Sci-Fi epic. Road film. Family drama. Heist film. Coming of Age tale.
There are a lot of genres that the new film from directors Jonathan and Josh Baker, Kin, could fall into. Unfortunately, it seems like the film tries to be way more than it is capable of being.
Young Eli (Myles Truitt) is a kid in trouble at school and with his adopted father (Dennis Quaid). Eli is out salvaging metal for scrap when he comes across a crime scene with men whose heads had been blown off. While there, he finds a weird blaster/gun of some kind and takes it with him. Meanwhile, Eli’s older brother Jimmy (Jack Reynor) is being released from prison owing money to a bad man named Balik (James Franco). Balik tells Jimmy that either he brings him the 60 thousand dollars or he may collect it from his father and brother himself. This pushes Jimmy to make some poor choices.
Jimmy does not yet know that his little brother has a weapon that will level the playing field for them moving forward.
I will say that there were some things that I did like about the movie. I really liked the performance by Myles Truiit. He showed me that he was very capable of leading this film. He was believable and engaging, making it easy to root for him.
I wish I could say the same for Jack Reynor’s character. I hated the brother character so much. He was selfish, immature and the choices he made put everyone into danger. Even at the end, it wasn’t that Jimmy learned any lasting lessons. He took advantage of every situation, whether or not something tragic happened and, in my eyes, he failed at his attempt to prove his love for his brother. I did not buy his last minute redemption in any manner and it was only through a conveniently timed deus ex machina that he survived at all.
Speaking of that ending, it was just out of nowhere and was totally against most everything that had happened up to this point. It felt completely out of place in this movie and any goodwill that the film may have built up prior to this was completely lost with this five minute scene. It made no sense even after the surprise cameo took off his Idea Men (Animated Tick reference) helmet and was able to finally speak clearly.
The trailers made this film feel as if the brothers Johnny and Eli would really form a strong bond after Johnny was released from prison, but that did not happen. Heck, the brotherly bond was a complete failure in my mind. I would even say that there was more of a connection between Eli and the stripper Milly (Zoe Kravitz) the brothers meet half way through the film.
Kin has some positive about it, but there is so much that ruins those positives that by the time you give up rooting for Jimmy and the ridiculous sci-fi ending happens, you have checked out of the early positives.