“Kin” is a cliche-ridden mess that lacks identity

Leonardo Paley

There are bad movies, there are boring movies, and then there are movies like Kin.

That is to say, movies that are so generic and basic that while nothing actively detracts from the movie experience, nothing adds to it either.

Courtesy of Lionsgate.

The story is shallow, but has interesting enough elements. The visuals are pretty, but nothing stands out that is really worth talking about. And the characters are so hopelessly generic that they bring nothing to the table, but they have just enough depth that they don’t actively retract from the experience of the film.

That being said, the characters show absolutely no progression throughout the film in anyway. The plot stitches together so many concepts at once, turning into a sort of buddy-road-trip-sci-fi-action-adventure mess with not enough time spent on any of these ideas to justify making a film out of the premise. Even the premise itself, the young boy finding a sci-fi mcguffin, holds no originality.

Directors Josh and Jonathan Baker based the film off of their 2014 short film Bag Man, which carries a very similar basic premise of a kid finding a futuristic gun and using it to escape the problems plaguing him at the time. Unfortunately, in the translation into Kin by screenwriter Daniel Casey, this concept was put to the side to focus on the dynamic between Eli and his older brother Jimmy as they head across the country to a cabin in Utah.

The inciting incident of the film, getting the brothers on this road trip, is so deplorably cliche it is almost painful to sit through. What continues is a cavalcade of cliche and unoriginal moments, instances, and beat by beat generic storytelling. In an attempt to redeem itself, there is a drastic twist ending that can only be described as completely ridiculous and idiotic.

The biggest compliment to be given to Kin is in its soundtrack. Scottish progressive-rock band Mogwai creates a soundtrack with a blend of techno and live instrumentation that is a perfect fit for the movie. In many ways, the film ended up feeling like a music video that drastically overstayed its welcome.

I can not recommend that anyone attempt to sit through this film, and would instead recommend interested parties to find the soundtrack online and look at sci-fi art off of reddit.

Rating: 0.5/5 sails