I found the movie The Kings of Summer while searching for good movies. I found a list of recent films that “you may have missed” and then searched Amazon Prime when I read one that sounded interesting. I think The Kings of Summer was about #87 on a list of ones you should watch.

The preview looked funny. I figured, “what the heck, a little brain candy.”muskmelon candy kit katIf it was candy, it was more like this Muskmelon KitKat (right) than anything real tasty. (Yeah, that is a real candy – the Japanese eat weird stuff.) That is to say that the film had lots of entertaining moments but it just didn’t work overall.

The cast worked. It had a lot of faces you recognize from a lot of different movies and television. Nick Robinson, Gabriel Basso and Moises Arias were the three teens who ran away and built their house in the woods. They each did well but nothing special… well except for Moises Arias as Biaggio. Yes, he was cast as the comic relief and weirdo – a role he did well. What impressed me most about him was that he appeared to be a better actor and just watching him move from dancing, diving and various oddball actions… it was clear he was the most talented of the cast. Erin Moriarity was the main love interest and although her character was not very deep, she did a good job. All of the parents were played by veteran actors and each did a serviceable performance.

Visually, the film was very confusing. It felt like film-direction-by-committee. There were segments that looked like a very high-concept nature show. There were segments that looked like an 80’s John Hughes montage. There were segments that looked like the director’s friend had a high speed super-slo motion camera he borrowed for the day. It was all just so disjointed.

The script too, felt like it was written by a committee… It had angsty teens that were much more rude and violent than seemed realistic. It had over-the-top nerdy parents and over-the-top crappy parents. It had the all-too-predictable love triangle. It had unrealistic props and story devices that made it hard to stay interested.

The absolute worst part had to be the facial hair grown by the boys. It looked like an elementary school makeup job for the school play. I literally laughed out loud every time one of the leads came on screen with their facial growth. Don’t waste your time with this one.

by Chris Doelle

Rating 4 of 10