Next of Kin (1989)
Appalachian Clan vS. The Chicago Mob
30 August 2020
Patrick Swayze stars in an action revenge thriller in the same year that he also made Road House, the following year he made Ghost, these were two years after he had made a sensual splash with Dirty Dancing. Thus it's safe to say that Patrick did not pigeon hole himself. Next of Kin holds no great hidden gem rewards, but it's a rock solid thriller boasting a splendid cast list featuring Liam Neeson, Helen Hunt, Bill Paxton, Adam Baldwin, Andreas Katsulas, Ben Stiller (in a serious role), Michael J. Pollard, Ted Levine and Paul Greco.

Plot finds Swayze as a Chicago cop who after the murder his younger brother desperately tries to uphold the law while one of his brothers from the "sticks" would rather enact all out revenge on the mobsters that killed the younger sibling. Suffice to say things go pear shaped and blood, loyalty and life altering decisions do follow.

The trajectory is simple , honest cop tries to do the right thing by the law in spite of the hurt in his heart, hillbilly brother (Neeson getting the best role in the film) would rather deliver some "deliverance" type justice - all while the rest of the "Gates" family clan await the call to come wading down from the hills to aid the retribution flow. The action scenes are well enough staged by director John Irvin, there's a whole bunch of fun in the characterisations - even if they are standard 101 scripted - while if you can get past Swayze's ponytail you will find a very restrained and cool performance.

Hardly a must see, but definitely no stinker and worth your time as a time filler, if only to see such a fresh faced young cast of well knowns turning tricks before bigger things awaited. 6/10
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