THE KINGS OF SUMMER is an entertaining coming-of-age movie, reminiscent of STAND BY ME, but with a lighter touch.
Joe (Nick Robinson), Patrick (Gabriel Basso) and Biaggio (Moises Arias) are a trio of Mid-West teens who have decided to flee their parents. Joe's dad (Nick Offerman) is a wisecracking, insensitive "s.o.b.". Patrick's folks (Megan Mullally, Marc Evan Jackson) are on the "creepy" side, and, except for one brief scene, we don't really meet Biaggio's parents, but he's a bit "weird," so that should tell us something.
The truth is that, from a teenager's standpoint, all parents are insensitive, creepy and/or weird.
In an ultimate act of independence, the three boys decide to spend their summer building a ramshackle house in the woods and living off the land. The house goes up amazingly fast, and while the parents and the police (led by Mary Lynn Rajskub) search for them, the teens have a great time. The adventure, however, turns south when Kelly (Erin Moriarty), enters the boys' domain...and jealously rears its ugly head.
With a sharp eye for the beauty of nature, Jordan Vogt-Roberts directed Chris Galletta's well-written screenplay. The actors are uniformly excellent in their individual roles.
The Blu-Ray disc from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment contains audio commentary by director Jordan Vogt-Roberts, writer Chris Galletta, and actors Nick Robinson, Gabriel Basso and Moises Arias, deleted and extended scenes, and three "behind the scenes" featurettes.
© Michael B. Druxman