Brothers Jonathan and Josh Baker craft a hybrid of family drama and science fiction that absolutely feels like something expanded from a short film in its frustrating incompleteness. When ex-con Jimmy (Jack Reynor) is responsible for the death of the brother of crazy crime boss Taylor (James Franco), he hits the road with his 14-year-old adopted brother Eli (Myles Truitt)—unaware that Eli has acquired a powerful weapon of alien origin. There’s a stylish subtlety to the opening sequence that insinuates more about a dangerous interstellar war than it shows, and the Bakers tease with a notion that the setting of a dilapidated Detroit will have a thematic resonance. But the narrative simply turns into a road-trip chase—as Jimmy and Eli are pursued by both Taylor and aliens out to recover their gun—never delivering enough thrills to be satisfying as a genre adventure, or enough fraternal bonding material to make it satisfying as a character piece. Franco’s craziness provides some needed energy, up until the bizarre resolution, which answers a question that the movie doesn’t even consider asking until it’s almost over.
Director: Jonathan Baker and Josh Baker
Producer: Jeff Arkuss, David Gross, Jesse Shapira, Shawn Levy, Dan Cohen and Michael Jordan
Cast: Myles Truitt, Jack Reynor, Zoë Kravitz, Carrie Coon, Romano Orzari, Ian Matthews, Dennis Quaid, James Franco, Gavin Fox, Stephane Garneau-Monten, Lukas Penar, Carleigh Beverly, Lily Gao and Michael Jordan