Movie review: Kaboom

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

"Kaboom" is the movie I've kind of always wanted Gregg Araki to make. It's not really wonderful, but it's completely, wonderfully ridiculous.

Some of Araki's favorite themes - blurred lines of sexuality, smug and angsty teenagers, apocalyptic overtones - all play out in a wild symphony that may or may not be satire.

Smith (Thomas Dekker) is an 18-year-old student at a sunny California college campus. He doesn't really define his sexuality, but he's got a thing for his surfer boy roommate Thor (Chris Zylka) and a regular hookup girl named London (Juno Temple).

His best friend since freshman year is Stella (Haley Bennett), who's in a relationship with a beautiful girl who is a practicing witch. Oh, and Smith has strange dreams about ritual murder that may or may not be coming true.

"Kaboom" is kind of like an R-rated episode of a teen drama like "Gossip Girl" filtered through "Twin Peaks."

Despite all its bed-hopping and nightmarish dreams of animal-masked cult members, it's also oddly cheerful - maybe some residue from Araki's last flick, the stoner comedy "Smiley Face."

Sure, it's kind of a hot mess. It's never easy to tell whether Araki is satirizing the melodrama or just wallowing in it.

But by the head-shaking conclusion, I can't help but give it a nod. See for yourself.


Opens Friday at the Gateway

3 stars