Here we are again, talking about another young adult film, desperate to fill the void of Hunger Games or Divergent. Just like I said a month about The Darkest Minds, these movies are so intent on becoming a blockbuster franchise, they sacrifice creativity for breadcrumb set up. Kin is from director brothers Jonathan and Josh Baker who have never directed a feature length film in their life. They deliver a dark but insensitive story about an adopted teenager who finds a powerful gun and uses it throughout the film. Because this is the type of film America needs debuting in a month where school is starting back… Kin also celebrates violence and crime in difficult situations. The bad taste of this script is astounding. For an “action adventure”, there isn’t much action or adventure. Most of the interiors are motels, strip clubs or dilapidated locations. The exteriors are no better, nothing but bleak grey hues.

Hal’s eldest son Jimmy (Reynor) was just released from prison, now looking for a place to live until he gets things in order. Order for Jimmy means robbing his father (Quaid) to pay back gang leader Taylor Balik (Franco) for protection afforded behind bars. Eli (Truitt), the newest member of the family, discovers a futuristic looking gun with immense power while picking up scraps of metal at an abandon building. Eli takes the gun and after a situation arises where he and brother Jimmy end up on the run out west, that weapon becomes their saving grace in various situations. Taylor will stop at nothing to find the pair, however two mysterious suited individuals tracking the weapon, are an unknown threat.

Kin celebrates violence and crime in difficult situations. The bad taste of this script is astounding.

The story follows a basic crime/redemption set up. While the advertisements might sell this as a futuristic film, audiences are going to be angry when they learn the gun and the explosions occur rarely. The Jimmy character is the equivalent to a villain, the worst sibling influence, making every situation worse with drunken adversarial behavior. Franco’s obvious bad guy role is forgettable, because the Oscar nominated actor has played this tattoo garbage-man role before. The script is confused about a lot of things, who is the main character, and whether Taylor is intelligent or completely moronic. In one scene he threatens a gas station clerk for being denied use to the restroom. . . instead of giving Taylor the key, he turns his back, so our poorly constructed buy guy can urinate in the floor. It never adds up why someone like Taylor would ruin his entire criminal operation over one guy, chasing him across the country.

Kin spends so much of its time setting this introductory story up for something greater. This small budget movie tries so hard to feel large with its ideas, in hopes of securing a multi-picture deal from the same studio responsible for the highest grossing young adult series. The final act briefly introduces a marquee-name actor that’s the filmmaker’s way of revealing their intentions for part two. Efforts are in vain because Kin never amounts to much more than desperation. Truitt never stands out as someone who could lead this series, Reynor ends up being more hated than even the bad guy. Quaid and Kravitz have more talent than this want-to-be franchise deserve.

Final Thought

A film celebrating a teenager killing people with a mysterious gun is not the movie we need right now…. Or ever.


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