The Son Of No One

DIRECTOR: Dito Montiel

CAST: Channing Tatum, Al Pacino, Juliette Binoche, |Ray Liotta, Katie Holmes and Tracy Morgan


RUNNING TIME: 94 minutes


When bad films happen to good actors. Is Al Pacino in some serious debt or does he just enjoy making us wonder why he has been on a bad movie trip lately?

First it was the horrible Jack and Jill, which proved that either Adam Sandler is some kind of genius (I doubt that) or, since this film raked in some big bucks at the box office, that audiences do just love to see a man don a fatsuit, put on a wig and act the fool.

If you liked Big Momma’s House, then I’m talking to you. The Son Of No One doesn’t have anyone wearing a fatsuit, thank goodness. The film, which was adapted from Montiel’s book of the same title, takes on the oft-used formula of a good kid being thrown to the wolves when he joins a corrupt police unit.

In this case, Jonathan White (Tatum) is the kid. Except, he’s 30, married to Kerry (Holmes) – a woman who doesn’t find it difficult to speak her mind at all – and has a daughter who has special needs.

Things begin to fall apart when the Staten Island native is transferred to a police unit in Queens, which is not only two hours away from his home but also where he and his grandmother lived when he was young.

Under Captain Mathers (Liotta), Jonathan comes to find out that just because it’s a year after the Twin Towers came down doesn’t mean that all policemen are as squeaky clean as the national image of the long arm of the law is portrayed.

A meeting with an eccentric reporter, Lauren Bridges (Binoche), and the memories of his childhood force Jonathan to deal with a nasty past. In 1986 and in Jonathan’s neighbourhood – the home of single mothers on welfare and violent drug fiends – two people were killed and no one did anything about it.

The film jumps in and out of the two eras with pretty much no warning and at the most random times. Because the cinematography is filled with images that look musty and drained of their colour, there isn’t usually a distinction between the two years that are being focused on.

Until Pacino appears – as a cop with a handlebar moustache and tea-stained glasses.

There are holes in the plot as big as the ones on some of SA’s roads in this film and they make it hard to see character development.

The make-up, particularly on Tatum’s caked-up face, is laughable.

It really does look like all the budget was spent on paying these big-name actors, with no attention paid to anything else.

In short, they had the cast but not much else, so The Son Of No One is a let-down.

If you liked… Pride and Glory or Serpico… then you may think this film was bad.