Starring: Nick Robinson, Gabriel Basso, Moises Arias
Director: Jordan Vogt-Roberts
Running Time: 95 mins
The Kings Of Summer is an American film about three teenagers who build a life for themselves in the woods as an act of independence, after running away from their dull, suburban homes.
This film was quite disappointing. It was clever in terms of its themes, cinematography and imagery, however the fact that it failed to really show the main characters at all deeply throughout made it ultimately quite boring to watch.
Firstly, I’ll say that what I was most impressed by in this film was its complex and intriguing themes. Not only did it look explicitly at coming-of-age and independence, but also talked about suburban lifestyles and homes, in such detail that its complexity in this case is comparable to American Beauty.
Also, more surprisingly so, the film looks at humans’ more animalistic qualities when thrown into a situation like this, fighting for survival in the woods. It looks well into the idea of ‘survival of the fittest’, along with Animal Farm-like characters; initially fighting for freedom and equality for all, and then becoming the tyrants themselves, so I was really interested in those aspects of the movie.
However, the biggest problem with this film was its lack of depth at the centre. It may have been very intriguing and thoughtful in the more general themes, but in terms of the principal characters, whose emotions play more of a vital role than anything in this story, it fails to make any sort of emotional connection between you as a viewer and the people on screen, which leads it to be indeed quite uninteresting to follow along.
Something else that irritated me a lot was also to do with the main characters. I wasn’t particularly impressed with any of the performances, and although the actors managed to pull off the image that these boys were just petulant and whiny teenagers, that made it extremely irritating to watch them on screen, as well as incredibly difficult to really support anyone.
Overall, I’ll give this a 6.8, because despite its intriguing themes and imagery, I was not at all impressed by the way in which the film tried so desperately, but unsuccessfully, to give an emotional bond between the viewer and the characters.