temple, Haley Bennett and James Duval.[2] It premiered at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival,[3] where it was awarded the first ever Queer Palm for its contribution to lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender issues.[4]

Kaboom is a science fiction story centered on the sexual adventures of a group of college students and their investigation of a bizarre cult.

Plot[edit]

Smith is an 18-year-old film student who identifies sexually as "undeclared" with a strong sexual appetite. He has been having strange dreams. He is going to college with his best friend, Stella, whom he has known since junior high. Smith finds a note saying that he is the "chosen son". He has a roommate, Thor, whom he lusts after, regretting that Thor is straight. Stella goes to a party with Smith, but hooks up with another girl, Lorelei. He recognizes Lorelei as one of the people in his dream. Smith notices a guy, but he is distracted when a red-haired girl from his dream vomits on his shoe. The guy vanishes, but Smith gets picked up by London, a British student. They have sex, but to Smith's regret she does not want to be with him except during the sex.

Smith visits a nude beach, and meets a man named Hunter. They start to have sex, but Smith is disappointed to hear that Hunter is married. Stella discovers that Lorelei is not only unstable, but also a witch with rejection issues. Stella keeps trying to dump her, but has difficulty as the witch takes over Smith's body, and later tries to strangle her in the washroom. Stella saves herself by spraying water on the witch, causing her to burn up.

During this time, Smith continues to dream about the red-haired girl. In his dreams, they are both pursued by people wearing animal masks. Smith finds out that the girl was killed, and her head was cut off. He later meets her twin sister, who says that she was kidnapped many years ago by men wearing animal masks. He also meets the guy from the earlier party, and learns his name is Oliver. He is gay and wants to go on a date with Smith.

Smith walks in on Thor and his best friend Rex wrestling in their underwear. Though they are calling each other gay, Stella explains that only straight guys can get away with that. London seduces Rex and convinces him to have a three-way with Smith for his 19th birthday. The animal-masked people finally capture Smith, London, and Smith's mom. They are bundled into a van to be driven to meet the head of a secret cult. Smith finds out that it is his father (although he was always told that his father died when he was young).

Meanwhile, Stella, Oliver, and the perpetually stoned "Messiah" hook up to pursue the van. Oliver has powers like Lorelei's, but uses them for good. It turns out that meeting Oliver wasn't chance. He was looking for Smith to protect him. The Messiah was only acting stoned. He's also there to protect Smith. The animal-masked people turn out to be Thor, Rex, and Hunter. They must get London and Smith to a secret underground shelter to survive the explosion of dozens of nuclear bombs. Anyone not in the cult will be annihilated, and the cult will take over the world with Smith as its leader.

The Messiah tries to run the van off the road, and both vehicles scream towards a bridge that is out. Smith's father presses a button and the whole Earth explodes.

Cast[edit]

Reception[edit]

The film received mixed reviews from critics. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports that 58% out of 88 critics gave the film a positive review.[5] On Metacritic, the film has a 64/100 rating, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[6]

Bruce DeMara from the Toronto Star praised the film's cast and called it "Araki’s most ambitious [movie] to date, with a quick pace, music that’s hip and cool and a mood that alternates between playful and eccentric."[7] Sam Adams from the Los Angeles Times was much more critical about it, and said it was "less a movie than a masturbatory doodle, a sloppy, shoddy regurgitation of Araki’s pet trope that tries to pass off its slipshod structure as a free-wheeling lark."[8]

References[edit]

External links[edit]