Wednesday 5 September 2018

Film Review: Kin

Written and directed by Josh and Jonathan Baker, Kin is a sci-fi action film that lacks imagination and impact.

Kin centres around Eli (Miles Truitt), a 14-year-old boy who stumbles across a high-tech alien rifle whilst scavenging for scrap metal in an abandoned Detroit warehouse near his home. After his brother Jimmy (Jack Reynor) is released from jail and gets tangled up with some bad people (namely James Franco's gangster character), the two brothers flee west, making a beeline for Lake Tahoe – their late mother's favourite place.

Kin feels like an extended pilot for a high-budget, high-concept Netflix show; it takes its time in putting all the pieces on the board and builds a universe that yearns to be explored in more detail. Except, most pilots only run for 45 minutes, not 100. For the first 90 minutes, Kin is inert, directionless and spinning its wheels. The plot lacks drive, emotional heft and the action beats are few and far between. The narrative often veers down detours and dead-ends, such as when the two brothers stop in at a strip club and get chatting with Zoe Kravitz as 'cliched stripper with a heart of gold'.

When the final act arrives, it pulls back the curtain to reveal its true nature – and then the credits roll. See you later folks, tune in next week. Except, there is no next week – there isn't even another film teed up.

As sequel bait goes, this is possibly the most egregious and damaging example I've seen in a long time. Not because it teases more adventures later down the track; because it literally ends with where the film should've ended its first act. Imagine Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, except it ends right after Hagrid tells Harry he's a wizard. That's Kin.

This is the most emotionally and narratively inept film I've seen in a long time; sure the cinematography is awash with lush neons and thick shadows, and sure the performances are decent enough, but the actual story holding it all together feels like a high school assignment cobbled together the night before the deadline. It's first draft stuff that is uneven, disjointed and, to be brutally honest, doesn't make a lick of sense at times. Characters flit in and out with little consequence; others are inexplicably introduced towards the end for no reason, wasting actors such as Carrie Coon and Michael B Jordan. It's criminal.

The Verdict: 3.5/10

Derivative, dull and lacking drive, Kin is like putting lipstick on a pig. It looks and sounds great, but the screenplay has more holes than a wheel of Swiss cheese. It's a good four or five drafts away from telling a cohesive, comprehensive story – which stymies any enjoyment anyone seeking intelligent sci-fi may derive.

Kin is in cinemas across Australia now.

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...