A weapons loaded truck is shadowed by FBI and ATF. It explodes and kills the driver. Jack, just out of prison, is pressured into driving another truck from Atlanta to NJ. Things get rough when hijacking attempts are made.
A 17 year old farm boy is offered an ice hockey tryout. His brother drives him to Canada. He has fast legs, slow fists, but is chosen. Will he learn to use his fists and play ice hockey the Canuck way? Will he get the coach's cute daughter?
Next of Kin has a rather unusual story about hillbillies fighting against mafia in Chicago. It all starts when an ordinary hillbilly named Gerald Briar who moved to town in order to become a truck driver gets killed by mobsters while doing his job. The main villain is Joey (played by Adam Baldwin), a very brutal and relentless member of the Isabela crime family, who has to work with his boss' harmless son Lawrence (Ben Stiller). What he did not know is that the trucker had a huge family of highlanders, and his brother Truman Gates (Patrick Swayze) lives in Chicago and works as a detective. After Gerald's funeral, Gerald's second brother Briar (Liam Neeson), who is just an ordinary unsuccessful hillbilly, decides to travel to Chicago in order to investigate his brother's death. He occupies a room in a cheap motel, prepares some bullets, and starts beating or threatening anybody who gets in his way. Meanwhile, Truman, who has a beautiful violinist wife Jessie (Helen Hunt), also starts his own investigation but through peaceful means and more subtle threats.
The movie is quite slow-paced and the Briar brothers actually try to get the full picture of the 3rd brother's death before killing anybody. However, the movie's finale is just a dumb shootout scene where mobsters get brutally slaughtered with weapons including shotguns, bows, crossbows, throwing axes and even snakes! One must wonder why the movie is so long when in the end everything comes down to fighting and Truman's plan of lawful arrest fails, but that is probably due to "movie magic". The rest of the movie is forgettable, with several events that do not make any sense. There is one exciting scene where Briar is being chased by mobsters and has to jump on moving trains which is worth watching. The scenes showing the Gates family in the hills are also well-made and successfully capture the spirit of a big highlander clan.
All in all, Next of Kin does have some famous actors, most notably Liam Neeson and Patrick Swayze, but it's just an average crime action movie with several flaws.
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