“Kin” has a few moments of brilliance, but as with all science-fiction movies of late, it runs out of steam somewhere along the way.
There is something very positive about the writing and direction of the twin brother duo Josh and Jonathan Baker. Neither has done a stand-alone feature. With “Kin,” they have crafted an intriguing tale of two brothers who are coming to terms with each other amidst a backdrop that knows no time or place.
For the sake of comparison, the easiest movie I can reference is Walter Hill’s little seen “Streets of Fire” (1984). It was a period in film history when there were few references to pop-culture and a time when taxis existed but cellphones did not.
In “Kin,” Dennis Quaid is solid as Hal, the caring father of sons Jimmy (Jack Reynor) and Eli Sobinski (newcomer Myles Truitt). Jimmy is an ex-con trying to get back on the straight and narrow. Eli is a 14-year-old kid who finds a giant alien ray gun while looking for metal scraps to sell.
Leading the way as the antagonist is James Franco who plays a drug dealer named Taylor Balik. I only mention this because Franco has played this kind of character before; namely the Sylvester Stallone-scripted “Homefront” (2013) with friend and colleague Jason Statham. Eli receives a lecture from his father, Hal, about taking other people’s property. In fact, the metal scraps came out of somebody else’s pocketbook.
Zoë Kravitz, who appeared in one of the best movies of the decade so far, “Mad Max: Fury Road” (2015), portrays Milly, a mistreated exotic dancer. She strikes up a friendship with Jimmy and Eli who might be some of her last customers.
Reynor has been around for years, with appearances in “Transformers: The Age of Extinction,” “Free Fire,” 2015’s “Macbeth” and one of the most underrated movies from the past couple of years, “Sing Street” (2016).
Although “Kin” is not necessarily a great movie, it made me want to see more. Along with directors Brad Bird, Christopher Nolan and even Guillermo Del Toro, I’ll be intrigued to see what the Baker brothers tackle next.