The final installment in Araki's hypersexed-soundtrack-driven coming-of-age trilogy that started 15 years ago at Sundance with The Doom Generation lays out for its audience a how-to. How to bring back soap and how to bring up the next gen of It actors.
Araki, whose defining '90s style gave rise to then-fresh faces Rose McGowan, Jonathon Schaech, Parker Posey and Kathleen Robertson - builds an ensemble-of-tomorrow cast with his Kaboom players: Haley Bennett, Thomas Dekker, Chris Zylka and this fest's one to watch, Juno Temple (Kaboom, Dirty Girl, Bastard).
The ensemble may never again get the kind of Gen-Me '40s-laced-with-hormones dialogue Araki gives, but each with yesterday's Abercrombie-catalogue pout and a proclivity for not overselling irony will do well to cut out the smarm and shine in the more substantive post-Araki life.
But let's not undermine the provocative Araki's ability to still jab the vain of the uber-sexed and always-funny actions of the unloved in time to the kick-assness of shoegazer repose.
But it's not just about the youth movement: Araki unearths Roadhouse veteran Kelly Lynch who takes a turn as the hyper-LA-based ex of a cult founder always chirping witticisms and pragmatic single-mom advice to her disaffected bi-sexual protagonist son (via Bluetooth - nice touch). Her turn was worth the price of popcorn for this movie which - set against the commissioned industrial-modish dorm, paths, pathos and beaches of UCSD - is simply pretty. Pretty wise.
Taut eye candy with a more-than-satisfying ending punctuating the splitscreens, mask-wearing, libido-driven, iconoclastic (any more critic-word superlatives? Fill in the blank...) pop art project juxtaposed against witchcraft, SoCal faux surferdom, indie-hippishness and a dorm microwave is what you get with Araki's final installment before he and his cast - purportedly - grow up.
Kaboom may not take home any Jury prizes, but it's a Sundance '11 keeper.