Turbo Kid (2015)

turbo kid poster 2015 retro
8.5 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 8/10

Fun throwback film

Could have pushed it even farther

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Turbo Kid

Studio:  EMA Films

Genre(s):  Action/Adventure/Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Release Date(s):  January 26, 2015 (Sundance)/August 28, 2015 (US)

MPAA Rating:  Unrated


Get on your bikes and ride!!!

The world is a post-apocalyptic, desolate home to the few surviving humans who struggle to find drinkable water.  Rumors of a fresh water source exist, but a ruthless man named Zeus (Michael Ironside) seems determined to hide it by controlling the wasteland with his marauders.  When the Kid (Munro Chambers) meets a girl named Apple (Laurence Leboeuf), he quickly finds himself on adventure.  The discovery of a weapon of immense power means the Kid can finally avenge his parents and perhaps save everyone he knows.

Written and directed by François Simard, Anouk Whissell, and Yoann-Karl Whissell, Turbo Kid is a parody homage to ’80s sci-fi action thrillers.  The movie was developed from a short “T is for Turbo” which was originally submitted for The ABCs of Death (2012).  The film was released at Sundance in 2015 and relatively well received by critics.

As an ’80s kid, I’ve seen Turbo Kid multiple times.  Be it Red Dawn, Solar Babies, or Mad Max, Turbo Kid is combination of these movies (and even mix in some BMX Bandits).  The movie smartly weaves in and out of ’80s films, but I think it could have even pushed it farther.


He’s got a buzzsaw with your name on it!

The story is intentionally pretty cliché.  You have the post-apocalypse, water shortages, a maniacal villain, and a kid hero…plus, BMX bikes!  It is a nice set-up for an action film but gets away with the clichés because it is reflexive and self-aware.  All it needed was a freeze frame jump/high-five at the end and it would have been perfect.

The cast is also fun.  Munro Chambers is likeable, but also goofy enough that he feels like he could have been a Ralph Macchio-type teen heart throb…he’s just a regular kid.  Laurence Leboeuf has an over-the-top style role by playing the robot Apple and she keeps the movie from getting too dark.  Aaron Jeffery plays the “hero” with a dark side and Edwin Wright plays the scene stealing skeleton agent of Zeus.  Michael Ironside was perfect casting since he’s been the bad guy since the ’80s…it was just a role he was meant for.


Wait, Michael Ironside plays a villain?!?! No way!

Most of the movie’s fun comes from the visual and sound style of the film.  You have power ballots, slow motion jumping, and minimal sets.  The visual effects (especially for the Nintendo power-glove looking weapon) are very throwback except for maybe the massive explosive kills that you get…the blood really flies in this film at points.

Turbo Kid is a fun movie that was a real surprise and is hard not to like.  There are areas where it could have been better, but for the most part it is a fun and different ride.  It might be hard for those not familiar with the ’80s movies it is mocking to enjoy the film, but kids of the ’80s will rejoice.  With so much potential, I wouldn’t mind Turbo Kid and his BMX bike riding again!

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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