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film review

Love and gore notwithstanding, Turbo Kid’s most distinctive feature is its period setting: 'the future,' as its opening narration intones, 'of 1997.'

Either inspired (or traumatized) by a decade in which the Maxes were mad, post-apocalyptic landscapes were made in Australia and Bonnie Tyler was in severe need of a hero, the Canadian trio of Yoann-Karl Whissell, Anouk Whissell and François Simard have made a blood-fountaineering, retro-futuristic action-comedy for the ages.

Those ages being the 1980s and 1997, the year in which this midnight-viewing hoot is set. Munro Chambers stars as a BMX-riding, comic-book hoarding teenager in a water-deprived dystopia, up against a big, old overlord played by Michael Ironside, campier than a Winger video. If Chambers occupies the screen with a nervous uneasiness, perhaps he's freaked out because, as a 25-year-old actor, he's unfamiliar with the big-hair decade this film celebrates.

Indeed, his character roams a wasteland in search of touchstones from a past he doesn't remember. Made for ironicists, Turbo Kid, in its endearingly goofy way, says good things about the power reserves of our childhood – an inner superhero we can call upon when needed.

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