Title – Kin (2018)
Directors – Jonathan and Josh Baker (feature debuts)
Cast – Myles Truitt, Jack Reynor, Zoe Kravitz, James Franco, Carrie Coon, Denis Quaid, Michael B. Jordan
Plot – Brothers Eli (Truitt) and Jimmy Solinski (Reynor) find themselves on the run from a vengeful criminal Taylor Balik (Franco) and a bunch of otherworldly enforcers after Eli finds some seemingly alien technology in an abandoned Detroit warehouse.
“I just need you to stay out of trouble”
Review by Eddie on 29/04/2019
There’s a great story buried somewhere in Kin, one that would be suited even to a longer format such as recurring seasonal show or a one off mini-series but sadly Jonathan and Josh Baker’s cinematic effort (based on their short film) lacks any of the heart, nuance or imagination needed to make this sci-fi hybrid work.
Mixing in the road trip genre with a dosage of family drama and oddly underused sci-fi potential, Kin is an odd beast, one that does feel original in nature but not so much in execution, as we follow Myles Truitt’s teenage boy Eli Solinski on an adventure with older brother Jimmy who has been released from prison but quick to get back into the criminal scene.
There’s not a lot of solid build up leading up to this point, as we’re introduced to Eli as he wanders about, finding alien technology and struggling to find himself in the world and as soon as Reynor’s Jimmy gets into trouble with James Franco’s woefully styled criminal Taylor Balik and draws Eli into his cross country getaway, we begin to realise that we’ve never had much of a chance to care about what is occurring, as the Baker’s struggle to bring all their story elements into one cohesive and interesting whole.
Kin really is one of those experiences that feels like it’s both rushed and underdeveloped, too many ideas flying around at once for any of them to stick and work, giving the film a cold edge and one that never finds its true core amongst all of the various happenings, side characters and half-cooked concepts.
The actors certainly try their best with the material given but no one here is given a lot to work with as the Baker’s waste talented cast members such as Reynor, Zoe Kravitz, Michael B. Jordan and Carrie Coon with barely there characters, no one getting a real moment to shine even if you sense that Reynor and Truitt share a chemistry that should’ve been explored further within the film.
Another big disappointment for genre enthusiasts is that despite what was advertised and championed when the film was first released, Kin isn’t that much of a “sci-fi” experience, forgoing its more fantastical elements to instead focus on the more everyday, as the Solinski brothers are focussed on escaping the wrath of Franco and his cronies generic goons.
Final Say –
An almost entirely forgettable mash up of ideas and barely explored concepts, Kin had the potential to be something special, but instead ends up being a feature devoid of any real life or heart.
2 acts of performance art out of 5