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Ridiculously good-looking students get it on in writer-director Gregg Araki's latest love-letter to sexy good times and the joy of being young. There's also an apocalyptic cult in the mix
Coming on like a pop-culture splattered 'Hollyoaks Later' for bisexual hipsters, with nudity and bed-hopping galore, Kaboom begins in blistering form, with attractive student Smith (Thomas Dekker - Zach from Heroes) providing our way into his collegiate world of emotional angst as substantial as candyfloss - and sex as sweet as powdered sugar. A high point is reached some forty minutes in when an all-growed-up Juno Temple gives practical pointers on how to treat her clitoris during oral sex. (It's a bit racy for a family website, so we won't quote it here, but it's well worth your attention.)
For all this frank depiction of sexual etiquette, there's something adorably dated about Kaboom - it's more like a kinky episode of 'Buffy The Vampire Slayer' than an x-rated edition of 'Skins'. The vaguely retro ‘90s clothes, a time-travelling soundtrack referencing everything from recent indie darlings The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart, to the electroclash of Ladytron at their mid ‘00s peak... you can't help but feel this is more a film for people looking back fondly at their hedonistic student years than it is for people the age of the characters themselves. Or maybe a film for eternal adolescents whatever their age.
It's a shame that the last act can't maintain the sheer energy of the first half, meaning that the real excitement is all over rather prematurely, leaving the viewer feeling rather like Temple's character when she huffs "I've had pelvic exams that lasted longer than that" after a too-brief encounter. The film offers dark supernatural cults and the threat of nuclear apocalypse as the threatened 'kaboom' of its third act climax, but somehow it's not as impactful as the other climaxes enjoyed earlier in the film.Rent Kaboom now from Film4oD
The soundtrack's the perfect mixtape, the visuals the perfect day-glo trashpop video - just don't expect too much in the way of boring old depth and meaning.
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