Reviewed by: Melvin Godson—first time reviewer
Brother relationships and bonds
Love of one’s family
The results of participating in criminal activities, including robbery
What does Scripture say about STEALING? Answer
Becoming a hero through courage and self-sacrifice
Doing the right thing
Losing a parent (adopted mother)
James Franco … Taylor Balik
Zoë Kravitz …
Dennis Quaid … Hal
Carrie Coon …
Jack Reynor … Jimmy
Bree Wasylenko … Girl
Myles Truitt … Eli
Gavin Fox … Dutch Balik
Jonathan Cherry … Clerk
Lily Gao …
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|Producer:||21 Laps Entertainmentbbb
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A dark, brutal and sleazy tale
“Kin” is an odd blend of dysfunctional family meets space aliens but the pieces don’t fit. A challenge of any sci-fi movie is creating an engaging story from something that can never be real. If done well it works. In great sci-fi or fantasy films we are drawn into another world and still relate to the characters. Kin is only moderately successful in achieving such status.
Myles Truitt is 14-year old Elijah Solinski, the adopted younger brother of ex-con Jimmy Solinski played by Jack Reynor. Jimmy is released from prison early in the film and because of a financial debit is immediately reconnected with criminals. His gangster contacts are not content to just threaten Jimmy, but plan to also take out Elijah and their dad if Jimmy doesn’t produce the money he owes. Jimmy’s response is to fight evil with evil and crime with more crime. As the movie progresses they encounter an erotic dancer Milly who joins the pair.
“Kin” is simple but not boring. There are several moving parts or groups which give the movie some depth and keep it interesting. It has moments of suspense as well as tender scenes. It deals with universal themes such as not being in control of how you start out in life and emphasizes that we can however have hope for a better future based on choices we make. None of us gets to pick our family of origin. While telling Elijah about her family Milly says “Some people have babies when they’re not ready to have babies” referring to her parents and alluding to his.
Overall, “Kin” was disappointing. For example the father son connection isn’t developed enough to feel real. Also, how Elijah is able to locate his mysterious weapon isn’t clear and the ease at which a motley group of thugs takes out an entire police station is borderline comical. The movie is dominated by it’s negative role models. Kin will perhaps appeal to audience members that can related to the 14-year old lead character. The film, however, is filled with shooting deaths and is rather violent, vulgar and sensual for many teenagers.
It’s interesting that Jimmy wears a crucifix, but there is not a single reference to God or any faith. Jimmy and Elijah’s dad Hal Solinski, played by Dennis Quaid, is the first display of anything that resembles morality in the movie. Milly, an erotic dancer, emphasize to Elijah how wrong and immature Jimmy is for bringing young Elijah to her place of work. Kin wears a thin veneer of the importance of “family” but only with very non-traditional family structures. At one point Elijah quotes his father saying “A good man does the right thing even when it’s not the easy thing.” The moment is emotional, but the message is not demonstrated in clear meaningful way.
Elijah courageously has faith in the ultimate well-being of himself and his brother but we are never given a reason for his hope. Jimmy wears a lifeless icon perhaps with some hope it will protect him from the dangerous elements he surrounds himself with. Fortunately for believers our hope has a foundation in a living God. When attempting to find a positive biblical message there are very few. We do see Galatians 6:7 as Jimmy’s bad choices lead to very bad consequences.
Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. —Galatians 6:7-9 (NASB)
“Kin” toys with the concept of family, not only with the Solinski’s, but there is a sort of family loyalty among the gangsters. Neither of which is solidly based on a godly ideal. As a result, in most cases, it only produces something dark and ultimately deadly. There is also a theme of “Do not fear, because someone is always with you.” Elijah is given this assurance as he walked through his “shadow of death.” As believers, this is an actual hope and not just a fantasy.
As middle-aged Christian adults, we did not enjoy the movie. There were no awesome action scenes or engaging interpersonal interactions. It was primarily a series of bad choices by an adult brother as he led his younger brother astray. I saw it with my wife and was glad we opted to have our 14-year old stay home.
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.