DirkH’s review published on Letterboxd:
There have been many films of late that try to capture the vibe of days gone by, of iconic cinematic eras and in doing so pay tribute to them. There haven't been any that have done this as successfully as Turbo Kid.
A common pitfall is losing yourself in your tribute and going so far overboard that you're almost overindulging in stylistic mannerisms. Trying too hard will only make you come across as desperate. The thing that Turbo Kid does so well (and this is the main reason for me giving it full marks) is being genuine. This is a genuine labour of love. An attempt to not make a tribute to the glorious 80s but to actually make a film from that era. From this genuineness comes passion comes creativity comes infectious fun. Turbo Kid is the real deal, it's as simple as that.
It's pretty amazing what the directorial trio have managed to create with so little means. It looks dated, not cheap, which is exactly the vibe it should give off. The practical effects are truly hilarious and nasty, with an abundance of gore that made me on more than one occasion burst out with laughter. This breathes post apocalyptic 80s flick from its pores, with insane costumes and larger than life villains. Michael Ironside is clearly having a shitload of fun.
At the center though lies the real strength of this film. The two protagonists and the simple love story between them work because Turbo Kid is a great hero to root for. This has a lot to do with a wonderful performance by Munro Chambers as the hero in the making. And then there's Apple. She truly is one of the funnest characters I've seen in quite some time. If ever there was a character that was irresistible, it's Apple. Well conceived, but absolutely brilliantly given life to by Laurence Leboeuf, who gives Apple the perfect balance of quirk and charm.
Turbo Kid is not a perfect film but its unbridled enthusiasm for what its doing deserves a lot of respect and the passion with which this is made deserves recognition.
The fact that it's also completely bonkers only adds to its cause.