For much of its frolicsome, rambling running-time, Son of Rambow is like a guarana-spiked soft drink: It goes down easy and delivers a kick. Set in provincial England in the mid-1980s, this tale of a schoolboy with the pulpy name Will Proudfoot (Bill Milner), who falls prey at age 11 to the visceral power of movies, carries the audience along on a comic rush of unexpected incidents through its entire first half and even for parts of its sappy denouement.
You can't accuse the writer-director, Garth Jennings, of burying the lead: Right at the movie's start, Will, part of a religious sect called the Plymouth Brethren, prays outside a cinema showing Rambo: First Blood, while inside, a young troublemaker named Lee Carter (Will Poulter) duplicates it on a camcorder.
Son of Rambow (Paramount Vantage) Starring Bill Milner, Will Poulter, Jules Sitruk. Directed by Garth Jennings. Rated PG-13 for some violence and reckless behavior. Time 96 minutes.