3 out of 5
If you’ve seen the trailer for “Kin” due out this weekend — I’m guessing you’re ahead of about 98% of the rest of the movie going public. I’ll be honest, when I received the invite to screen this movie, I almost deleted it, because I’d never heard anything about it. Before I did though, I went ahead and watched the trailer. When the video wrapped up — I wanted to go see it. I was a bit puzzled as to how I could have missed any advertising for their film. It’s not like no one of note is in it…It has Dennis Quaid, James Franco, Zoe Kravitz, and another big name actor who can’t be revealed here — to avoid spoilers. It looks highly produced, along the lines of most sci-fi films of the day. And what’s more — the story looked original — which seems to be lacking at the theaters. My guess was that after producing the movie and paying everyone involved — there just wasn’t much left to let people know about it. That’s a shame, because that will likely spell doom for it at the box office, and perhaps the potential sequel that is set up at the end.
The basic premise of the film is that a young boy, named Eli, has been adopted by Dennis Quaid’s character Hal Solinski, and the two of them are alone as the boy’s mom and Solinski’s wife has passed away. Life isn’t easy, and Hal is doing the best he can to raise Eli to be a hard working, honest young man. Hal’s other son, Jimmy (Jack Reynor) is the main reason why. Hal feels as though he’s failed already as a father, as Jimmy has a checkered past and has just been released from prison. As Jimmy comes home, tensions are high, and Hal’s disappointment in his son and himself are evident. He even tells Eli not to get too close to his older brother. After an argument ensues between Hal and Jimmy, Jimmy leaves the house and meets up with Taylor Balik (James Franco), who along with his henchmen have kept Jimmy alive and safe in prison — which comes with a bill of $60,000. Obviously, Jimmy doesn’t have it, and must resort to the things that led him there to begin with in order to pay his debt. Meanwhile, Eli, who often scraps for metal in abandoned areas around town, stumbles into what appears to have been an out of this world gunfight, complete with dead stormtrooper looking characters and a very sophisticated gun that responds and works only for Eli. Eventually, Jimmy’s actions lead him to run from Taylor and his gang, and he takes Eli with him. Of course, more trouble arises from Jimmy running, which leads to the discovery of Eli’s gun and what it is capable of. The gun’s owners, having been alerted to its absence when Eli uses it, show up to get it back, and along with Taylor, chase Jimmy and Eli across the country.
As I watched this movie, I was struck with what a good young actor Myles Truitt (Eli) is. He doesn’t have to do a lot to convey something on screen. He is capable of making you feel exactly what he is thinking, and can deliver on screen with the much bigger names who surround him. Zoe Kravitz’s turn as a stripper, turned partner to Jimmy and Eli, feels a bit wasted in the storyline. There are times when her development is just crammed into a scene or two, and I began to wonder at some point why she was even there. She deserved better. The rest of the main cast deliver fine performances, and again, the story was pretty entertaining to my eyes. There are elements of the story that seem a little bit stretched and thin, but that doesn’t really matter in the end, because as the film closes you realize it is essentially an origin story for Eli — who he is, and where he comes from, setting up a potential sequel or series quite nicely. The sad part is — again — I doubt many people heard of this movie. When I asked around after having seen it — I was met with the same answers for the most part. Hopefully, people get out and see it — because I really feel like it could be the start of a good series of films and a fun story. Unfortunately, that probably won’t be the case, and we might not get to see what the true vision for this film and its follow ups might have been. If you miss it in theaters (just in case it’s not there too long), check it out when it is released on demand…I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.
“Kin” is rated PG-13, for violence, sexuality and brief strong language.