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Thomas Dekker
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Gregg Araki.
Gregg Araki.
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Featuring the year's other Thor

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Eighteen year-old Smith (Dekker) has problems figuring out whether he's straight or gay. Heading off to college with his best friend Stella (Bennett), he finds a note announcing that he's the chosen one. Things soon get weird...

With 2005's Mysterious Skin, indie gay cinema pioneer Gregg Araki hinted he might have the chops to follow Gus Van Sant into mainstream melodrama, while 2007’s Smiley Face showed he could easily do a David Gordon Green and make stoner comedies for studios. Kaboom, though, is a return to the erotically charged delirium of his earlier “queer John Hughes” movies; inspired by a conversation with John Waters, it’s a light but fun teen comedy in which a sexually undecided high-schooler (Thomas Dekker) is plagued by visions of a corridor, an apartment door to a room numbered 19 and a dumpster. As he tries to solve the riddle, things get stranger and stranger, with witches, ESP and millennial cults, plus the kind of hilariously bawdy dialogue (“Dude, it’s a vagina, not a bowl of spaghetti”) that we might have heard if only Joan Rivers had scripted Clueless.

Gregg Araki's sci-fi is a weird and, just occasionally, wonderful skew on the college comedy. Slight but fun.

Reviewed by David Hughes

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Your Reviews

Average user rating for Kaboom
Empire Star Rating

I made it to the end of this... just. The opening scene had me wondering had I walked into a gay porn film. Having read the bio on this it seemed like a drug induced nightmare trip through a night on campus... there are so many other ways in which this movie could've been done, all of which were better. The sex (whilst I'm sure is probably quite accurate, given the promiscuity of teenagers these days) is purely to give the film an entirely shallower appeal, but this tactic is so transluc... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by narmour at 09:52, 05 July 2011 | Report This Post

RE: Absolutely awful

I'm more bewildered by Empire's 3 star rating. ... More

Posted by jrewing1000 at 00:16, 21 June 2011 | Report This Post

RE: Absolutely awful

I'm the opposite to you, I thought the first hour or so was quite good, nothing amazing and it was undoubtedly too gratutitous but it seemed a neat little college comedy...but the added plot element, I don't actually believe I've ever left a film feeling so bewildered. That ending is one of the worst I have ever seen ... More

Posted by NicCagesEyes at 23:00, 19 June 2011 | Report This Post

RE: Absolutely awful

L: NicCagesEyes Be thankful you left early then, as you avoided one of the worst endings to a film I've ever seen. Underground cults never seemed so unnecessary unnily enough, I looked up the ending on wikipedia, then managed to find a clip of it on YouTube and couldn't believe my eyes. I'm all for films that break convention and push boundaries, but this effort was just infantile. ... More

Posted by jrewing1000 at 18:21, 19 June 2011 | Report This Post

RE: Absolutely awful

Be thankful you left early then, as you avoided one of the worst endings to a film I've ever seen. Underground cults never seemed so unnecessary ... More

Posted by NicCagesEyes at 14:49, 19 June 2011 | Report This Post

Absolutely awful

I haven't walked out of a film in a long time. I reserve special moments like that for films like this. I watched enough to know that this was quite awful. There's a little to like here, but not enough. Too much talk of sex without any real purpose (one dreadful scene shows the female character London describing the perfect oral sex technique to her partner of the hour. It's hideously clunky). I'm not sure if it was bad acting or bad editing, but the film chugs along, throwing new information ab... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by jrewing1000 at 18:22, 18 June 2011 | Report This Post

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