‘Kin’ | Film Review Notify the next on kin, this one's dead on arrival



I have no idea how a movie like Kin gets made, let alone how movie studios convinced the stars they get to pop up out of nowhere to be in this mess. Go ahead and waste my money. But please, don’t waste my time.

The story of Kin goes like this: Jimmy (Sing Street’s Jack Reynor, looking for a new agent about now) gets out of prison, and comes home to his father, Hal (Dennis Quaid, cashing in a paycheck) and his adoptive brother, Elijah (Myles Truitt). Jimmy must pay back $60,000 to a gangster named Taylor Balik (an over-the-top James Franco) who offered protection for him in prison. Hal refuses to help, Jimmy leads Taylor and company to steal money from his father’s business, and then some unfortunate events unfold.

Soon, Jimmy and Elijah are on the run with a stripper named Milly (Big Little Lies’ Zoe Kravitz). Luckily, Elijah brings some sort of gun from the future he found in an abandoned warehouse in inner-city Detroit while looking for copper wire. This activates a group of beings from another world or dimension searching for Elijah’s space cannon, on top of the owner of Milly’s strip club, and the gangsters who are still looking for their money.

For the life of me, I have no idea how a movie like Kin gets made, let alone how movie studios convinced the stars they get to pop up out of nowhere to be in this mess. The script is so utterly pointless and offers little to no probative value, other than to set up a franchise without a care or a thought into the current movie they were making. There is a scene so over the top by James Franco’s Taylor when overtaking a police station that I was questioning what type of background deal he made that obligated him to act in this movie.

The main problem (there are numerous) is the weapon Elijah finds is the main source of action. Yet, for some reason, it’s not used until an hour into the film; then when it is, it gets really old, fast. Kin ends with a cliffhanger after a surprising star shows up and the entire film could have been whittled down 30 minutes. Based on a short film named Bag Man, Kin feels like a film idea stretched beyond its limits and the ticket buyer has to feel used with any type of gratification in return. It’s the equivalent of Sterling K. Brown’s character story arc in Black Panther being made into an entire film, then at the end, you are told you are not ready yet to see Wakanda

The only thing that comforts me is that Lionsgate paid 30 million dollars for Kin after TIFF last year. At least everyone involved, including the studio, will walk away scathed, just like the consumer. Go ahead and waste my money; that is a risk when you buy a movie ticket. But please, don’t waste my time.

M.N. Miller

M.N. Miller has been a film and television writer for Ready Steady Cut since August of 2018 and is patiently waiting for the next Pearl Jam album to come out.

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