“What the hell is that thing?”
There are times when a newcomer allows the moment to outshine himself, losing his identity in the spotlight and diminishing the overall effect a story can have on its audience - and then there is Myles Truitt in Kin.
Fulfilling every requirement asked of him Truitt effortlessly navigates the complex and gruesome world that he is thrust into, portraying a coming-of-age adolescent who wants nothing more than to be the son his dad believes he should be, and the friend his brother so desperately needs. The emotional demand is downplayed throughout the film, but it should not be overlooked - it is the heart and soul of Truitt’s Eli that gives Kin its grit. Though we are often distracted by the mysterious gun that serves as his sole possession, it is ultimately what lies on the inside that makes us give a damn as he runs from a band of vengeful criminals who want nothing more than to see him dead.
Kin, which is grounded in sci-fi, works thanks to its thriller aspects. While it does play into clichés more often than any film really should, it survives itself thanks to stellar special effects, keen character development, and a Matt Damon style cameo that will have everyone in the theater gasping for air.
Expanded from Jonathan and Josh Baker’s original short Bag Man, Kin tells the story of Eli Solinski, a young adolescent who happens across a mysterious gun while looking for copper in an old abandoned warehouse. When his brother gets out of jail, Eli’s world is sent into overdrive as the duo find themselves on the run from a band of criminals who want revenge for losing one of their own.
For what its worth, Kin carries a nice pace, operates well within its bounds, and pushes the envelope between PG-13 and R effectively. While I enjoyed my time watching the thriller, once it was over I couldn’t quite place just why I had appreciated it so much. Outside of Truitt’s performance, the film is not well acted, nor are there any unique plot points to generate a “wow” factor. However, amid all of the chaos and destruction, I became drawn into the story, mesmerized by the special effects and engrossed by the third act reveal.
Maybe that is what it was - the unexpected detour in the final moments that allow us to fully understand the film’s many players, the importance of the details, and the expansive world that has been crafted before our very eyes - all without us fully realizing it. Either way, Kin isn’t some masterpiece that will have you thinking long after the credits roll. It is just the opposite - and with school starting back, mindless fun is perfect.