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Gangsters, Strippers, and Space Guns

I am a sucker for a coming of age tale. I am a sucker for an adventure film. I am a sucker for anything science fiction. So when I saw the trailer for Kin, which looked like kids on bikes, explosions, and alien-tech – you know I had to go see the movie. And I regret that I did.

Kin is not a bad movie, it is a terrible movie.

The failure of the movie is that the plot is completely nonsensical. It is almost as though every ten pages of the screenplay a new writer was brought in to write. They just didn’t know the plot of the film, and were instructed to write the film, just a film. Any film their heart desired. Spoilers below.

The movie starts out with the main character, Elijah, who stumbles across a sort of interstellar-crime scene in an abandoned building he is scrapping in. Among the body parts, he finds a futuristic rifle. Back at home, tensions rise with his adopted father, and his recently patrolled adopted brother – standard coming of age stuff, right? Wrong.

Suddenly, the movie shifts tone. The Aryan Gang who protected his brother in prison, is demanding payment. In the process of repaying his “loan,” their adopted father is killed and both brothers go on the run, heading to the popular destination of all run away, Lake Tahoe, Nevada. Also, it should be noted, Elijah’s brother never tells him their father has been killed.

On the journey West Jimmy decides to take Elijah (fourteen years old min you), to the strip club. Where the brothers spend the evening gallivanting with Strippers. After Jimmy encounters trouble with the bouncers, Elijah returns with his Space-Age gun to blow apart the strip club. The escape and abscond with a stripper. They decide the best way to use their newly acquired technology, is to knock-over and underground high-stakes card game in a dairy farm. It should be noted both brothers are being chased by the Aryan gangsters, and the futuristic-alien-soldiers searching for their stolen tech.

Eventually they are apprehended by the police, and accused of the murder of their father. In the films climatic show down the gangster attack the police (who apparently don’t wear bulletproof vests or use guns) and take over the police station. Elijah with his space gun proceeds to blow-away all the attackers inside the building, as the FBI prepares to mount an attack from the outside. The future-soldiers show up, and we learn that there are from another dimension – and Elijah in fact is one of them.

The theme of brotherhood is strong. Despite a cast of Michael B. Jordan, Dennis Quaid, James Franco, and Zoe Kravitz; more of the performances are lackluster and uninspired. The visual effects are impressive, and the best parts of the movies are the moments we spend with the futuristic soldiers.

Really there is just way too much going on in this movie. Maybe this convoluted and random plot line would have made more sense in the story, when they could have been truly reinforced with theme and characterization. My advice to you is to pass this one and wait for the next sci-fi coming-of-age thriller. Unless of course you like complete movie genre mashups and like films that seem to blend genres – actually, never mind, do not go see this movie. Nothing good can come of it.