Newest Reviews
Shiva Baby
Flowers of Shanghai
War and Peace
Merrily We Go to Hell
Ellie & Abbie (& Ellie's Dead Aunt)
Amusement Park, The
Hands of Orlac, The
Death has Blue Eyes
Kala Azar
After Love
Earwig and the Witch
Zebra Girl
Skull: The Mask
Bank Job
Drunk Bus
State Funeral
Army of the Dead
Dinner in America
Death Will Come and Shall Have Your Eyes
PG: Psycho Goreman
Sound of Metal
Things of Life, The
Auschwitz Escape, The
Jungle Fever
Great White
Spy Who Came in from the Cold, The
Raya and the Last Dragon
Letter from Paris
Newest Articles
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
More Than Mad Science: Karloff at Columbia on Blu-ray
Indian Summer: The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-ray
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
  Kings of Summer, The Why Don't You Grow Up?
Year: 2013
Director: Jordan Vogt-Roberts
Stars: Nick Robinson, Gabriel Basso, Moises Arias, Nick Offerman, Alison Brie, Megan Mullally, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Erin Moriarty, Marc Evan Jackson, Eugene Cordero, Nathan Keyes, Thomas Middleditch, Lili Reinhart, Gillian Vigman, Kumail Nanjiani, Tony Hale
Genre: Comedy, DramaBuy from Amazon
Rating:  8 (from 2 votes)
Review: Fifteen-year-old Joe (Nick Robinson) has spent a lot of time building a birdhouse as a class project, and if it's not the most accomplished construction around then he is pleased with it, which leaves him crushed when he brings it in to school for assessment only to be told by his teacher that it's the last week of term and nobody is interested in his birdhouse. In fact, the class are playing hangman now. So Joe has to return home to the house he shares with his widowed father Frank (Nick Offerman), and the sort of unhappy relationship that's enough to have him thinking about escaping his life for the summer...

Chris Galletta's script for The Kings of Summer was one of those which you sometimes hear about getting placed on a shortlist for the finest unproduced screenplays around, an accolade which does not always work out for the best, but in this case the quality of the writing truly brought out excellence in the cast director Jordan Vogt-Roberts assembled to bring it to life. Indeed, you can tell the pleasure the actors were taking in their lines even in the more serious parts which lifted what at first glance could have been a twenty-first century update of that old novel Brendon Chase, except the boys here did not don leaves when they got back to nature.

Actually, it's debatable how far the three kids in this tale did return to nature themselves, as they seem keen to recreate their ideal of modern living only out in a forest where nobody can interrupt them. It was well seen they did this in the middle of an idyllic summer, the odd rainstorm apart, because if autumn and then winter set in you cannot imagine them lasting out there for the duration, but then this was as much about what the dreams of the three boys were as opposed to the reality. Yes, it was coming of age territory once again, with the youthful imagination where everything can work out set against the reality where there are too many other factors to consider: the adult world, essentially.

Joe decides after one particularly fraught game of Monopoly (this truly gets the petty arguments board games can engender spot on) that he's had enough of his dad and he should branch out on his own, so gathers a bunch of books about living well in the open air, then persuades his best friend Patrick (Gabriel Basso) to join him. Patrick is also having trouble at home, but that appears to be because he is at a certain age when all the things he liked about his parents (Megan Mullally and Marc Evan Jackson) when he was little now drive him up the wall as a teenager: some of the funniest moments here are the inane twitterings and habits of those two grown-ups. These teens are joined by the mysterious third party, Biaggio (Moises Arias), who walks to the beat of his own drum.

Basically, he's nuts, but in a nice way. This trio builds their own makeshift house and set up home there deep in the woods, and for a while all goes well, as if they were living out their fantasy of what a child thinks is the proper manner for real men to act, but what made this so poignant was that they didn't realise there's a lot of heartache which goes with being an adult, and in trying to jump ahead they're not ready for the emotions that emerge from those situations. The trigger for this is Kelly (Erin Moriarty), who Joe has a crush on and unfortunately his newfound independence - and celebrity, since he and his missing friends are now on the TV news - means he thinks he can win her over now she has broken up with her boyfriend. Alas, Kelly, while pally with Joe, doesn't think of him romantically and prefers Patrick so after a few weeks' paradise, or as close as they thought they could get, the veneer cracks and friendships are broken. You hope they can work themselves out eventually, but with its curious mix of the mystical and the irreverent this crept up on you to be quite moving. Music by Ryan Miller.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


This review has been viewed 2415 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (2)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
Andrew Pragasam
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf


Last Updated: