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Kaboom

by on May 31, 2011
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Most people will hate this film, but I found it to be completely charming even during its insane final moments.

Smith (Thomas Dekker) is a college freshman with a comfortable living arrangement. He hangs out with Stella (Haley Bennett), his lesbian best friend, all the time. He lusts over his idiotic straight roommate, Thor (Chris Zylka). The only problem in his life is his difficult relationship with his mother and the creepy visions of people with animal masks and a woman who haunts his dreams.

The casual nature of the bizarre is what helps create such a likable tone. The film is funny almost because it has to be. The actual plot of the film concerns messiah cults, prophecies, twins and other insanity. Yet the focus of the film is more about Smith’s sex life. Smith says he’s gay, but he really doesn’t believe in labeling or identification. He meets London (Juno Temple) at a party and they occasionally have sex when she is feeling stressed about a test.

Stella has her own problems with her nymphomaniac girlfriend who dabbles too often in witchcraft in order to improve their sex life. All of these characters are so much fun to hang out with that this feels more like a pilot than a standalone movie. The TV show comparison is apt because the entire mystical plot is too dense to fit into a 90-minute film.

Perhaps that’s part of the dark humor. Since the last 10 minutes is just heavy exposition with a brilliant last-second resolution, this could have all just been a joke. It’s an odd contradiction to not care about the “actual plot” and still really enjoy this movie. The humor works, all of the characters are very engaging and it is very sexy. This film is like the antithesis of “Donnie Darko.” That film is remembered and adored because people liked the result of the mythology, but they don’t talk about wanting to hang out in that high school. “Kaboom” wants you to enjoy the characters and is anarchic about the mythology.

Writer/director Gregg Araki has made a bunch of features, but I have only seen his most recent two. This one combined the characterization of “Mysterious Skin” with the silliness of “Smiley Face.”

The DVD contains bloopers, which is something you don’t always see with a sex comedy. Unfortunately it was the annoying kind of bloopers, with the cast just laughing and forgetting lines. There is also a commentary track with Araki and deleted scenes.

 

Film: 4 Yaps
Extras: 3 Yaps

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