‘Kings of Summer’ uses simple, yet intriguing film tactics
Walking into The Kings of Summer, I didn’t really know what to expect. I’d seen the preview once or twice, but I didn’t really understand why I was at Ragtag. Don’t get me wrong, I love the hipster hotspot, but it didn’t strike me as the type of venue to host a film like Kings.
But over the next two hours, I was blown away by the simple yet quirky film. For those unfamiliar with the film, the story centers around two boys, Joe Toy (Nick Robinson) and Patrick Keenan (Gabriel Basso) who, for understandable reasons, are at odds with their parents. On one hand, there’s Mr. Toy, Joe’s widowed father who has developed a militaristic lifestyle for the family; on the other, you’ve got the Keenans, who are unbelievably awkward. Both families warrant their fair share of laughs and contribute significantly to the charm of the film.
Fed up, the two friends run away, building their own house in the forest. Along for the ride is the mysterious Biaggio (Moises Arias), who seemingly appears out of nowhere to join Joe and Patrick in their new world. Navigating the world of family, girls and the meaning of friendship, the film goes on to examine everything from awkward encounters with girls to complicated parent relationships, never shying away from tough themes.
But though the film tackles the big ideas of life, I couldn’t help but feel a little rushed at the end. It seemed that the plot was wrapped up quickly, and that the climax had a quick follow-through. Though Kings was unique throughout, the ending was cliche and predictable (new friendships are formed, broken relationships given new life). Nevertheless, even though some parts may have come across a little cheesy, the actors’ and actresses’ performances were genuine and really pulled at the heartstrings.
Packed with hilarious characters and situations, Kings was altogether a great film, and definitely worth the exorbitant Ragtag price (nine dollars!). I would definitely recommend the Indie summer flick to anyone looking for a simple yet solid film.
By Ashleigh Atasoy