Starring: Myles Truitt (stuff I’ve either never heard of or seen, and the upcoming DRAGGED ACROSS CONCRETE ), Jack Raynor (DETROIT , SING STREET , and upcoming films ON THE BASIS OF SEX  and MOWGLI ), and Zoë Kravitz (GEMINI , LEGO BATMAN , ALLEGIANT , MAD MAX: FURY ROAD , X-MEN: FIRST CLASS , and upcoming films FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE CRIMES OF GRINDELWALD  and VIENA AND THE FANTOMES )
Support: James Franco (THE DISASTER ARTIST , SAUSAGE PARTY , and upcoming films ARCTIC JUSTICE  and ZEROVILLE ), Dennis Quaid (I CAN ONLY IMAGINE , A DOG’S PURPOSE , G.I. JOE: THE RISE OF COBRA , and upcoming films THE PRETENDERS  and THE INTRUDER ), Carrie Coon (AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR , and the upcoming WIDOWS ), and Michael B. Jordan (BLACK PANTHER , CREED , and upcoming films CREED II  and JUST MERCY )
Co-directors: Jonathan and Josh Baker (feature film debut; congrats, guys)
Writer: Daniel Casey (stuff I’ve either never seen or heard of, and the upcoming FAST & FURIOUS 9 )
Composer: Mogwai (stuff I’ve either never seen or heard of)
Cinematographer: Larkin Seiple (BLEED FOR THIS , and the upcoming LUCE )
Editor: Mark Day (FANTASTIC BEASTS , EX MACHINA , Harry Potters ORDER OF THE PHOENIX , THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE , DEATHLY HALLOWS PART 1  and PART 2 , and the upcoming FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE CRIMES OF GRINDELWALD )
I’ve already seen this movie, so I’m going to skip the initial impressions.
This is my honest opinion of: KIN
Elijah “Eli” Solinski (Myles Truitt) is the adopted son of Hal (Dennis Quaid), and ever since his mom died, he’s been lashing out and getting into fights at school. However, because he’s been suspended, he’s now on a tighter proverbial leash with his dad. One night, Eli enters a restricted construction site and happens upon a gruesome scene of dead, unknown soldiers armed with technologically advanced weapons, which he takes one for himself. To make matters even more complicated, it turns out that Eli’s older brother, Jimmy (Jack Raynor) has just been released from jail, and still owes 60,000 dollars to the local criminal that protected him in prison, named Tay (James Franco). When his dad refuses to give him the money, Jimmy takes Tay to his dad’s company’s safe and helps steal the money. Upon discovering this, the situation becomes deadly as Tay murders Hal, and Jimmy and Eli go on the run, with Eli completely unaware of the situation, believing that he and Jimmy are simply going on a family vacation and their dad will meet up with them later.
Boy howdy, did this movie want people to believe that it was quality filmmaking. Any reason to drop ARRIVAL and STRANGER THINGS in the advertising. Nope, this movie is utter crap. A big ole steaming pile of it. But you know something, after a while… it gets pretty entertainingly.
Let me get this right out, the first fifteen to half hour is reason enough for anyone to walk out of the theater for how messy the flick is and how absolutely nothing makes sense. The very first couple of shots are of an unseen fire fight laser bolts whizzing by and we don’t see who’s fighting. Then we immediately cut to Eli sitting by the principal’s office in his school, getting in trouble. Yeah, sci-fi battle one second, then a standard “kid acting out” storyline takes over. He starts stealing from construction sites, wiring and what have you, to sell to active ones. At some point, Eli happens upon the aftermath of the unknown soldiers with laser guns, tries to take one of the rifles, one of the soldiers is shown to not be dead, Eli runs away, dropping the rifle down a hole, and then goes home to get chewed out by his dad. Then at some point again, Eli returns for the rifle and takes it home, where more family drama happens.
I’m not exaggerating how this film is edited. One would think that his multiple visits in the construction site would be its own single scene. Yet, someone in the editing room decided to lengthen that shit out for no apparent reason. Nothing fits together in the slightest.
Then Jimmy comes home and more family drama about a father and son who never got along. From here, it’s basically a game musical chairs with what kind of story this movie is trying to tell. I mean, the movie would almost be fine if the story was Jimmy trying to protect Eli from the gangsters while going on the run would be fine enough, I suppose. It’d still be bullshit what with the whole “liar-reveal” plot in place. Yes, you’re reading that right. Jimmy never tells Eli that their dad was murdered, who obviously doesn’t suspect a thing, and keeps it a secret until the end of the second act, as all of these God-damned plotlines go. Every once in awhile, we get glimpses of this pair of unknown sci-fi soldiers trying to locate their missing rifle that Eli gets, but we know next to nothing about them, and they literally only have three or four scenes. If you’re anything like me, you’re wondering what the hell kind of movie you’re watching. I haven’t the slightest idea guys. I really don’t.
With all of that said, this movie does pick up by way of entertainment. For one thing, bless Franco’s heart, the guy delivers such a hammy performance that it almost makes the movie bearable. He plays Tay, a criminal who apparently has this backstory with a brother that he loves so much, even though we the audience never really meet him, and when the brother is accidentally killed during the gunfight that kills Jimmy’s dad. What does Tay do? He lets out an over-dramatic cry of pain and anger. Jesus Christ, dude, and I thought he’d left behind his Spider-Man days. But he also gets an entire scene dedicated to giving said brother a funeral with all of his other criminal buddies and somehow, we’re supposed to care. I mean, it’s hilarious that so much time is dedicated to him, but like I said, I don’t care.
Sadly, Franco isn’t in it a whole lot. But here’s what is in the movie. Jimmy takes his fourteen year old brother into a strip club. Yes, this really does happen. Even as I’m writing this out, I’m laughing my ass off for how absurd and stupid this is. Also, and please correct me if I’m wrong, but it’s SUPER illegal to let minors into a strip club. Like, where’s the bouncer? Where’s management? Shit, where’s the dignity of the strippers who are blatantly looking at this kid, who is staring at them, and they’re all business as usual?! Seriously, no one went to the owner to inform them that a kid was let in?! Oh, management does eventually get involved, but it’s only because Jimmy gets drunk as a skunk and tries to get on stage to dance, which management doesn’t like. Of all the dumb-ass… sure, a customer trying to get his freak on with a stripper, that’s a no-no. But allowing a minor in the building, which could very likely get your joint shut down, all of the employees, from the bartenders to the dancers themselves, losing their jobs, and the owner arrested, that’s no big deal at all! Ha! By God this movie has no brain. By the way, this is also how we meet Kravitz’s character, Milly. Yup, she’s a stripper. And she’s perfectly okay with this teenage boy staring at her and being nice to him, even kissing him on the cheek. This movie has some serious problems.
Oh, but wait! There’s more! Yes, more! When Jimmy gets beaten up by the bouncers, that’s when Eli turns up his sci-fi rifle and uses it to destroy a pool table, and then for quite possibly one of the most contrived reasons I’ve ever seen put on film, Milly just… joins them. For no good reason. Probably only knew Jimmy for an hour, but is willing to hop into his truck and go on a road trip with them. Yes, because women these days TOTALLY do that kind of shit without any regards to unspeakable things that can happen to them. Very smart. Also, they rob gangsters, Eli goes inside a casino that doesn’t allow minors, and backwoods criminals can easily overtake a police station filled to the brim with trained police officers. I can feel my brain cells dying the more I think I think about this.
Oh, and those unknown soldiers? This movie never really explains who they are. They’re humanoid. One of them’s Michael B. Jordan. But… are they aliens? Time travelers? No explanation is given at all. To make matters even better, it turns out that Eli is the younger brother to Jordan’s character and that Eli is secretly an alien/time traveler, or whatever the hell, and that’s why the rifle worked for him, but not Jimmy. Oh, and something, something, war between two factions, something, something or other. And this is literally the last five to ten minutes of the movie. No joke.
Guys… this is all a brilliant hot mess. Nothing makes sense and it’s an absolute blast. Despite some legitimately good acting sprinkled about, as well as some entertainingly over-the-top acting, this movie is only worth it if you’re in for a laugh, and even that might depend on what kind of bad movie you’re going in for. I can see myself being the only person who thinks it’s so bad that it swings right back around to being entertaining, whereas it’s just an infuriating trash-heap for everyone else. I can understand both sides. But bear in mind, this movie is garbage. As a recommendation, please don’t see this in theaters because I don’t know if I want to see a sequel to this highly “sequel-baity” movie. It’s not that hilarious, and I’m thankful I didn’t spend money on it. But I will highly recommend it as a rental, or if it shows up on a streaming service. Then it might be worth popping a few beers at for a chuckle.
My honest rating for KIN: a strong 3/5
This week’s reviews:
- OPERATION FINALE
- THE LITTLE STRANGER
- LET THE CORPSES TAN / LAISSEZ BRONZER LES CADAVRES
- YA VEREMOS / WE’LL SEE
Next week’s reviews: