The Kings Of Summer

B

(out of 5)


It’s rare to see a cast of such high quality and a script with such promise being undone by such inept direction, but an uncomfortable combination of tones makes a mystery of this terrible film.  Two boys fed up with being bossed around by their, in one case, emotionally distant father () and, in the other, mentally questionable parents (, ), decide to build a hut in the middle of the woods and strike out on their own.  A unique young man who wields a machete like nobody’s business joins them as well, popping out of nowhere but too likeably strange to reject, and the three set about on their project to grow up quicker than they’re prepared to do.  Meanwhile, back at home the adults are increasingly worried about their missing children, but the film is too anxious to please the crowd to take them seriously as human beings.  Then again, it is also deadly serious about the young mens’ coming of age malaise, then at the same time tries to strike a Napoleon Dynamite sense of satirical whimsy.  It actually decides to be a different movie about three million times, combining Offerman and Mullaly’s brilliant sitcom timing with drawn-out, melancholy investigations of lead star ’s mind.  That isn’t to say there are no genuine laughs, because there are moments that are laugh out loud funny, but they blend very uncomfortably with the darker elements of first love gone awry and abuse a top rate cast (including the kids).  Imagine Son Of Rambow directed by early David Gordon Green and you get a sense of what torture awaits you if you bother with it.


,

USA, 2013

Directed by

Screenplay by 

Cinematography by 

Produced by , ,

Music by

Production Design by

Costume Design by

Film Editing by

Phoenix Film Critics Awards 2013.  

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