Kin is a movie that never should have been made.
Kin is a movie that never should have been made. It’s the story of a troubled African-American kid named Eli (Myles Truitt), a 14-year-old who gets into trouble at school and makes some side money scrapping metal in the ruins of Detroit. His adopted father (Dennis Quaid) is your typical blue-collar dad, all platitudes about honest work and doing the right thing. His ne’er-do-well older brother, Jimmy (Jack Reynor), is just out of jail and owes money to a low-life (James Franco, clearly slumming it. Again). Then Eli finds a gun. An intergalactic weapon left behind by some masked, futuristic visitors. Shit soon goes sideways and the brothers are on the run from Franco’s thugs and the sci-fi guys who want their gun back.
Let’s not even bother talking about the ludicrous script. Or Jack Reynor’s terrible acting. Or the predictable dialogue. Or Zoe Kravitz, who shows up as a stripper with a heart of gold and exists for no reason other than to wear skimpy clothes. Let’s not talk about the bullshit truth about the visitors with the high-tech gear. Or why Michael B. Jordan (who appears in a cameo) would ever produce this hot mess. Let’s not talk about a film that can’t decide whether it’s a road movie or science-fiction caper. Let’s not talk about the poker game the boys hold up that’s being held inside a barn at a cattle farm. Lastly, let’s not bother to think about who the hell greenlit Kin.
I want to focus on the gun. Until Eli finds the gun, he is powerless. He is just another kid dealing with the death of his mother and an overbearing father. His Detroit is a crumbling landscape, a dead-end. But then Eli gets a fucking gun and suddenly he accelerates his transition from boy to man.
Directors Jonathan and Josh Baker may be from Australia but come on. Check out this idea: a black kid finds a gun and then goes on the run from his father’s murderers. The kid uses the gun and learns how to become a man. A black kid. With a gun. Oh yeah, some alien-looking dudes are coming after him too.
Kin tries hard to be a heartwarming tale about two brothers finally bonding. The scenes where Jimmy finally mans up (and god do I hate that expression) and acts like an older brother are beyond maudlin. The critic next to me at the screening began to laugh uncontrollably. My guest just looked at me and gave me a thumbs down.
In a day and age where kids with guns killing people is all too real, Kin is an offensive, appalling and dangerous film, one geared for people 13 and over. It’s too realistic, too mean and too downright poorly made to recommend to anyone.