By John Blackburn
Back when I was doing volunteer writing for The Colosoul Magazine’s main webpage, I wrote a trailer review for the new Sci-Fi family drama flick titled Kin. Based on a short film titled Bag Man from Jonathon and Josh Baker, I knew would be intriguing. The trailer made it out to be about an adopted boy named Eli (Myles Truitt), who finds an alien gun in an abandoned wrecked building. Later, due to an incident, his ex-convict brother, Jimmy (Jack Reynor), and a stripper they come across named Milly (Zoe Kravitz) get chased by gang leader Taylor Balik (James Franco) and his crew, as well as the police and the FBI.
After seeing the actual film, I did enjoy the production design of the alien technology, including the slick design of the gun. The rest of the film makes me want to go back in time to when I was writing my trailer review, and say, “no – it’s all a lie, and it’s not worth it”. All sci-fi elements get little screen time and take a back seat to a dull and predictable road trip family drama. When I say predictable, I mean you would be able to figure out what the final “twist” is by the halfway mark. Not to mention that the road trip was alongside an unlikable big brother who believes a suitable, safe and fun holiday for a 14 year-old boy includes going to a strip club, and an underground gambling ring filled with dangerous and armed criminals.
Also, some of the characters in this film have pretty basic characterisation tropes. This includes Dennis Quaid playing the tough-love dad, and Carrie Coon as the FBI agent who only appears during climax scenes. This is with some of the most pathetic cops, who were unable to handle a grinning stoner-type crime boss, Taylor Balik, and his gang. It’s so bad that some of these characters have little to no importance in the film, like the stripper who remained absent during the climax, only to return for a few seconds near the end.
Don’t get me wrong – For Truitt’s debut on the big screen, he does a great job with what he’s given and once again, the sci-fi production design was slick and cool to look at. But those two elements are not enough to save this film, especially when they are brought up in small and rare sections, scattered among dull family drama tropes. Overall, skip it.