Title: The Kings of Summer (2013)
Director: Jordan Vogt-Roberts (Feature Debut)
Cast: Nick Robinson, Gabriel Basso, Moises Arias, Nick Offerman, Alison Brie, Erin Moriarty
Plot: Fed up with their parents, best friends Joe (Robinson) and Patrick (Basso) along with crazy tag along Biaggio (Arias) build a make shift house in the woods where they can be the kings of the castle.
“It’s a classic kidnapping. They took our children and the canned goods and pasta”
Review by Eddie on 9/09/2014
For his first feature film up and coming director Vogt-Roberts has done a fine job at adapating Chris Galletta’s Black Listed script that has such a unique tone it stops itself from becoming a truely affecting story even though it has many a scene that has more heart and humour than countless other “growing-up” up movies.
The tone of The Kings of Summer is impossible to describe with characters such as Parks and Recreation’s Nick Offerman’s loner dad and one of the most random screen sidekicks since Pedro in Napolean Dynamite in the form of Arias’s Biaggio having countless moments of pure unbridled looniness and the central story feeling almost like a fantasy tale of kids living in the woods in a house that has a slide inside it. These out there moments whilst being never less than amusing feel like they could of been toned down to allow the more affecting aspects of the story to take centre stage or at least have equal billing.
Filled with unniversally strong performances from a young and talented cast in particular Robinson as lead Joe and Basso as his best friend Patrick, Kings of Summer has a relatable and believeable story at it’s core about learning to live and love your parents no matter who or what they are. Small moments in the film begin to explore this but are then dashed in favour of more fantastical scenes involving swords or hunting and gathering. Roberts does show a fine hand behind camera with the film featuring many a finely framed shot and one suspects that a classic tale is not out of his reach to direct.
Kings of Summer stands out from the pack thanks to it’s very original tone and is worthy of note due to hopefully the jumping off point of many careers in particular that of Robinson and Basso but by movies end you get that sinking feeling that although you have had a good time with this merry band of teens there was a more affecting way to tell this story that could of hit home for the teen in all of us.
3 heated Monopoly games out of 5