Kin (2 stars)


Two brothers find an alien ray-gun in this silly cross-country adventure

'Sixty grand and a space gun; who exactly are you people?' asks bemused stripper Milly (Zoe Kravitz) when two mysteriously well-off strangers cross her path. Kin is the story of two brothers whose lives are changed when they find an alien ray gun and embark on a cross-country trip; if this low-budget sci-fi sounds silly in synopsis, it's even sillier to watch.

Things start well enough when Hal (Dennis Quaid) advises teenager Eli (Myles Truitt) to be wary of Eli's older ex-con brother Jimmy (Jack Reynor) when the latter suddenly turns up on their Detroit doorstep. Jimmy owes a substantial debt to local gangster Taylor Balik (James Franco), but when Hal refuses to help, a confrontation is triggered that leaves Jimmy and Eli on the run with a bag of stolen cash. Eli is also carrying a high-tech ray gun he found in an abandoned warehouse, thereby adding a couple of biker-aliens to the list of pursuers.

Directors Jonathan and Josh Baker adapted Kin from their short Bag Man, and it shows; the material feels stretched beyond breaking point and plot-holes are plentiful, not least the contrived way obstacles are created such as when Jimmy somehow forgets the stolen bag. A final twist renders much of the detail what's gone before irrelevant, and Kin ends up feeling like a pilot for a TV show that didn't deserve to be commissioned.

An effective score from Mogwai helps to keep things semi-presentable, but finishing on an abrupt 'to be continued' will tax the patience of most casual viewers. Trusted performers like Franco and Quaid have little to do; executive producer Michael B Jordan, already the star of the Creed and Black Panther franchises, seems to be trying too hard to create another returnable property here; ultimately his schoolboy ray-gun adventure blows up in his face.

Limited release from Fri 9 Nov.


  • 2 stars
  • 2018
  • US
  • 15
  • Directed by: Jonathan Baker, Josh Baker
  • Cast: Myles Truitt, Jack Reynor, Dennis Quaid, Zoe Kravitz
  • UK release: 9 November 2018

Teenage Eli (Truitt) and his ex-con brother Jimmy (Reynor) go on the run with a bag of stolen cash and a high-tech alien ray gun. A silly premise is stretched beyond breaking point in what feels like a pilot for a TV show that doesn’t deserve a series.