Netflix Review: Turbo Kid

I almost overlooked this movie entirely on my Netflix queue, but then a couple of days ago, a friend of mine said that I should watch this movie and review it because he was thinking of seeing it himself.


Now Turbo Kid is a low-budget film about a kid who lives in a post-apocalyptic universe. The beginning of the movie states that it takes place in 1997. Because of this, the movie uses a lot of themes and items from prior decades. When I first realized this, I was pretty excited because the last low-budget piece I saw on Netflix to exploit a lot of the themes and items from older eras was a short film called Kung Fury, which I loved. However, as the movie finally ended, the only word that I would use to describe it was wretched.


Turbo Kid is absolutely terrible, and I’m not really sure how to even categorize it in the first place. I tried to get some help from some of the obvious websites like IMDB, Rotten Tomatoes, and Metacritic, but all I could find was more despair because not only is there very little information about the specifics of this movie, but every single website gave it fantastic scores and grades, to which I ask why? Why in the world would anyone like this movie so much that they gave it extremely positive ratings? All I could give this movie was groans of disgust.


For starters, the dialogue in this movie is horrendous and uninspired. In the spirit of bad movies, the script seemed to be more focused on wrapping up a checklist of events instead of actually portraying information in a realistic or interesting way. Not only that, but every single line that comes out of an actor’s mouth was either poorly written, poorly delivered, or both.


And in the midst of all the awful dialogue is a post-apocalyptic world with universal rules that fall apart if you think about them for less than one minute.


I’ll try to give some examples from the beginning. So in the beginning of the movie, we follow an unnamed kid who lives by himself in a world where they say over and over again that civilization has been destroyed. If that’s the case, then why does this runt sit on a swing set out in the middle of the open reading comic books? Is it really so safe outside that the kid feels comfortable looking at his dumb comic, reading the comic out loud for everyone in a quarter-mile radius to hear? Seems like a relatively civilized post-apocalyptic world to me.

Or the fact that the main villain has a machine that grinds up humans to extract the water out of their bodies, yet for some reason every time he kidnaps somebody, he forces them to partake in brutal cage matches that wastes most of the blood he could use for water extraction.

And all of this illogic never seemed to happen because the movie was trying being ironic or witty. The illogic was happening because this movie is a pile of garbage.


There are too many times where you must massively suspend your disbelief in order to convince yourself of this universe, and the movie does not have enough positives in it for me to consider this option unless I decide go to a psych ward in the next couple of minutes and lobotomize myself. Everything about this movie is dumb, and it never comes off as self-aware. It instead comes off as the writers and directors not knowing how to create a cohesive story.


On top of that, this movie tries to sell its trash with a layer of quirkiness. Now the last movie that I reviewed (Moonrise Kingdom, which I highly recommend by the way) was chalk full of quirky humor. However, unlike Moonrise Kingdom (which uses its quirkiness to accent all the other great things about it), Turbo Kid seems to hide behind its lack of writing and attention to detail with its quirkiness, and I’m sorry but I never got to a point where I thought any of it was amusing.


Quite honestly, the only thing redeemable about the movie is that the blood and gore is extraordinarily over the top. Every action scene in this movie comes complete with loads of blood and gore to where it becomes laughable a few times. It was almost as if the people behind this movie flushed all of their money into the brutal violence and saved none of it for anything else. And in the end, is it really the best thing to invest all of your money in if everything else sucks?


So why is this movie so praised by so many people on all of these seemingly esteemed movie websites? I cannot be the only one who hates Turbo Kid. It isn’t even so bad that it’s good. It was honestly painful to get through the entire thing. There were only a few redeemable moments here and there before it sinks back down to oblivion.


Is the blood and gore and quirkiness really the things that made people love this movie? Maybe people have even lower standards for movie than I thought, and I’m giving this movie a 2 out of 10.