A decade in preparation and two years in actual production, The Coca-Cola Kid emerges with much of the flavor and character of Dusan Makavejev’s earlier works such as WR: Mysteries of the Organism and Sweet Movie. But the mix of earthy symbolism, offbeat eroticism, the picaresque and the rough-and-tumble social, rather unpolitical satire now seems poured from a bottle that has been left uncapped overnight.
The title figure is a young whiz-kid troubleshooter out of Atlanta, sent to Australia by Coca-Cola h.q. to root out whatever trouble might have been overlooked by the local company representative. Georgian Becker, played by Atlanta-raised Eric Roberts with drawl and drool, soon finds the Coca-Cola dry spot on Australia’s map in a remote area where land baron (Bill Kerr, playing a Colonel Sanders lookalike), has enforced his own soda pop monopoly on the population.
The ensuing fight between two parties, supposedly juxtaposing American and Australian attitudes, morals, etc, is complicated by a skirmish between Roberts and the local company secretary (Greta Scacchi in her first major film role since Heat and Dust).
Behind all its stylistic posturing The Coca-Cola Kid has a generally friendly air about it. What is lacking in the brew is true punch.