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On Your Radar: King Jack
by Kathryn Loggins

Directed by Felix Thompson

There are many coming-of-age stories that penetrate the film industry, but King Jack proves to be a film that can offer a new and sensitive perspective on this widely covered topic. Its setting is in a rural town over the course of a summer weekend. A teenager named Jack is forced to hang out with his younger cousin who comes to visit. Jack is by no means happy with the situation, as he is trying to figure out his own adolescent problems and does not welcome the prospect of a little kid hanging around him. What unfolds, however, is a bond that shapes the lives of both boys in ways that are surprising and significant.

While this film seems to be just another story about a boy trying to navigate his broken family, schoolyard bullies and summer crushes, it turns out to be a deep look into the things that matter most. The virtues of friendship, loyalty and family are strongly emphasized without overpowering the delicate tone of the film. With his first feature film, Felix Thompson successfully balances amusing triviality and deep meaningfulness through a simple story that anyone can relate to.