By Kaylee Brewster
“Kin” bites off more than it can chew with dual plots and an undeveloped duo, making it more of a mess than a movie.
Eli (Myles Truitt) lives with his dad (Dennis Quaid) when his brother Jimmy (Jack Reynor) returns home from prison. It doesn’t take long for Jimmy to get into trouble with some “friends” he owes money to, and the brothers must work together to protect each other.
Oh, and Eli finds a mysterious futuristic gun only he can operate, which is powerful enough to blast a house in half.
That’s the main problem with “Kin” — it’s really two movies. One movie is about brothers bonding while a group of ruthless thugs are after them. The other is the story of a kid who finds an all-powerful weapon. The two would be whole, complete films by themselves, but blending them together into one only makes “Kin” half a film.
The dual plots interrupt the film’s pace. One scene has Eli and Jimmy laughing and talking in a realistic setting, then all of a sudden Eli is blasting baddies into nothingness with sci-fi tech. The disjointed feel only gets worse as the film progresses, right up to the ending, which seems to come straight out of left field. The audience is left with more questions than answers and is left, ultimately, unsatisfied.
The actors do a decent job. While this is supposed to be Eli’s movie, brother Jimmy steals all the attention, as siblings often do. In this case you can blame the writers for not developing Eli’s character and giving him nothing to do. He mostly does what his brother tells him, which mainly involves holding the gun. As he holds the gun, he seems afraid, and that is his main contribution to the entire film.
Eli also shows no development. He starts off as a good kid with a few flaws; by the end he’s just a good kid.
Big brother on the other hand is another story.
Jimmy is given all the decisions; his choices move the plot forward. He’s a complicated character who wants to do the right thing but seems unable to do so. He grows as he begins to think about how his actions affect Eli.
When the secondary role is given more choices, dialogue and development than the main character, it makes the whole film feel lopsided.
That’s “Kin” in a nutshell. Directors Jonathan and Josh Baker and writer Daniel Casey can’t seem to balance story and character. The film never rights itself and slowly sinks from beginning credits to end.