Part road trip, part coming of age, part sci-fi and part redemption, 'Kin' is a hodgepodge of genres. While much of the movie seems a bit discombobulated, it all comes together at the end to leave you wanting more.
When ex-con Jimmy (Jack Reynor) returns home to his hard working, tough-love espousing blue collar father and his adopted brother Eli (Myles Truitt), he doesn’t exactly get the warmest welcome. Things are made worse when a mobster (James Franco) demands payment for the protection Jimmy received in prison, leading to a violent confrontation and an impromptu road trip for the brothers.
But Eli has a secret; while hunting for scrap metal in derelict buildings, he has found a powerful, extraterrestrial weapon. This space gun comes in handy as the brothers trek across America, picking up Zoe Kravitz’s (somewhat unconvincing) stripper and getting into all sorts of trouble along the way.
'Kin' is obviously part one in a series, with the ending providing a teaser of what is to come. It seems like this one is the episode in training wheels, while the story and characters are yet to be fleshed out. But it is building momentum, and leaves the audience keen for the next instalment.
The issues with the movie are that the story doesn’t have too many surprises, and the characters remain quite surface level. There are also some interesting race dimensions – the only two characters who were abused as children are the only two black characters – but again this may be resolved by the ending. It also doesn’t seem to know what genre it wants to be. While it is great to think outside of genre box restrictions, the film jumps around a little too much, giving it a bit of an identity crisis.
Having said that, it remains a film worth seeing. It feels different from other Hollywood blockbusters and it seems like the mythology the film is building will be worth sticking with through the teething problems. 'Kin' leaves the audience with the impression that it has a lot more to say. Stay tuned.