Blu-ray Review: THE SON OF NO ONE
Dito Montiel's The Son of No One arrives on Blu-ray and DVD combo pack February 21 from Anchor Bay. Channing Tatum, Katie Holmes, Al Pacino, Juliette Binoche, Tracy Morgan, and Ray Liotta star in this gritty drama that premiered at Sundance in 2011. I am a fan of cop dramas that show how messed up our society is and enjoyed this film to an extent. The film's ensemble cast and concept are solid, but the story and script fell flat.
The story follows a rookie cop named Jonathan White (Tatum) who gets transferred to a precinct in Queens in the neighborhood he grew up in. White's father was a cop, who worked and died on duty at the same precinct. As a result of his father's death, his childhood was horrible. Jonathan has beaten the odds, and his life is actually as normal as possible. He has a wife (Holmes) and a daughter, but a secret from his dark past is being pushed into the limelight. Will he be able to keep his family and job, or will he lose everything? To find out, you will have to watch the movie.
My biggest complaint is the story. The overall concept is one that had a lot of potential, but it failed to live up to my hopes. Instead, Son of No One falls into the category of dull and overly complicated. The story is hard to follow at times because of the way it jumps back-and-forth between present-day Queens and 1986 Queens. I understand the need to make this film seem gritty and harsh, much like life in the inner city is, but the foul language seemed over-the-top and forced.
New York locations have such an amazingly rich history, which can be seen in this film. New York is almost like another character in the film. I live in New Jersey and travel to Staten Island and Manhattan on occasion. I find it funny how the White's character is slightly ostracized because he lives "on the island." Whenever I watch movies that take place in New York, I try to spot familiar areas, but I could not find any in this movie.
The performances are fairly solid by almost everyone involved. I was surprised at how much I liked Tatum's performance in the lead role of Jonathan White. Holmes continues to lack any screen presence in her roles and did not seem to have any chemistry with Tatum. Al Pacino's habit of yelling to make points is subdued for the majority of this movie. Tracy Morgan shows his range as White's mentally challenged childhood friend. The best performances of the entire cast are from Jake Cherry and Brian Gilbert (young versions of Tatum and Morgan's characters). I loved the intensity and range of emotions that they were able to show.
In conclusion, if you like gritty cop dramas like Brooklyn's Finest or TV's Southland, then you will enjoy The Son of No One. Despite the issues I mentioned above, I am happy I had the chance to see if on Blu-ray. The special features on the disc are few, but the sound and picture quality are exactly what you would expect for a Blu-ray. I recommend you check it out on Blu-ray and DVD when it arrives on February 21. You can read Venkman's review from Sundance here.