Kicks | First-time director Justin Tipping’s sneaker saga has more style than substance

Kicks Kofi Siriboe

They aren’t just shoes.

Dreamy pint-sized California teenager Brandon (Jahking Guillory) vows to retrieve his stolen sneakers from a local hood in frustrating coming-of-age drama Kicks, which seeks to splice urban grit with poetically surreal flourishes but fails to provide enough narrative glue to bind them together.

Mahershala Ali’s presence as an avuncular ex-con only serves to remind us how much better last year’s Oscar-winning Moonlight tackled themes of masculinity and pride amid a sensitive African-American youth’s difficult rites of passage.

Certificate 15. Runtime 87 mins. Director Justin Tipping

Kicks debuts on Sky Cinema Premiere on 22 January. Available on Blu-ray, DVD & Digital from Universal Studios Home Entertainment.