Thursday, January 28, 2016

Turbo kid


I feel like, for a person my age, I'm not especially nostalgic for the '80s. I think it was really a pretty low point in culture overall. Generally speaking, I don't like the music, although I'm not without my moments of nostalgia, as evidenced by recent posts. I have definite soft spots for some '80s movies, but it's far from my favorite decade as whole. So, on the surface it makes sense that I'm resistant to things like Kung Fury, which try to use an '80s nostalgia vibe to attract people to their particular brand of nostalgia.

I think it's something else, though. It seems to me on the surface, and here I admit I'm picking an obvious target that I have not yet brought myself to watch, that most of these are approaching the '80s nostalgia out of a basic cowardice. You don't have to own the bug nutty shit that explodes from your head when you're paying tribute to the cinema of Cannon Films, The Beastmaster, Joe Dante, Big Trouble in Little China, etc. Of course it's fucking nuts, right?

The thing is, though, the defense I'd offer all of those things and so much more is that they went out naked into the world and fucking meant it. It feels like too much of the '80s nostalgia crowd don't mean it, or if they do, they still want a little distance where they can let you know they're in on the joke of it being something.

With that in mind, when I started Turbo Kid, which I had been very much looking forward to, and it gave a little introduction in which there was these '80s credits and a voiceover letting us know that it takes place in the post-apocalyptic future of 1997, my heart sank a little. So, on that level, I wish they hadn't done that.

That said, I think it's a disarming and sincere movie and a truer tribute than most in that it's also wearing its heart on its sleeve. It's not wearing the '80s as cover from sincerity, it's using the motif to remind of us of that very sincerity. On some level, I think that's great. That was a nice reminder.

I'm not sure I'm wrong. I'm not sure the movie itself wouldn't have stood stronger without those early and broad nods to its creative origins, but I do feel better about it as a whole. And the longer I live with the movie, the better I feel about it.

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