With the end of summer comes a shift in a lot of people’s life. For kids it means back to school and for movies means less blockbusters and more films that end up winning awards and such. Before we get to those trophy winning movies we have to go through a phase of movies that don’t fit that mold or have a place in the middle of the summer, instead they kind of belong on the island of misfit movies. Now while that may sound bad, it really is not because you can always find a fun surprise, you just have to look a little harder is all. For me Kin looked like it could be that thing that rises above its release date, I just hoped it would be as good as the trailer presented.
In the city of Detroit amidst the crumbling buildings a battle is taking place with weapons unlike anything on Earth. Eli (Myles Truitt) is a boy who doesn’t seem to fit in and explores these old buildings for things he can sell to scrap yards. It is during a visit to one of these buildings that he sees the aftermath of a battle, where he finds bodies of men in strange suits, but before he can investigate more he is scared away by someone. Back at home Eli’s brother Jimmy (Jack Reynor) has returned home from prison and things are not harmonious back home. Eli and Jimmy’s father Hal (Dennis Quaid) has mixed feelings on Jimmy’s return, which really takes a turn for the worst when he finds out what he has gotten himself into. Eli meanwhile goes back to the scene of the battle where he finds a device that he soon discovers is a weapon of some kind. He brings it back home and when things go wrong with Jimmy they have to go on the run together. It is while on the road that Eli discovers what he really has, but with multiple parties after them, Eli has a secret that he will soon discover as well.
Coming with the tag line “from the producers of Stranger Things and Arrival”, you might get expectations of what you are about to see. Based on a short titled Bag Man from directors Jonathan and Josh Baker, Kin has some great ideas to go off of. The feature is not written by Jonathan and Josh, but instead Daniel Casey with the former two just directing their idea stretched out into a full feature. The good thing is when Kin is good it is really good, it just doesn’t live up its full potential in its runtime. While the sci-fi elements are strong, it’s the rest of the film that is a little harder to get through. It’s the broken family road trip elements that slow everything down. With the intention to develop character and further building a story, it only succeeds in dragging it down. It really is the tale of two movies with the interesting one being unable to make up for the rest of the films shortcomings. I avoided the expectations on this one and if you do the same you might find a film to enjoy on that island of misfit movies.