Director – Jonathan and Josh Baker
Writer – Daniel Casey
Starring – Myles Truitt, Jack Reynor, Dennis Quaid, Zoe Kravitz
Rating – PG-13
Genre – Action, Sci-fi
Metascore – 34/100
Rotten Tomatoes – 35%
KIN made promises of an interesting premise: a young boy finds an alien weapon, which leads him into situations he could not have imagined. Unfortunately, KIN is a film without identity and purpose. That, along with cinematography and a score that both tried way too hard to be artistic, made for an unenjoyable movie.
KIN’s premise borders on the cliche family drama/crime thriller, though it’s sci-fi twist almost makes it interesting. But it’s far less a part of the film than the trailers and promos suggest. Besides some atmospheric humming noises that endlessly emanate from the mysterious object, I didn’t see near as much of the alien stuff as I wanted to see. Instead, far too much time is spent selling how dangerous the antagonists of the film are, and just how badly they want to reach our protagonist.
Speaking of our protagonist, KIN has a major character problem. And it has more to do with a bad script than bad performances. . In fact, the performances given by Myles Truitt (Eli) and Jack Reynor (Jimmy) aren’t half bad. However, for a movie called KIN, the relationship between these two brothers should have been the heart of the movie. The film lacked any exploration into the depth of their relationship. An easy fix would be to see Eli, the film’s protagonist, come to grips with his brother’s character, in contrast with his adoptive father’s. It would have been enough to see any internal struggle in Eli at all.
Rather than characterization and internal conflict, the film spends serious screen time on cheesy travel montages set to loud, atmospheric techno tracks. Great work in cinematography and music catches your attention while serving the story. Fine work fades into the background. Awful camera work and scoring call undue attention to themselves for no reason. The work in KIN had the feeling of directors who had seen great movies, wanted to incorporate techniques from those into their film school project, but didn’t take time to understand why they were there.
KIN is a film that doesn’t know what it wants to be. Pick two of any of its three attempted genres, and there was probably a decent story to be found. But the movie tries too hard to be a bit of everything to everyone, leaving drama fans with underdeveloped characters, crime movie fans without well-paced action, and sci-fan fans unsatisfied by an unexplored world. The true meat of the sci-fi doesn’t come until the very end of the film, and plays more like the first episode of a TV series than the end of a feature film; honestly, I would have preferred that.
With an almost interesting premise, almost interesting characters, and cinematography and a soundtrack that betrays how seriously the movie takes itself, KIN tries far too hard to make itself bigger than it is, without putting in the work to flesh out its world or its characters into anything original or noteworthy.
Author: Josh Johnson