Gregg Araki continues his daring sojourn into the arena that other filmmakers avoid - frank sexual adventures of every kind, characters whose placement in the story is often like window dressing for effect, and yet out of it all comes a fascinating if at time discombobulating tale that appeals to a certain audience - and doesn't mind if the rest of the folks who don't approve of his antics even attend!
The film follows the life of one Smith (Thomas Dekker) and his everyday life in the dorm - hanging out with his arty, sarcastic best friend Stella (Haley Bennett), hooking up with a beautiful free spirit named London (Juno Temple), lusting for his gorgeous but dim surfer roommate Thor (Chris Zylka). Smith parties, sleeps around with both men (Jason Olive, Andy Fischer-Price) and women in various combinations. He's bisexual, is about to turn 19 and is having strange dreams which seem to work their way into his life. There's gay sex, lesbian sex, witchcraft, men in animal masks, murder and some secret organization - it all gets turned upside-down after one fateful, terrifying night when all the signs of Smith's dreams seem to come together in a apocalyptic fusion that involves Smith's father (Michael James Spall), Smith's hedonistic mother (Kelly Lynch), and visits from the Messiah! It is a sci-fi story centered on the sexual awakening of a group of college students.
Dekker somehow carries this film due to his skills as an actor but also his complete involvement in what is obviously Araki's secondary persona. It is a crazy film, rich in color, at many times ludicrous, and at other times very sexy - you know, the way Gregg Araki continues to make these solid little art house movies. It would be silly to fault KABOOM for being shallow or unserious; its whole mode of being is profoundly antiserious, playfully assaulting any form of earnestness other than Smith's emo melancholy. Grady Harp, June 12