Kin is an interesting movie. It starts off as a tradition sci-fi film, then transitions into a brother bonding movie, before offering a sci-fi ending that begs for more. While these three seemingly different films flow together better than you might expect, the first two acts would be nothing without the stellar ending. It’s a film that probably shouldn’t have been made in this way, but before you skip out on it, give us a chance to explain in our Kin movie review.
The basis of Kin is a short film by the name of Bag Man. You can find it on YouTube if you’re interested in watching it, but the short film follows a young boy who happens upon some sort of alien ray gun. That’s the general premise of Kin as well, but the story is for more elaborate. Kin follows Eli Solinski (Myles Truitt) as he discovers an alien ray gun and his brother, Jimmy Solinski (Jack Reynor).
Kin starts off like any drama about a struggling family. When Eli was a baby he was adopted by the Solinski family. All he knows of his parents is a scar on his hand that he has no memory of. His foster mother passed away at some point over the last six years, which left him with his foster father, Hal Solinski (Dennis Quaid). His foster brother gets out of prison shortly after the film begins, and he happens to own Taylor Balik (James Franco) a lot of money for his protection while behind bars.
While this family drama takes an occasional backseat to Eli finding the ray gun and playing around with it, a majority of the film focuses on Eli and Jimmy bonding and becoming a real family. There are glimpses of two unknown, presumably alien, figures that seem dead set on getting the ray gun back, but otherwise you’d think Kin was all about family.
As the film draws to a close, it finally goes full on sci-fi and pulls the audience in. It’s only at this point that you’ll be intrigued by the events unfolding on-screen. The end of the film begs the audience to ask for more, or at least provide an explanation of what’s going on. Instead, the credits role and you’re left wondering if the film will make enough money at the box office to warrant a sequel that will hopefully answer these looming questions.
Kin feels like the prologue to a much bigger and better sci-fi film. While it runs a healthy 1 hour, 42 minutes, there’s not much going on for most of that run time. There’s the overarching mystery of the alien figures chasing the gun, and the curious relationship between Eli and Jimmy, but this only holds your attention so long before you question where the film is going.
When Kin finally comes to an end, it’s difficult not to think the first 90 minutes should’ve been shaved down to a quick 10 minute prologue, with the final 15 minutes continuing right after and making up a bulk of the film. If there is a sequel to Kin, it could end up being terrible, but the setup for it is far more enticing than the first 90 minutes of this film. Kin does a fantastic job of leaving the audience wanting more, but they may be more frustrated than excited. It doesn’t even feel like the first film in a trilogy, more so than merely a fraction of the whole.
Synopsis: Chased by a vengeful criminal, the feds and a gang of otherworldly soldiers, a recently released ex-con and his adopted teenage brother are forced to go on the run with a weapon of mysterious origin as their only protection.
Directors: Jonathan Baker, Josh Baker
Writers: Jonathan Baker, Josh Baker
Stars: Myles Truitt, Jack Reynor, Dennis Quaid, Zoë Kravitz
Runtime: 1 Hour, 42 Minutes
Bryan Dawson has been writing professionally since the age of 13. He started his career as a video game writer and has since worked for Random House, Prima Games, DirecTV, IGN, AOL, the British Government, and various other organizations. For GNN, Bryan taps into his passion for movies.