Kin directed/written by Jonathan & Josh Baker [6/10]

A mash-up between an alterna-world sci-fi riot-fest and a gritty brother-brother road trip flick, “Kin” promises much, scene by scene, but sat uneasily in my mind after the closing credits. The brain child of the talented Baker brother combo, we see a fourteen-year-old adoptee (played well by Myles Truitt) plunged into the deadly affairs of his much older, just-released-con brother (Jack Reynor, in a mixed performance). They flee, young Eli hiding a strange stocky weapon straight out of video games. Pursued or beset by garishly horrid crims (James Franco hams his heart out) and robotic beings on super-fast motorbikes, the bonding brothers (“kin,” get it?) drive day and night across plain and mountain range. If it sounds like I’m taking the piss out of the plot, that’s what watching felt like on too many occasions. The sci-fi action is cartoonishly blasty, many scenes ring true, and even a strange sequel-beckoning plot twist towards the end entertained me, but my disquiet with the plot’s arc overrode all the pleasures. Oh, I should mention the Mogwai sountdrack, which I’ve reviewed and which lured me to the underlying film – it also disappoints, rarely imposing its grandeur on the scenes, a notable exception being the fabulous driving tune gracing the closing credits. Overall, fab prospects promised but not delivered.

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