#REVIEW: “THE KINGS OF SUMMER”
We’ve all been frustrated with our Parents at some point in our lives and really, who in their youth hadn’t thought of running away? The Kings of Summer takes a look at three teenage Boys who refuse to accept insubordination, taking a vow of independence in running away from their respective Families, to build a makeshift House in the snake-ladden woods. Headed by the handy Joey (Nick Robinson), the injured but jock-ish Patrick (Gabriel Basso) and eccentric Biaggio (Moises Arias), we go on a mini-Adventure as these Boys learn about what it means to form a meaningful Friendship and just what it takes to survive on their own in a world of Boston Markets. Ties are tested with the presence of Kelly (Erin Moriarty), whom Joey longs for, and we see how a prolonged absence impacts their increasingly-worried Families, including Joey‘s equally headstrong single Father Frank (Nick Offerman) and also Mr. & Mrs. Keenan (Marc Evan Jackson and Megan Mullally). What will come of this Trio and how long can they make it on their own?
Although this Jordan Vogt-Roberts (Funny or Die) Comedy feels perhaps a little too oddly familiar with its archetypal three male Heroes in pursuit of fun, things progress nicely as the Plot thickens and the stakes are upped. With just the right amount of queasiness and humour, what lies beneath is a fair amount of heart. As is the case in any Coming-of-Age Tale, we want to grow and learn too. The emotions feel real, especially when jealousy and fear come to light and this just might be one of this Summer’s Sleeper Hits with all the right ingredients being there certainly. Some interesting choices are made visually in some of the Film’s more nuanced moments, while a couple oddly-placed musical choices like a shrewdly-placed Hip Hop Track disrupt what overall is a smooth flow.
The Kings of Summer more than ably gives us this much in part to a smart performance from young Talent Robinson, who at moments oddly enough is Gosling-esque and obviously brimming with potential. He plays well off of Basso‘s organic appeal and their Friendship absolutely is believable. Offerman in his biting humour and perpetual negativity manages to be likable and we can never get enough of Alison Brie, who plays Joey‘s grounded Sister, Heather. A limber Arias in almost every scene he appears, manages to shift all eyes on him – goofy but undeniably talented.
eOne Films releases the fresh and youthful-spirited The Kings of Summer in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver on Friday, June 7, 2013.