Film: Next of Kin

Next of Kin is a 1989 film starring a veritable Who's Who of actors. It stars Liam Neeson, Adam Baldwin, Ben Stiller, Helen Hunt, Andreas Katsulas, Bill Paxton, Ted Levine, and Patrick Swayze.

The story centers around Truman Gates, a Chicago police officer from Kentucky. When his brother Gerald (Bill Paxton) is killed by the Chicago mafia, his brother Briar (Liam Neeson) comes to town seeking revenge. Meanwhile, Adam Baldwin plays Joey Rosselini, an enforcer for the Isabella crime family who finds his position in jeopardy due to the don's son (Ben Stiller) trying to play a more active role in the family business.

Despite the premise, the movie is So Bad, It's Good, if only for the sake of Liam Neeson's southern accent (which is remarkably good for an Irishman).

Next of Kin provides examples of:

  • Bar Brawl: Truman fights his brother Briar in a bar when he decides to take him in. The bartender tries to call the cops, but the one of the customers stop him and other remarks how the fight is "better than television".
  • Bear Trap: One of Joey's buddies is caught in one in the climactic showdown.
  • Foil: Fair Cop Truman, who wants to bring his brother's killer to justice, to moody, vindictive Briar.
  • Improbable Weapon User: The bus of snakes used by one of Truman's brothers.
  • Not So Different: During an exchange between Joey and Don Isabella, Joey refers to the Gates as stupid poor farmers. Don Isabella responds that that's how other Sicilians thought of his family.
  • Old Shame: Truman and his heritage, though it does nothing to stop him from going on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge after Gerald and Briar are killed and his wife is threatened.
  • Train Escape: Briar resorts to this when Joey and his buddies are chasing him.

Alternative Title(s):

Next Of Kin