Son of No One, The (UK - DVD R2)
Marcus finds out about a murder from 16 years ago and tries to hide the truth.
16 years ago, a young Jonathan White (Channing Tatum) killed two people. Living in a bad neighbourhood, both murders were out of self defence and as the two that were killed were two people no one would care about, the murders were covered up by Detective Charles Stanford (Al Pacino). Growing up and becoming a cop, White is reassigned to the district where the murders were covered up but when the local paper begins getting anonymous letters hinting that the secret of the murders will be revealed, White’s new life with his wife (Katie Holmes) and daughter begins to crumble.
This movie is a whole lot bleaker than I expected. The story itself is a bad situation, with kids in horrible conditions, corrupt cops and broken lives but set in 2002 and with a post 9/11 America as a backdrop adds to the unease to the story and this tale of guilt, past sins and moral choices for friends and family is a whole lot more weighty than I would have predicted.
Hats off to Tatum, whose film choices have been a real mixture of late. Dramas, bit parts, comedies, this actor is seemingly taking his star status and trying to find a career without taking the easy options. For starters he’s going up against powerhouses like Al Pacino, who may very well be in a small role here but it’s a drama fuelled one and Tatum responds well to the challenge.
On top of that there are a handful of great supporting performances. A small but great dramatic turn from Tracey Morgan was full of sadness, a fantasticly realistic depiction of a kid way out of his depth from actor Jake Cherry, who you totally feel for and carried the weight of the bad neighbourhood on his shoulders and despite a rather cliché turn of events Ray Liotta has his moments to.
Unfortunately that’s the biggest problem with Son of No One. The slow burning tale, full of dramatic tension, dark back stories and hard decisions is total let down by the reveal of what’s really going on. I won’t spoil it but if you’ve seen the trailer it’s not too hard to figure out and to be honest you’ll work it out long before Channing Tatum does in the film as well. It was a real shame as I was quite enjoying the darkness of this gritty drama and the wrapping up of events felt a little too clean and uneventful for my liking.
This transfer is one of the most overbearingly orange and teal affairs I’d seen in a while. Every room in every house has orange and teal walls as do the corridors, offices and street lighting. It's insane how much of the same colouring is packed into this movie giving everything an unnatural appearance.
The presentaiton has a slightly soft, grubby look that might hold up better in HD but on this standard definition presentation it’s a little underwhelming. Shadows and what would be blacks are all deep blues, despite the dark tones of the film. There’s a handful of well textures close ups and the wrinkles on Pacino’s face look pretty great but really this comes off as a pretty average looking DVD with no real pop to it.
The foreboding tonal score hovers in the rears speakers, pretty much throughout the entire runtime. Growing tensions, a slightly bassy build up at times and a real mood is generated from time to time. Dialogue is generally okay with some of the quieter scenes between father and daughter getting a bit mumbly and scenes set in echoed corridors feeling a bit muffled as well. Once again this is a pretty standard set up with no stand out moments of audio assault (well maybe the one car crash) and little in the way of music boosting the rears speakers.
There are no film extras, just trailers for Coriolanus, Trespass and Machine Gun Preac.her
The Son of No One had me locked in for a long time but as the mystery became more obvious my enjoyment of the dark, bleak tale slipped away. The disc is bog standard in both video and audio departments and has no extras is a rental consideration but maybe not a blind buy.
Review by Marcus Doidge
Suitable only for persons of 15 years and over
Release Date: 23rd April 2012
Disc Type: Single side, dual layer
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1 English
Easter Egg: No
Director: Dito Montiel
Cast: Channing Tatum, Al Pacino, Ray Liotta, Juliette Binoche
Genre: Crime and Drama
Length: 89 minutes
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